The 1990 born players, who will compete this summer in Croatia for the U20 European Championship, are dominated of course by one stellar talent: Ricky Rubio. If you take him out, you have a very interesting group of players and nations that are on the same level, and the competition in Zadar will probably be highly interesting.
This is what you can call a golden generation with highly talented players on nearly every position. Nikos Pappas, Kostas Sloukas, Vladimir Jankovic, Kostas Papanikolaou and Zisis Sarikopoulos form a core to which you can add Leonidas Kaselakis and you have one of the main favorites for the Gold Medal this summer, a Gold Medal that these guys already won in 2009 with the U20 National Team.
Ricky Rubio is the most talented player in Europe of the last 10 years, but the rest of the Spanish 1990 generation is more or less average. This is why they only reached the 2nd place. With Rubio, they won the Gold Medal back in 2006 at the U16 level. In 2008, they only reached the 5th spot in a tournament set up for them. Without Ricky, Spain would probably not be among the Top 5.
It is not a surprise that Croatia is the host of the U20 European Championship this summer as this generation is the most talented for years, especially on the inside positions. Mario Delas chose to move abroad, Leon Radosevic is playing a nice Euroleague season and Tomislav Zubcic still needs to really break out on the Senior level. A Bronze Medal at the U19 Worlds and the U18 Euros shows the talent and the results. Can they go for Gold this summer?
For Lithuania, it is a bit the same situation than for Spain, having one outstanding talent in Donatas Motiejunas and for the rest a more or less average group. Tautvydas Slezas showed some promise last season and Gediminas Orelik is doing so this year, but will it be enough to go higher in the next years?
A nicely equilibrated Turkish generation with interesting players on every position is this group born in 1990. Deniz Kilicli will start his NCAA career these days and it will be interesting to see how the physical forward will play with West Virginia. Together with Birkan Batuk and Melih Mahmutoglou, he forms a nice trio that can be one of the surprises this summer.
The French 1990 born players had good results without being outstanding. They feature some interesting talent like Andrew Albicy, Christophe Leonard or Alexis Tanghe but only the first one is currently seeing regular minutes on the professional level. The upside though of this generation is interesting.
Serbia does not have any extraordinary talent born in 1990 except maybe Andrija Milutinovic. The good results of this generation come also from the participation of the 1991 born Dejan Musli in most of the campaigns.
- Czech Republic
The Czech Republic is on its way back to the top basketball nations in Europe with the 1990 borns being the first step. Jan Vesely is currently already a good Euroleague player and a NBA prospect too. Together with David Jelinek, they managed to move up to Division A in both U18 and U16 categories.
A Russian generation with no big-time talents once again but with a Silver Medal on the U16 level. Hard to see though what they can show in the next years.
Latvia is a regular presence among the top 10 nations in our generation rankings, and it is true also for the 1990 born players that reached a good 7th spot in the U18 European Championship in 2008.
Israel reaches the 11th place in the ranking because of the good results of the U16 and U18 teams despite having once again no outstanding talent in their generation.
Italy has done ok with the 1990 born players, but it was mainly because of the good support coming from several 1991 born players. This is why the ranking place is lower than the actual results were.
Nothing special to mention for this Ukrainian generation. They managed to stay in Division A with a correct talent level and the necessary wins back in 2008.
A clear leader with Dino Muric in the 1990 born players supported the talented 1991 generation in their move back to Division A.
A generation featuring some interesting players but they lacked the results to pretend for a higher spot. Maybe they can improve it during the summer.
Two highly talented players in Bozhidar Avramov and Hristo Zahariev are however not enough to be ranked higher than 16 as the rest of the group is just average, even for Bulgaria.
The most talented generation for Austria for about anytime is the reason why the B Division European Championship will be played in the Alps this summer. Moritz Lanegger and Rasid Mahalbasic know what they have to do.
A correct Swedish generation with Christopher Ryan and Omar Zaghden as leaders has earned yet another top 20 spot, mainly because of their nice Albert-Schweitzer Tournament in 2008.
Mediocre results but some interesting players mark this Polish generation with Jakub Wojciechowski as clear leader.
A 14th place on the U16 level back in 2006 was enough for Portugal to qualify for an unexpected 20th place in the 1990 born players ranking.