A bit late but better late than never. Here are the scouting reports on the most interesting prospects of the JBBL Top4 2015 in Hagen.
Philipp Herkenhoff – 2m02 – SF – 1999 – Artland Dragons
Herkenhoff was clearly the most talented prospect in the JBBL Top4. Gifted with great size and ball handling skills, the forward from the Artland Dragons can do a bit of everything on this level and was able to dominate the game during stretches. What was interesting to see was that Herkenhoff was not used purely as an inside player but often handled the ball both in transition and in the set offense. Even if you could see that he is still in the learning process in order to understand what he can do with the ball, the 2m02 tall prospect showed an impressive all-around game. From boxing out on the defensive end to pushing the ball from coast-2-coast, dishing out good passes both in the fast break and in the set offense, playing with his back to the basket to handling the ball in Pick-and-Roll situations, Herkenhoff looks like one of the best talents in Europe in his generation.
Herkenhoff has a great base of fundamentals, the full set of a modern wing player. He can take the three-point shot out of the dribble, attack the close out with either hand and finish inside with contact, even though he had no physical match-up in this event. His athletic abilities are good for a player of this age and he might even have two-three centimeters left in his growing. It will be interesting to see how he can handle the new situation to play next season on the ProA level with Vechta as he has the potential to develop into a really good prospects over the next years.
Thorben Döding – 1m79 – PG – 1999 – Artland Dragons
Next to Herkenhoff, there was Thorben Döding who was running the PG position for the Dragons. The guard, who is certainly taller than the listed 1m79, has a great feel for the game and reads the defense really well. He has a nice court-view and is an excellent passer out of Pick and Roll situations and he can also come up with the highlight-no-look pass here and there. Döding uses his long arms to create good angles for his inside passes and with his hesitation dribbles, he creates the necessary space on a regular basis in order to attack the basket. He can finish at the rim with either hand but he needs to get physically stronger in order to make the next step. Döding can score from outside but his jump shot out of the dribble is a bit slow in the release. When he receives the ball in catch and shoot situations, the execution is faster though and also more reliable. Döding is certainly a player who will make his way up the ranks over the next years because of his understanding of the game and interesting physical profile.
Nicolas Wolf – 1m90 – SF – 1999 – TSV Tröster Breitengüssbach
Wolf is a physically already well developed wing player with a nice wingspan who has showcased some great scoring skills. Capable of playing inside and outside on this level because of his physical strength, Wolf is an outside player for the next level. He has great shooting skills and can knock down the three-point shot easily both in catch and shoot situations and out of the dribble. He attacks the close-outs really well and can go all the way to the hoop but he probably lacks the athletic abilities to go hard to the rim against taller or physically stronger players. The 99 born prospect can also score from the mid-range territory with the floater but struggles to make the jumper against the defense as he has only very little elevation on his shot. His touch is great though and he can also find the net out of difficult angles or after a spin move for example. Because of his strength and length, he likes to post up as well here and there but he was not very successful against the Dragons who could match his with size.
Vladimir Pinchuk – 2m03 – PF – 1999 – Phoenix Hagen
The big and mobile Vladimir Pinchuk was a key player for Hagen but he could not dominate as he did during the regular season. The 2m03 tall forward showed that he can attack the basket from outside and handle the ball against defense. As he is not a real threat from outside (yet), Pinchuk is though easily to guard when he is playing around the three-point line. His jump shot from around the key is not falling on a regular basis either. In the paint, he can use his size to score against smaller players but has a good technical package that allows him to finish also on the finesse move. He fights really hard on the glass and is a very good offensive rebounder as he finds the right positions quite well. It will be interesting to see what is next for Pinchuk as he might grow a few additional centimeters and with a more regular shot from outside, he can develop into a good stretch four prospect in the future.
Jasper Günther – 1m76 – PG – 1999 – Phoenix Hagen
The younger brother of Per Günther was the key driver in the Hagen backcourt. Limited by his size but gifted with great speed, Günther constantly attacked the basket but had to score from the mid-range territory on floaters or jumpers because of his 1m76. More a scorer than a creator, Günther excelled in seeing the gaps on defense in order to create some danger. The tiny guard needs though to become more reliable from behind the arc as he accumulated a poor shooting percentage over the season. This is the biggest question mark on his future together with his size but his brother showed already that a lot can be done with hard work.
Mateo Seric – 1m99 – PF – 1999 – Ludwigsburg
Mateo Seric was the main inside option for the Top4 winners from Ludwigsburg. An aggressive player who is though mainly operating on the floor, Seric has not high level athletic abilities or explosiveness but he has a good arsenal of fakes to create the necessary space for his shot attempts. Mainly used as a low post threat, where he can score in various ways, Seric was also one of the anchors on defense for the team from Ludwigsburg. He has also a nice court-vision and is a good passer so that he can find his team mates well on the cuts. He looks to develop into a player who wants the ball in the key moments and is not afraid to make the big shots.
Lawrence Mugagan – 1m90 – SF/PF – 1999 – Ludwigsburg
A superb athlete for this level, Lawrence Mugagan showed though that he is than just a jumping freak with long arms. Mugagan can score with the jump shot from mid range both in catch and shoot situations and out of the dribble. His ball handling is good enough to create an open shot on this level but he clearly needs to develop a more all-around game for the future as he is limited in size to play the forward spot. On the defensive end, Mugagan is an impressive shot blocker with great timing and his length helps him to be very present in the passing lanes as well. It will be interesting to see how he develops over the next years and if he is able to get a more reliable outside threat in order to be capable to play as a SG for example. With his athletic abilities, he would be a very interesting prospect in that case.
Quirin Emanga – 1m90 – SF – 2000 – Ludwigsburg
A year younger than the competition, Quirin Emanga was another interesting long term prospect for Ludwigsburg. Also used as an inside player, Emanga showed some nice touch on the jump hook scoring it against taller players in the post. He can also face-up his defender and attack him with a nice first step. Not sure how much he will grow still but the 1m90 tall Emanga has another year of JBBL in his immediate future and that will tell a bit more into what kind of prospect he can develop.
Fekremariam Abraha – 1m94 – PG – 1999 – Ludwigsburg
The head of the Ludwigsburg offense was the tall PG Fekremariam Abraha. Long with good handles and a nice court vision, Abraha constantly attacked the basket and could either find his team mates on open spots or finish himself at the rim with either hand. The 1m94 tall guard has good speed but he needs to improve his shooting which is quite poor at the moment. He is quite a good passer but he likes to have the ball in his hands, maybe a bit too much at moments. Abraha was also the leader of the defense at Ludwigsburg setting the tone from the start. With his size and ball handling skills, Abraha can become an interesting point guard prospect in the future but he needs to become a threat from outside as well as this will put him in problems once he plays at a higher level.
Jonathan Luyeye – 1m99 – PF/SF – 1999 – Ludwigsburg
Another long and athletic wing for Ludwigsburg was Jonathan Luyeye. On defense, he was really present with above the rim shot blocking and showed also some interesting things on the offensive end. Luyeye knocked down the three in catch-and-shot situations and even made the pull-up jumper out of the dribble. However, his shooting form is not stable yet and definitely needs more polish over the next years. Luyeye can attack the rim with either hand and is not afraid to finish on his weaker left hand in traffic. Together with his team mates, Luyeye was fantastic in putting pressure on the defensive end with his lateral speed and length but as for all the others, the question is about his individual basketball skills and their development. If that comes out, he can be another great prospect for the club.