European Prospects

News about Young European Basketball Prospects

Torneo Pasqua Barocca: Spain

May 9th, 2011 · No Comments

During the Easter weekend, the Pasqua Barocca Tournament has been played in Italy with four U16 National Teams competing. Our friend Danny Mills has followed the tournament and has sent us several scouting reports on the players that he liked the most. Today Danny gives us an update on the Spanish players of which most several competed in the Spanish Cadets Championship last weekend.

Agusti Sans – 1m95 – 1995 – Shooting Guard – Joventut Badalona

BODY/ATHLETICISM: At 6’4” Sans has good size for a SG at the U16 level. He has a slight build but uses his wide shoulders and upper body strength to his advantage. His frame will be able to put on muscle in the future years, and combined his good size wing span will have a great body with continued work.

SHOOTING: Sans is a left-handed player but shows ability to finish with both hands when attacking the basket. His catch and shoot form from 3 is somewhat flat and he will need to get his release point on his shot higher and quicker if he is to be an effective shooter at the next level. He has a nice floater in the lane and uses this combined with his good body control effectively. Has range out to 22 feet, but is most effective attacking the basket.

POSITION OFFENSE: Has a good handle for a wing. Is predominately left-handed and attacks more often than not going left. Showed a quick right-left crossover. Is best in transition where he makes great decisions in reading the defense and either drawing and passing to the open man or attacking the rim himself and finishing strong. Is quite crafty off ball-screens and will use either a spin-move or side-step to get in the lane and finish with a floater or at the rim for a lay-up.

DEFENSE/REBOUNDING: Sans lacks good lateral quickness and this hurts him as he is consistently beat off the dribble. He has a tendency to reach for the ball and become off-balance putting his weight forward. He is a decent rebounder from the 2 position due to his athleticism and long arms, especially on the offensive end of the court.

MISCELLANEOUS: Sans reads the game well at the offensive end and at times can take over a game due to his array of crafty shots in the lane and his ability to knock down the open shot off penetration. He is definitely best in transition and runs the lanes well to create easy scoring opportunities for himself and his teammates. His defense is where he really needs to improve if he is to become a contributor at the next level. He has a great body for a wing player and combined with his athleticism, he can definitely improve his quickness and play on this side of the ball.

OVERALL RATING: 7 – Sans has a high-ceiling. He is a tough match-up for anyone at the U16 level and his decision making in the open court combined with his good size and athleticism makes him a player to watch for in the future. His defensive game needs improvement but hopefully with his continued growth and understanding of the game he will improve this. Has the potential to play on an ACB roster in the future.

Alberto Martin – 1m82 – 1995 – Point Guard – Real Madrid

BODY/ATHLETICISM: Martin is just 6’0” tall and has a slight build. He lacks great athleticism but makes up for that with his speed, quickness and smarts. He is in great shape physically and that allows him to play an up-tempo style both offensively and defensively for most of the game without tiring.

SHOOTING: Martin showed good form on his shot, which looked technically sound in both catch and shoot situations and off the dribble pull-ups. Has a quick release and will shoot the 3 if the defense gives him space, which he showed in both games against Germany and Italy. He impressed with his mid-range pull-up jumpers off on-ball screens and showed range out to 23 feet.

POSITION OFFENSE: Martin possesses a tight handle and combined with his quickness makes him a tough match-up for any defender to stay in front of him. He was consistently pushing the ball in transition for Spain and showed good decision making in knowing when to make the right pass and when to look to attack himself. Showed the ability to slow down and read the defense against full-court pressure. His ability to read what the defense is giving him off of Spain’s on-ball screens, especially with #10 Javier De La Blanca and either attack and make the pass to the big man rolling/popping or getting in the lane himself for his pull-up jumper or attacking the rim and finishing causes headaches for the opposing teams. Martin shows good leadership and the ability to lead a team from the PG position.

DEFENSE/REBOUNDING: Martin uses his quick feet and speed to harass the opposing the Guards. Showed active hands and the ability to steal the ball when the opportunity arises. Is active in help situations and rotates well, taking a charge against Italy off penetration. His small size and strength will limit his effectiveness on the defensive end as he gets older and teams may look to expose that in the future, possibly by posting up bigger guards on him.

MISCELLANEOUS: Martin possesses a great feel for the game and controlled the tempo offensively for the Spaniards. Seems to have a good attitude and leads the team from the point position.

OVERALL RATING: 6 – At the U16 level Martin’s quickness combined with his smarts and feel for the game make him one of the best PG’s in Europe in the 1995 Class. How his body grows and develops over the next 2-3 years will determine what level he will eventually play at. With consistent continued improvement he has the ability to be an impact player at the LEB or ACB level.

David Iriarte – 2m01 – 1995 – Forward – Joventut Badalona

BODY/ATHLETICISM: Has good height and length for the 3/4 position at the U16 level. Has a slight frame, but wide shoulders that should be able to put muscle on in the next couple of years. Is a decent athlete who has good lateral quickness.

SHOOTING: Iriarte shows good form on his catch and shoot and although he was only 1/6 from 3pt over the 2 games his technique was consistent and he sets his feet quite well for a 16 year old 6’7” kid. His release will need to be quicker once he plays at the next level against better defenders. Has a nice soft touch around the basket and made a couple of right-handed floaters from 6-8ft which were quite smooth.

POSITION OFFENSE: Due to his size and mobility at this level he plays both inside and out and showed great patience with the ball in the post and not rushing his moves. Needs to learn to catch the ball with a lower center of gravity to not be muscled off the block by stronger defenders. Has good quickness for a 3/4 and his length allows him to finish over smaller defenders at this level. Can hit the open 3 off of penetration and spreads the floor that way.

DEFENSE/REBOUNDING: Is active on the glass but because of his slight build if he doesn’t get front position he gets out-muscled for the rebound, and for being as tall and long as he is, he is a below average rebounder. Showed great positioning on defense and like most of the Spanish forwards is very active in the passing lanes getting his hands on a lot of passes. Has ok lateral quickness but plays too high in his defensive stance and this causes him to get beat by penetration against smaller quicker opponents.

MISCELLANEOUS: He reads the game well and has a good feel for where to be on the court in different situations. His biggest asset is his mobility as a 3/4 playing both out on the perimeter and also being able to post up smaller forwards. Possesses good hands and a soft touch around the basket, and because of his length has the potential to be a good offensive rebounder.

OVERALL RATING: 7 – Iriarte’s height and length are his biggest asset at this stage in his career. To continue to improve he needs to quicken up his catch and shoot, put more muscle on and work on staying lower in both his defensive stance and in the post on offense. Has a lot of potential to become an impact player at the next level and has the ability to play on an LEB or ACB roster in the future.

Ilimane Diop – 2m07 – 1995 – Center – Caja Laboral Vitoria

BODY/ATHLETICISM: Very long athlete. At 6’10” he is very slightly built but his wing span must be close to 7’4” (Note from the website owner: His wingspan is in fact 2m33 which is nearly 7’8’’) . He is quite coordinated for being so lanky at his age and has some large hands. Has good athleticism for his size and showed some nice dunks during the warm-ups.

SHOOTING: Diop has a very soft shooting touch for someone with such long arms and big hands and shows quite good form on his free-throws. He did not play many minutes in these two games (16 mins combined).

POSITION OFFENSE: His center of gravity is too high when he catches the ball down low on offense which causes him to have no explosiveness and move slower than he really is. Doesn’t have a go-to move in the post and was called for traveling a few times when he was rushing his moves to the basket. He doesn’t keep his hands ready for the penetration and dish pass and doesn’t stay low and get to the proper receiver points on the floor looking for the ball, which limits his effectiveness. He is quite active on the offensive glass which is something he needs to be great at, but due to his slight frame he gets muscled away from the basket at times and gets called for over the back fouls when he is reaching over for the offensive rebound.

DEFENSE/REBOUNDING: Diop is active on the defensive end of the floor and does a good job of keeping his arms spread out so he takes up as much space as possible in the paint. For being 6’10” he has decent foot speed that will continue to improve and does a good job of staying on the ground and not jumping at shot fakes to block shots. Because of his long frame he can get called for quick fouls as opponents attack his arms and try to create contact, causing the referee to make a decision. He boxes out well on every possession and creates the contact himself to better his position which is a positive given his slight frame.

MISCELLANEOUS: He is a raw talent that has a great basketball body that he will grow into eventually. His balance, footwork and strength are all intangibles he needs to work on especially on the offensive end of the court. He seems to be very coachable and willing to learn which is a great trait to have.

OVERALL RATING: 8 – Diop is all about potential. He has a real high ceiling due to his height and incredible length. He is definitely a project player but with the right work ethic and good coaching the sky is the limit for him. Probably won’t be an impact player on the U16 level this year but in a few years when he is stronger and more agile he has the potential to be selected in the NBA Draft.

Javier de la Blanca – 1m98 – 1995 – Forward – Real Madrid

BODY/ATHLETICISM: De La Blanca has good size and strength for his age. He has a strong upper body and uses that well inside when trying to score against contact. He lacks great athleticism and quicks, but makes up for that with his smarts. Whether he grows much taller than 6’7” will be a big factor in his potential but his frame definitely has the ability to put on more size.

SHOOTING: Has good technique on his jump-shot from mid-range and free-throws which he shoots quite a lot of. Did not show any 3 point range and was only shooting out as far as 18 feet off a pick and pop situation. His shot is quite slow and will need to quicken this up if he is to be an effective shooter at the next level. Has great touch around the basket finishing off drive and dishes with both his right and left hands equally as well.

POSITION OFFENSE: Has a good feel for the game and uses his smarts well in reading whether to roll or pop after a ball screen. Runs the floor extremely well for a 6’6” 4 man and got a lot of his points in transition this way. Not overly athletic but got two dunks in transition against Italy that showed he can play above the rim if given space. A good offensive rebounder, he fights for position well and attacks the glass at every opportunity. Is patient with the ball and plays with the poise of someone a lot older than he is.

DEFENSE/REBOUNDING: De La Blanca is a good rebounder at the 4 spot and boxes out his opponent well to give himself the best position possible. Is very active defensively and does a great job denying the ball in Spain’s full court pressure defense which lead to him averaging 3 steals against both Italy and Germany. For not being a great athlete he moves his feet well in defense and really reads the game well. His quickness will probably be tested as he gets to the next level and he must guard more athletic and quicker players on the perimeter which he will need to improve to be successful.

MISCELLANEOUS: De La Blanca’s touch around the basket combined with his court smarts on both ends of the floor, definitely out way his lack of quickness or explosiveness at the U16 level where he had a stunning game against Italy scoring 31 points, on 13/16 FG combined with 8 rebounds and 4 steals. He does a lot of the little things well which really help him be an efficient player on the court.

OVERALL RATING: 6 – At 6’6” and a strong frame he has great PF body at the U16 level in Europe. Whether he continues to grow and get stronger and quicker will determine how high his potential really is. Competes hard and plays smart and this makes him one of the best U16 4 men in Europe and a player to watch for the future.

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

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