defeated FC Barcelona in the final after a terrific competition with Mega Belgrade, Zalgiris Kaunas, Crvena Zvezda, Valencia, Asvel and Stellazzurra. Our Director of Scouting, Albert Robledillo, attended the event and here is answering five key questions about what we could see in La Fonteta.
Who was the best player in the tournament?
Eli John Ndiaye
(‘04) was the most decisive player in the best team. As he did in the 2021 ANGT Istanbul, Ndiaye
displayed his improved mid and long-range shot and his scoring instincts near the rim. He plays with tons of energy in defense, where he is very active thanks to his quick hands and rebounding instincts. It was a loaded tournament with Juan Núñez
(‘04), Matteo Spagnolo
(‘03), Liutauras Lelevicius
(‘03), Nikola Jovic
(‘03) or Nikola Djurisic
(‘04) but due to different circumstances, none of them were as regular as Ndiaye
Was there any breakout player?
Spagnolo’s injury and Nuñez’s departure with the first team allowed us to see Urban Klavzar
(‘04) as a floor general and he was very good at it. Klavzar
is usually relegated as a shooter and point of attack in defense but in Valencia, the Slovenian guard was great initiating the offense and creating shots for himself. In FC Barcelona, Gael Bonilla
('03) had a breakout tournament displaying his outstanding IQ and skill set.
Any 2003-born ready to be considered an NBA prospect for the 2022 draft?
's ('03) performance in Valencia wasn't as good as it was in Belgrade. However, without any of our top-5 2003-born generation in the tournament, he showed why he should be considered the best European-born prospect for the 2022 draft, making its case to our top-3 ranking in the next update (which will happen at the end of this month). Jovic
is a versatile forward, with a tremendous feel for the game.
Which were the underclassmen that impressed you the most?
I guess there is no doubt at this point that Kilian Malwaya
(‘05) should be considered as the top prospect of his generation. Malwaya
still has a long way to go in developing his skill set, especially as a creator, but he has great instincts, impressive physical tools, and his shot is really improving. Also, in Asvel, the youngest team in the competition, Zaccharie Risacher
(‘05) showed a great combination of shooting skills, size, and improvements as a rebounder and defender comparing to the ANGT in late December. Nikola Topic
(‘05) wasn't a surprise since his performance was solid in the ANGT Belgrade but I love his poise and what he brings to the table being that young. Local Pablo Navarro
('05) also caught my eye thanks to a great game against Mega where he displayed a great skill set and poise against a high level of physicality
Do you see coming to any change in the 2004 rankings considering what we’ve seen in this tournament?
I feel pretty strong with the first three positions. Wembanyama
is the most freakish prospect we’ve ever seen, and Núñez
are one step above everyone else. I see Henri Veesaar
('04) as an underrated player, he is improving in almost every area as he is getting stronger and more comfortable with his body. After that, everything opens up. It was not the best tournament for Kymany Houinsou
('04) but the combination of physical tools and IQ is still there. Murauskas
('04) really took over in the game against Asvel and showed what he is capable of. Then, we need to think about what we do with Eli Ndiaye
(‘04) and James Nnaji
(‘04) who are decisive at this stage but you might think their ceilings are low. Maybe wrongly because they are improving every day. Ndiaye
became a reliable shooter and Nnaji
now understands the game pretty well. It’s a very interesting generation since, on top of that, some prospects were not part of the tournament and can make their case easily for a spot in the top-5.
Eli John Ndiaye
Real Madrid was once again crowned as the champion of the Adidas Next Generation Tournament, the best team competition in Europe.