European Prospects

News about Young European Basketball Prospects

Torneo Pasqua Barocca: Greece

May 13th, 2011 · 3 Comments

During the Easter weekend, the Pasqua Barocca Tournament has been played in Italy with four U16 National Teams competing. Scouting young players and predicting their future is a bit like basketball betting so therefore we are happy that our friend Danny Mills has followed the tournament and has sent us several scouting reports on the players that he liked the most. In his final report, Danny gives us an update on the Greek players.

Giorgos Diamantakos – 2m10 – Center – 1995 – Spartiatikos

BODY/ATHLETICISM: Diamantakos is a legit 6’11” and is a monster for this U16 level. Has wide shoulders and good size on his upper body and strong legs, but doesn’t use it well enough to his advantage. Is not very athletic and moves quite awkwardly up and down the court. Has a frame that can develop into a strong body but needs to improve his quickness, foot speed and jumping ability first.

SHOOTING: Has average touch for a big man close to the basket. His free-throw form is decent for a big man and he follows-through well. Does not have range much further out than 6-8 feet and his feet are slow getting into position causing his whole motion to be slow. Can use his left and right hand close to the basket, but does not show good hands and fumbles passes coming to him of dribble penetration. Needs to work on being ready in a receiver’s position with his hands ready waiting for the ball.

POSITION OFFENSE: Is very unpolished offensively and doesn’t take advantage of his height against his opponents as he plays too high and is often caught off-balance and not in a position to power up to the rim strong and finish. He is not an aggressive type of player at the moment and does not have a go-to move in the post, although he did show a nice right-handed jump hook in the paint which looked quite fluid. He also doesn’t fight well for offensive rebounding position for his size and needs to be more active, as with his size in the U16 age group he could really dominate the glass if he wanted to.

DEFENSE/REBOUNDING: Is slow footed on defense and struggles to contain players penetration from outside of 10 feet from the basket. Greece played mainly a 2-3 zone this whole tournament but I can assume he is slow reacting to on-ball screens in hedge and recover situations. Takes up a lot of space in the paint when he uses his arms but a lot of the time he doesn’t which makes him an easier target for teams to attack him and try to draw quick early fouls. Needs to lower his center of gravity on defense which will allow him to move quicker and react faster in help situations. Is not a good rebounder for his size, goes too soft to the glass and this is something he will need to improve if he is to make an impact on the next level.

MISCELLANEOUS: Is a raw talent and still growing in to his body and understanding the game. Needs to improve his hands and quickness and staying lower on both ends if he is to realize his potential.

OVERALL RATING: 7 – You can’t teach height and Diamantakos has that, now he needs to concentrate on adding new facets to his game. Once he understands how to rebound, stay low and finish around the basket he will be a player to keep an eye on.

Michalis Liapis – 1m85 – 1995 – Shooting Guard – PAOK

BODY/ATHLETICISM: Liapis is 6’1”and has a slight build. He does not have great athleticism, but has good foot speed and explosiveness on his first step.

SHOOTING: He is a pure shooter. Has a great stroke and will pull-up from anywhere out to 23-24ft. Has great extension on his shot and has quick feet that help him to get his shot off even against close defenders. Is probably best spotting up for catch and shoot 3’s off of penetration in which he was 4/8 against Italy. Reads the defense very well and uses screens to get himself open for mid-range jump shots, or will curl and penetrate into the lane for a pull-up jumper or attack the basket and get to the free-throw line in which he was 11/13 throughout the 2 games.

POSITION OFFENSE: Plays the 2 position for Greece and because of his great shooting ability they run him off numerous screens to get him open for shots. At 6’1” and a slight build he will find this to be tougher once he comes up against taller, longer and stronger athletes in his same position. Has a decent handle and can bring the ball up court if need be, but he is not a PG and doesn’t have the vision or passing skills to be one. Moves very well without the ball and keeps the defense occupied at all times. Attacks the basket well and goes up strong to finish. He runs the lanes well in transition and spots up on one of the wings ready for the pass for an open 3.

DEFENSE/REBOUNDING: He is very active on defense and had 10 steals in just 2 games during this tournament. Uses his quick feet to stay in front of his opponent and has the ability to guard both the 1 and 2 positions. Averaged 3 defensive rebounds a game which is good for a player his size. He may struggle at the next level against taller and stronger athletes who will try to exploit his size inside.

MISCELLANEOUS: Understands the game well and knows when and how to get open and score in both transition and the half-court. Was always encouraging his teammates and looked to be one of the leaders of the Greek team.

OVERALL RATING: 5 – Liapis is a great scorer at the U16 level and reads the game very well both offensively and defensively. He has a great motor and never stops competing. His ceiling may be close to being reached because only being 6’1” and playing the 2 position he will find it to be tougher at the next level with taller, longer, and quicker defenders covering him on defense and exploiting his lack of size on the offensive end. Still has the potential to play at a high level in Greece/Europe and that all depends on how he adapts his game as he matures.

Sokratis Gkelios – 1m98 – 1995 – Forward – Kavala

BODY/ATHLETICISM: Gkelios has a very mature body for only being 16. He has a strong upper body and although only having average athleticism, he runs the floor very well and competes hard on the glass for rebounds inside.

SHOOTING: Only showed range out to 18 feet in this tournament due to him playing the 4 position as the Greeks played 3 guards at all times, but can shoot the 3 when he is open. His shooting form is not great and he doesn’t follow-through well on his jump-shots causing to hit back-iron instead of following the ball through the basket. Has a nice mid-range game and can consistently hit the 10-14ft jump shot off of a pass from penetration. Shows a soft touch inside using both left and right hands equally well around the basket.

POSITION OFFENSE: At the U16 level he has good size and great strength for a PF and uses this to his advantage. He creates good separation off of the ball-screen action and can either pop for the mid-range jumpshot if the defense traps or he rolls well to the basket and does a good job of pinning and sealing close to the basket if the defense hedges. Has a good handle for his size and if the defense gives him a driving lane he will attack. Has a tendency to attack the middle with his left hand and then spin back to his right and finish with a lay-up/floater off the glass. Possesses good vision offensively and makes good decisions when passing the ball.

DEFENSE/REBOUNDING: Gkelios hustles on the defensive end and will scrap and fight to get the best position. His strong upper body allows him to defend the post well at the U16 level and push the offensive player out of position, but as he gets to the next level this wont be as much of a factor. Has ok foot speed on the perimeter but as he gets older and he will need to guard the perimeter, this will be a cause for concern. Good rebounder for his size at both ends and is very active in creating contact first before pursuing the ball.

MISCELLANEOUS: Was the leader of this Greek team that went 3-0 in the tournament. Is a great team player and doesn’t take plays off on either end of the floor. Does the little things well and even though he is not the most athletic guy on the court he makes up for it with his hustle and smart plays.

OVERALL RATING: 6 – Gkelios has nearly reached his full maturity and won’t get too much taller which means that at 6’6” he’s going to need to learn how to play on the perimeter to still be a factor on the next level. How quickly and smoothly he can make the transformation from playing the post to the perimeter will be a key for ultimately what level he can play at in Greece/Europe as he gets older.

Danny Mills is an Australian born coach who played at the well known Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) in 2002 alongside Andrew Bogut and Aleks Maric to name a few, before heading over to the US and playing his college ball at Oregon Tech. In 2009/10 he was a Graduate Assistant at the University of San Diego and is now currently an Assistant Coach with UPEA Orlandina Basket in Capo d’Orlando, Italy. He can be contacted by email at

3 responses so far ↓

  • 1 John // May 23, 2011 at 9:01 am

    MVP (Votato dai Coach e Ass. Coach delle 4 nazionali. Meaning Stamatis was voted MVP from caoches and assistant coaches of all teams.

    Dimitrios Stamatis (Grecia)

    No report for the MVP of the tournament, meaning you do not see him as a prospect? I suppose due to his height. Also for Tasos Spyropoulos, no report? No prospect again. I wonder if you watched the games, or you just read the score.

    Thank you

  • 2 John // May 23, 2011 at 9:29 am

    OK, Spyropoulos was sick, didn’t play in Ragusa. Apologies..

  • 3 apostolos fotopoulos // Jul 10, 2011 at 11:33 pm

    Dear Mr Mills,

    Could you please sent me your scouting report (if any since he didn’t play a lot) for Dimitris Fotopoulos ,since you have followed the Torneo Pasqua Barocca. He is a Greek player , is 6.9,left hand.

    Thanking you in advance

    Apostolos Fotopoulos

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