While the 30th edition of the Hospitalet Tournament starts today and we will know who will be the two next teams to qualify for Berlin, I continue my analysis of the Città di Roma tournament organized by the Stella Azzurra Basketball team in Rome. After the guards yesterday, it is the turn of the forwards right now.
Matic Sirnik (2m00 – SF – 1991 – Olimpija Ljubljana)
Matic Sirnik was the second option of the Olimpija Ljubljana team. However, he had to play a lot on the PF position which is absolutely not his game. Seeing him asking for the ball at the high post was somehow strange as Sirnik is probably one of the most interesting 3pt shooters of the 1991 generation.
On the other hand, besides being a catch-and-shoot guy, Sirnik’s potential is pretty limited. When he gets the ball on the wing, he mostly tries to connect the long distance shot without showing any kind of aggressivity to go for a drive. The fact that he shot only 1 FT during the whole tournament underlines this. However, talking about his three-point skills, he is above average and can execute his shooting move without any problem against any kind of defense.
Stats: 12.8ppg (36.4% 2FG 48.9% 3FG), 4.8rpg
Tommaso Ingrosso (2m05 – SF – 1992 – Montepaschi Siena)
Ingrosso may not be the player that amazes you with his stats, but he showed something that you can’t put in numbers, at least in my eyes. Small Forwards with his size are not that common in the his age category. Additionally, Ingrosso seems to understand the game pretty well and is a very versatile and quick guy.
Ingrosso does the little things on the court, plays aggressive defense and causes lots of trouble with his size. Being a correct ball handlers, he likes to create on his drives but turns it over probably a bit too often due to his inexperience. He is very present in the rebound sector as he often had to play the PF position too but his future is in my opinion on the Small forward.
Stats: 6.5ppg (26.0% 2FG 16.7% 3FG 100% FT), 7.8rpg, 1.8spg
Nika Metreveli (2m12 – PF – 1991 – Montepaschi Siena)
Metreveli looked like one of the most promising players in the whole tournament and can also be considered as having NBA potential due to his excellent combination of athleticism, size and basketball skills. Being 2m11 tall, Metreveli had to play Center over stretches but his future position is on the wing. Showing a whole range of basketball skills, Metreveli is very present offensively.
He can play with his back to the basket but also knock down the three ball. Defensively, he has good lateral speed and his shot blocking timing is present. With his excellent athletic abilities, he is able to throw down big dunks (he went for an huge attempt in the money time out of a back-to-the-basket play). He is very present in offensive rebounding through his excellent positioning and good speed. Definitely a player to watch.
Stats: 13.0ppg (45.9% 2FG 37.5% 3FG), 10.0rpg, 1.8bpg
Riccardo Moraschini (1m94 – SF/SG – 1991 – Virtus Bologna)
In a very equilibrated team of Virtus Bologna, the young Italian Riccardo Moraschini was the top scorer. With his nice athleticism, he beat his defenders of the drive quite often and he was not afraid to go for some emphatic dunks over the defense. Additionally, it is him that took over the team in the crucial moments, even if he could not lead Virtus to the Final of the tournament.
Living mostly of his drives, Moraschini can also hit the shot from down town, but without using this as a primary option. He goes often to rim and can score in different ways in the paint, also after quickly executed spin moves. It would not surprise me to see him on a regular basis with the Virtus professional team within two years. However, he has to settle to the SG position and improve his defensive presence in order to have a good impact.
Stats: 19.5ppg (61.1% 2FG 33.3% 3FG), 4.3rpg
Tauras Jogela (1m99 – SF – 1993 – Zalgiris Kaunas)
In a tournament where the number of quality forwards was pretty reduced, I also wanted to talk about this young man from Lithuania. Being born in 1993, he was among the youngest participants in Rome but he had already quite an important role in the Zalgiris team. If this was due to his talent or the result of a short rotation of the Lithuanians on the wing is to be determined in the future.
Jogela shows already a good size for his age to play the SF position. Not skinny at all, Jogela looks like he can bulk up to become a very interesting body for the wing. He had not a lot of scoring options during the games I saw, but mostly the offensives run through him when he was on the court. He created some opportunities for himself or his team mates through his right handed drive which was particularly effective when executed over the baseline. He should be one of the leaders of the Lithuanian U16 National Team this summer.
Stats: 5.5ppg (46.7% 2FG 14.3% 3FG), 2.8rpg 19mpg
Niels Giffey (2m00 – SF – 1991 – ALBA Berlin)
Personally, he is one of the players I really like. Super versatile and not focused on his own scoring, Giffey showed some good things during this tournament. However, he could not lead ALBA to a better place than 9 as the team had the talent level to play at least for the 5th spot. Coming back to Giffey, he played a multitude of positions during the tournament but he was mostly used as PF because of the lack of inside talent at ALBA.
Offensively, Giffey has a nice arsenal of moves like the drive to the middle followed by a side-was falling jump shot, he can hit the three or create spaces for his team mates. He is a great athlete and not afraid to go for big dunks. He showed some good understanding of the game but needs to go sometimes more for his own shot than trying to give the additional pass. Defensively, he can handle stronger and taller PFs but also excel in the zone-press as top man.
Stats: 12.5ppg (56.2% 2FG 50% 3FG), 2.8rpg, 2.0apg, 3.0spg, 1.0bpg
Jonathan Kazadi (1m95 – SF/SG – 1991 – Benetton Fribourg)
The third and “oldest” member of the Swiss trio is Jonathan Kazadi. Because of the short rotation of the team, Kazadi had to play the SF position despite being more of a SG or eventually becoming a PG in the future. He has all the qualities (athletic and basketball) to become an interesting player not only for Switzerland but also for the European level.
Kazadi is a scorer who can go for either 1-on-1 plays or shots. He has a pretty nice drive, off both hands, which he likes to use and sometimes even abuse. His handles are ok and his 3pt shot looks good. His above average athleticism gives him some advantages when he tries to score in the paint where he showed some interesting fundamentals. Defensively may even be his greatest asset as he is very quick laterally and can guard every position from 1 to 3.
Stats: 12.8ppg (53.6% 2FG 27.8% 3FG), 3.5rpg
Toni Brnas (2m00 – SF – 1991 – Cibona Zagreb)
Toni Brnas finished the tournament as the top scorer of a disappointing Cibona Zagreb team. Unfortunately, I could only scout him during one game, where additionally, he had his worst game of the tournament. So the report on him is not very objective.
Nevertheless, you have here a nicely tall forward with a great shooting stroke. He can hit jump shots at will, both in catch-and-shoot situations and out of the dribble. He looks even more comfortable when he creates his own shot. However, he struggled sometimes in his decision making which caused a number of turnovers. Very effective from the two point range, Brnas’ long-distance shots did not fall on a regular basis in Rome which brought him to be a more drive-orientated player.
Stats: 19.0ppg (63.1% 2FG 28.6% 3FG), 2.8rpg