Maybe the positive surprise of the tournament was the 8th place of Sweden. The team from coach Tommie Hansson won the game it had to win against Germany in order to qualify for the Top 8 but then declined slowly in their performance. The team has however some interesting prospects in their roster, especially from the 1991 generation.
Andreas Person (1m87 – Guard – Sweden)
Andreas was definitely the flashiest player of the team and probably also the most talented. Thanks to his good speed and athletic skills, Person could drive several times and score next to the rim. He excelled in penetrating on screen-and-roll action or in the horns set-up that the Swedish team played a lot.
When he starts attacking the rim, he tries to read the defense at best and looks what happening around him. His game is however somehow uni-dimensional as he has no serious three point shot to be spoken off and that he can hit with regularity. His passing skills are ok but not good enough to become a quality point guard.
He looks more than a scoring guard that has to play the PG role because of the limited alternatives on the Swedish bench. But as he is a real scorer, he can develop in that area in the next years as you can not forget that he is still pretty young and only turned 17 in March.
Another 1991 born prospect to follow is Alexander Lindqvist. The 2m03 tall guard is also a nice scorer with good range until the three point area. He can hit the jump shot from mid range out of the dribble and is also able to help on hte PG position. However, he had a lot of problems with his shooting percentage of the tournament and was also the most turnover-prone player of the Swedish team.
Probably less talented by a harder worker on the court on the inside positions is Omar Zaghden. Being the only serious inside presence of the team. Zaghden had to do it all, defend, rebound and also score. And he did his job despite a strange looking jump shot and a limited athletic presence. He works with his knowledge of the situation and a good technique to score around the basket or with a jump shot around the key.
I also collected a reaction of the coach about what his thoughts were after the tournament.
It is a great opportunity for a country like Sweden to take part in such a tournament.
Our eight place in the AST is the best result Sweden have had since 1985 when we ended up in 4th place, so we are very happy with that. We knew we had to beat Germany to play the top eight and we showed everyone that we can play pretty good basketball. Both against Australia, Spain and Canada, we had some physical and mental collapses that gave our opponents a chance to make a run and win the games. We need to work on our strength and also keep on playing these kind of games if we want to take the next step to really compete against these teams.
We feel that we have a pretty good backcourt but needs to work a lot with our big guys. As a team we need play more as a team on both ends of the court because we do not have the 1-1 players almost all the other teams have.