European Prospects

News about Young European Basketball Prospects

Other European players that stood out in Mannheim

April 16th, 2010 · No Comments

Next to those players that we have mentioned in the different National Team reports, there were other European Prospects that are worth being mentioned. In this article, you will find Scoutings on the best players of Italy, Turkey, Greece and France but also some other players that we think are worth being mentioned and that have not been talked about in our previous reports.

Evan Fournier – 1m98 – Guard/Forward – 1992

When Evan Fournier started into the tournament, everybody thought that you have seen an All-Tournament and MVP performance of the Nanterre player. However, two games and one defeat later, France played in the Bottom 8 and only finished at the 13th place. While it was still enough for Fournier to get elected into the All-Tournament team because of his pure talent, he was not able to lead his team to the title and make his team mates better.

On the individual side, Fournier was simply the most dominating outside player of the tournament. He could score at will and was unstoppable on his drives. He has an excellent body control when attacking the basket and has a natural feel for avoiding the defenders that are in his way. His above average athletic abilities help him to finish his plays with emphatic dunks in traffic. He can attack the basket with both hands which gives him the advantage to do exactly what the defense gives him.

His three point shot did not fall very regularly throughout the tournament but he can hit it both out of the dribble and in catch and shoot plays. The question mark that we heard about him is his poor presence on defense. I could only see one game of France but other observers told us that Fournier simply did not show any will to play defense in the Bottom 8 games. After having opted out of the INSEP structure this summer, Fournier is currently playing for Nanterre in the 2nd French division where he averages 4.3ppg with a season-high of 16pts in 17 minutes against Lille. Fournier, who had an invite for the Nike Hoop Summit but refused it according to his agent, should be one of the players of this year’s edition of the Albert Schweitzer Tournament that we will see in the NBA in the future.

Stats: 22.7ppg (51.1% FG – 10/31 3FG) 5.7rpg 1.8apg 2.2spg

Linos Chrysikopoulos – 2m05 – Guard/Forward – 1992

The Greek player was certainly one of the most interesting prospects in terms of combination of length and skill set. Being listed at 2m05, the Aris Salonika product can play nearly every position on the court and is often used as PG for his team. Even if his shot was not falling throughout the tournament, Chrysikopoulos was a constant threat for any defense as he can both attack the basket with dribbling or shot the ball from behind the arc.

On his drives, he can pull the jump shot out of the dribble or continue until the hole where he shows a variety of different ways to get an open look. If he is defended by a smaller player, he can also go down on the block and play his defender with his back to the basket. On the defensive end, Chrysikopoulos displayed excellent block shot timing and a good presence in rebounding situations.

Stats: 12.0ppg (43.6% FG – 4/19 3FG – 20/22 FTs) 7.5rpg 1.7apg 1.3spg 1.8bpg

Safak Edge – 1m85 – Guard – 1992

The Turkish guard was one of the nice surprises last summer during the U18 European Championship so the expectations on him were pretty high. The result of the Turkish team even playing without Enes Kanter was a bit disappointing in the end and Edge could not improve the level of his team during the games. The tiny guard excels in Pick and Roll situations where he can create his own shot at will. He was even forcing too much his individual show forgetting completely to make passes to his team mates during long stretches. Coming out of a timeout and going for a very difficult of balance shot out of the dribble was certainly not one of the better choices he made in the tournament and showed his current situation.

He can read the gaps in defense perfectly and is an excellent passer but did not pass to the rolling inside players that often. Edge prefers to attack with his left hand and is not afraid to take difficult jump shots from mid-range being totally out of balance. With his ball handling skills, he can create a lot of open looks for himself but needs to learn when to play the pass and when to take the shot for himself. This ended up in a terrible shot selection and poor percentages in Mannheim. With Enes Kanter coming back to the U18 National Team this summer, the combo of Edge and Kanter can do a lot of damage in Vilnius and play for a Medal spot.

Stats: 13.3ppg (31.3% FG – 15/52 3FG) 2.8rpg 2.7apg 1.5spg 1.8topg

Probably one of the smallest players in the tournament, Andrea Traini was a real leader for the Italian team. The PG from Pesaro controlled the speed of the team nicely and did a good job in setting up the Italian offense. Additionally, he showed a good amount of scoring by himself with a deep range from behind the arc but also a lot of penetration plays to the basket. On his drives, he created a lot and could go for nice dishes to his team mates.

Giovanni Pini did some damage in the paint for Italy as the physical PF/C from Reggiana scored may baskets close to the rim. With his massive body, he was the security guard in the paint, especially on the defensive rebound and in shot blocking. Offensively, he did some nice plays on Pick and Roll situation and showed correct balance and good game situation reads.

Rudy Gobert was the only positive surprise on the French team as the 2m11 tall Center from Cholet had a correct tournament in his first international appearance. With 7.3ppg, 5.5rpg and 1.8bpg, he emerged throughout the tournament and has legitimate upside as he displayed good speed for a player of his size and of course excellent athletic basics. Offensively, he is still very raw but he can already score with both hands close to the basket. His free-throw shooting shows though how far it is still for him as his shot is not effective at all.

Tomer Ber Aven was the player that stood out in a typically dense but limited Israeli team. The 1m95 tall player from Maccabi Tel Aviv plays a lot of PG minutes and showed excellent court-vision multiple times. He handles the ball nicely and can shoot the ball but Ber Aven needs to work on his three point accuracy to become also a serious threat from behind the arc.

Can Korkmaz was the second piece of the Turkish backcourt and despite having nearly identical scoring and even better efficiency numbers than Edge, the thin guard looks less intriguing. He can hit the three point shot out of the dribble and is still very young, but his limits on the defensive end and concentration bumps may hinder him from a major international career. Still, he remains a nice scorer and will certainly have his role with the Turkish team this summer.

Samet Geyik as one of the youngest players in the Turkish played a very nice tournament as he finished third best scorer of the team. The 2m06 tall and 1993 born player showed some excellent offensive rebound presence but also a good looking jump shot that he can also take out of the dribbling. He is definitely a player to watch again and with this performance, he should be able to gain a spot for this summer’s team.

Daniel Theis was limited to only 12 minutes per game in the German U18 team as a back-up for Philipp Neumann but what a great effort came from him when he was on the court. Being a real vertical player, he is right now an excellent rebounder and shot blocker but remains a bit limited on the offensive end due to his perfectible shot. But with his physical abilities, timing and feel for the game, he is probably one of the most promising players in terms of potential from this German team.

Tim Unterluggauer had some problems to come into the tournament but as the games passed on, the Leverkusen player improved. He has a nice arsenal of moves with his back to the basket and looks rather large and strong. He has good positioning in the paint and he has a very soft touch on his shots or jump hooks. He can also pass out of the low post when he is being doubled or sees the open team mate for the shot or the cut.

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