The last day of the regular season of the German U19 NBBL has been played last weekend. So it is time to check who were the best performers of the last weeks and see where is the top talent of the 1989 and younger German generation.
Matthias Hurst (1989 Center – 2m05 – BG Karlsruhe)
Maybe it can be considered as a surprise to see Hurst at the top of the Efficiency ranking. This can of course be explained by the reduced playing time of some of the top performers in the league like Harris or Standhardinger, but it is essentially the result of a very good improvement by the 2m05 tall inside player. Hurst is in fact a very consistent inside scorer. He never scored less than 11pts and went as high as 35 during the season. But his main gift is his rebounding where he averaged a huge 18.0rpg. He is in his last season to play NBBL so now he has to improve his physical abilities in order to see more playing time at the next level with the ProA team.
Tibor Pleiss (1989 Center – 2m08 – Köln 99ers)
Pleiss could only play 7 games in the NBBL this year. In the beginning of the season, he was only playing with the pro team but then joined the NBBL squad in order to improve their record. So he went for 7 games to show his great talent on the Center position and averaged 23.3ppg and 13.3rpg in just 30 minutes per game. Then he got injured in the worst moment as with the leave of some of the star players, he could get important minutes on the pro level.
Florian Trmal (1989 Forward – 1m94 – Bayer Leverkusen)
The big surprise of the season in my eyes. The Austrian forward started the season slowly in order to adapt to the new situation he faced. But then he started to play at an impressive level. He went even for an incredible career high efficiency rating of 55 against Hagen where he scored 32pts, grabbed 21rebs, stole 6 balls and even went for 3 rejections. However, Trmal is a bit short for playing the PF position, he has to develop a more consistent outside shot where he went only for 6/23 from behind the arc.
Maik Zirbes (1990 Center – 2m06 – TBB Trier)
The massive Center from Trier was fulfilling the high expectations that the officials had in him. Being one year younger than most of his opponents, but physically already very strong and heavy with about 120kg, Zirbes was the main offensive threat for his team with 22.0ppg. He got also selected for the U18 NT in order to play the Albert Schweitzer Turnier and he should also enter the professional team of TBB in the next weeks as his NBBL season is already over. He has one more year left to play NBBL, so he should be among the best performers next season.
Azeez Oladimeji (1989 Center – 2m08 – Oldenburg)
Oladimeji, who is originally from Nigeria only joined the German team this summer. But the least you can say is that he made some impact in the North. Being an All-Star, he showed impressive numbers over the regular season essentially based on well developed physical abilities. During the game where I scouted him, he had not a very impressive showing though being extremely raw on the offensive end and having no chance to stop faster players by defending them face to face. However, he is working extremely hard in the paint and his presence is making an impact on both ends of the floor.
Simon Schmitz (1990 Guard – 1m85 – BIS Speyer)
A very interesting player on the guard positions is the U18 National Team player Simon Schmitz. Having also been voted Youngster of the month of the ProB division, Schmitz is showing a lot of versatility on the court. Being listed as a SG, he is of course a very good shooter. However, he will probably move more into a PG as he is one of the best assist givers of the whole NBBL. 12.1ppg 6.5rpg 4.1apg and 2.9spg are the numbers that look very interesting for somebody who has another season to go in the U19 league.
Erik Land (1990 Forward – 2m04 – Breitengüssbach)
Another member of the U18 National team that is putting up interesting numbers in the NBBL is Erik Land from the Brose Baskets Bamberg farm team. 14.0ppg at 66.7% in just 24 minutes are already very good for the 17 year old forward who is also adding 9.8rpg. He should be one of the top performers of the Gemran U18 team this summer as he showed all his potential at the Onil Tournament a few weeks ago against top European nations.
I deliberately let away some players as they can already be considered too strong for the NBBL and only had limited playing time due to the huge domination of their teams. I speak essentially of Christian Standhardinger, Elias Harris or Robin Benzing. This list is also far from being representative as I could of course not see all the players so far. So I limited myself on the top performers of the 1989 as well as of the 1990 generation. I will come up with more information about different players as soon as the playoffs go ahead and of course I will be attending the Final Four of the NBBL that will be played on the 31st May and 1st of June.