The 1992 generation has a lot of very talented players, especially on the inside positions. Lithuania is clearly the strongest country here though, so it is not a big surprise to see the Baltics organize the U18 European Championship this summer. Beforehand, several nations will already compete in the highly regarded Albert Schweitzer Tournament in April. Because of the limited number of players and nations I could scout of this age group so far, I limit the ranking to a Top 15.
The Lithuanian 1992 born generation can become a dominator in the next years. Next to super-talent Jonas Valanciunas, several other great prospects are member of this age group. To name a few, there are of course Vytenis Cizauskas, Dovydas Redikas or Rolandas Jakstas. Everything else than a Gold Medal this summer at the U18 European Championship would be a surprise.
Turkey has an extraordinary talent with Enes Kanter. The physical inside player chose the way over the Atlantic Ocean to continue his career, we will see how this changed his game. Together with Safak Edge, he forms one of the best 1-2 punches of Europe and makes Turkey a contestant for the U18 this summer.
The French 1992 generation was already a major factor last summer at the U18 European Championship and earned a Silver Medal. Leo Westermann, Evan Fournier and the long Vincent Pourchot will try to go for more this year.
- Czech Republic
A great Silver Medal back in 2008 at the U16 level propelled the Czech Republic among the top nations despite the tragic loss of Milan Ryska last year due to an accident. Still, this generation is highly talented across the board with players like Ondrej Balvin or Jaromir Bohacik.
Miguel Servera had already some major impact last summer and saw also some minutes with Unicaja Malaga on the professional level. Together with Michel Acosta and Joan Tomas, this Spanish generation has some promise but needs the support of the Gold Medalist 1993 players to be a contestant at the U18 level.
A 6th place looks like a disappointment for Serbia and this generation is probably not as successful as others. But still, players like Nikola Siladi, Djordje Drenovac or Nemanja Besovic represent a certain quality and should become interesting professionals down the road.
The Gold Medalist of the 2008 U16 B Division comes up very high in the ranking because of their major impact with the U18 team last summer. Philipp Neumann is the physical leader of the group that has excellent quality on every position.
Italy features some very interesting players in this generation and has one of the only players that has some major impact on the professional level already in Alessandro Gentile. However, the results on youth level have not really been great that far.
Dimitry Kulagin looks to be a very interesting PG prospect and together with some of the CSKA Moscow Juniors like Alexander Tikhonin, Russia seems to have a nice generation here but they need to confirm it with results in the different youth championships.
The Croatian U16 team reached a good 7th place at U16 level with a generation without really outstanding prospects. Boris Barac was their scoring leader back in 2008 and he had also some minor impact last summer with the U18 team.
Vyacheslav Bobrov is the clear-cut leader of this Ukrainian generation. He reached a 9th place at the U16 championships in 2008.
This year should be the year of Linos Chrysikopoulos. The Greek forward was already the most talented player of the U18 team last summer and with one more year of experience, it will be interesting to see where he can lead Greece this summer.
Despite a fourth place in B Division in 2008, Sweden has made it to our top 15 especially because of their win in the Baltic Sea Cup a few weeks ago. Behind Viktor Gaddefors, they improved in the ranking and move above Latvia.
This Latvian generation seems a bit less loaded than other ones, but still earns a good 14th spot in the ranking. Edmunds Dukulis is the leader here and should also get some support from 1993 born Kaspars Vecvagars.
A third place at the B Division U16 in 2008 showed the potential of this generation for Montenegro. Once again across the board some talented players but no really outstanding prospects.