With a few months of delay, here we go for a report on some of the most interesting players of the 2009 FIBA Europe U16 European Championship of Division B. As I could by far not see all players (I was limited to several games on tape), this report is far from being complete. The same that counted already for the Division A report is also true here, the scouting reports are smaller than usual as we speak about 15 or 16 year old kids that are far away from their final development in terms of basketball.
Devon van Oostrum (1m88 – Point Guard – 1993 – England)
The English Devon van Oostrum got elected into the All-Tournament team back in August and it was him that carried his team to a Bronze Medal that was of course a great satisfaction and a disappointment at the same time. The Point Guard, that plays now for the Caja Laboral Baskonia youth teams, was considered as one of the biggest talents of the whole tournament. The quite athletic guard displayed a very large skill set, going from good three point shooting, excellent ball handling and a very nice presence in rebounding. With this versatility, he reminded a bit the performances of Antoine Diot in the U16 categories back in 2005.
Van Oostrum can create a lot for his team mates with his excellent drives, where he can go on both sides displaying no major differences when going left or right. With his left hand, he can finish easily on even difficult one-on-one situations which underlines how strong his fundamentals are. He recognizes situations very well and can play the perfect passes for his team mates. Sometimes, he goes for high-risk full-court passes for example, which he connects however with a great accuracy. He is extremely present on defensive rebound from where he runs immediately the break that he concludes either himself through a drive, a jump shot or by distributing the ball to his team mates. His excellent hands help him to steal multiple balls either directly from the dribbler or by intercepting in the passing lanes. He is definitely a major talent to follow over the next years.
Stats: 21.2ppg (55.8% 2FG 40% 3FG), 7.0rpg, 4.2apg, 5.8spg, 0.5bpg, 3.3topg
William Magarity (2m05 – Forward – 1993 – Sweden)
William Magarity looks to be one of the major prospects in Europe for the next years. The 2m05 tall forward from Sweden has a great skill set for a player of his size, good speed and a correct ball handling to work with over the next years. Magarity can attack the basket with drive and score close to the basket. He has also a nice catch and shoot three point shot from the top of the key. He is taking the big shots for his team and his nice versatility and playing style reminds me a bit of Donatas Motiejunas.
The right handed player displays also an excellent wingspan which he uses very well to deflect passes or shots and to change the offensive playing style of his opponents. When guarded by a smaller player, he can post him up and go for the turn around jump shot. Additionally, he has also a jump shot out of the dribble that looks nice. Magarity looks really like a very interesting prospect as he combines the rare ability of size, speed and basketball skills for the highest level. We will see in which direction he will develop over the next years but he has the potential to become a very good player in a few years.
Stats: 15.6ppg (57.7% 2FG 40.9% 3FG), 7.0rpg, 1.9spg, 1.0bpg
Jonathan Person (1m89 – Guard – 1993 – Sweden)
Jonathan Person was the top scorer of a highly talented Swedish team that however only finished at the fifth place. The quick PG could drive and score nearly at will, but he somehow disappeared a bit in the crucial moments of the games. Person can beat his opponents on the dribble easily either with his left or right hand and finish close to the rim with the help of a good hangtime when being contested in his layups.
Person is not the best shooter though which is certainly the point where he needs to work the most. Currently, he has no real three point shot that makes him a thread from behind the arc and his free-throw percentages during the U16 Euro were just awful for a player that draws that many fouls. Person was signed by the Italian team of Virtus Bologna this summer.
Stats: 20.0ppg (45.7% 2FG 47.8% FT), 5.5rpg, 4.7apg, 2.2spg
Marcus Eriksson (1m91 – Guard – 1993 – Sweden)
The Swedish shooter displayed one of the quickest and most accurate releases from behind the arc of the whole tournament. The SG was recently contacted by FC Barcelona to become a part of their youth program. Eriksson is really a great shooter, from anywhere on the court. He can also attack the basket but his main weapon is his long distance shot which he can take so quickly in catch and shoot situations or out of the drive.
Stats: 19.1ppg (77.3% 2FG, 51.3% 3FG), 4.8rpg
Nicholas Spires (2m05 – Forward – 1994 – Sweden)
The 1994 born forward had an important role on the Swedish team as he was the first inside rotation coming of the bench. Spires showed interesting skills in the low post and had also a good presence on the glass and for blocking shots. He has another year to go on the U16 level and it will be interesting to see how he will play for Sweden next summer when he may be top player of the team.
Stats: 6.4ppg (56.3% 2FG), 3.6rpg, 1.0bpg
Matej Rojc (1m93 – Guard – 1993 – Slovenia)
The Slovenian guard showed a very nice feel to score with a good mixture of drives and long distance shots. Both he converted with good accuracy and he can create a lot for himself of the drive by either going for the mid range jump shot out of the dribble or scoring nicely at the rim. Rojc showed good speed on the court and had a game winning assist against Sweden in the last play of the game. He has a good size to play the PG where his future probably will be.
Stats: 11.5ppg (53.8% 2FG 47.4% 3FG 85.2% FT), 4.6rpg. 3.1apg, 0.8bpg
Luka Rupnik (1m82 – Guard – 1993 – Slovenia)
Rupnik played mainly the PG role for Slovenia, but he was not able to lead the team to more than a 4th place. His size may limit him for the future but Rupnik is an excellent passer who finds his team mates even in difficult situations. His shot is not looking very good as he has quite some low release for a player of his size. This does not prevent him though from taking shots with the defense on him or out of the dribble. He can put the ball on the floor and drive until the hoop to score layups against the defense.
Stats: 9.8ppg, 3.9rpg, 5.1apg, 2.8spg, 3.6topg