After having talked about the quite talented guard crop of the U19 World Championship, we will analyze the wing players today. In this category, there were not that many highly talented players, at least for the countries that I was scouting.
Marius Grigonis – 1m98 – SF/SG – 1994 – Lithuania
The Lithuanian swingman helped his team to win another medal with this generation despite not playing as great as he did during the U18 European Championship last summer. Because of the higher talent level in this event, his great skillset was probably also less outstanding than it was last summer. Nevertheless, Grigonis liked to play with the ball in his hands, putting it on the floor in Pick and Roll situations and attacking the basket hard. His passing was probably a little less spectacular in Prague than it was in previous events though. He is changing speed really well on the drive which gives him good advantages to beat his defender and he can finish with contact from close quite well.
The main weakness of his game right now is the inconsistency of his shot. His three-point shot looks like a set shot with nearly no elevation despite good athletic abilities. This might also be a temporary thing in order to stabilize his shooting mechanics; it is for sure something that has to be followed over the next years. Grigonis though looks ready for the next level and with a decreasing budget within Zalgiris Kaunas, he is currently battling to get rotation minutes with the Lithuanian Euroleague participant.
Stats: 13.0ppg (61.9% 2FGs – 28.2% 3FGs), 5.8rpg, 2.0apg
Edgar Vicedo – 2m01 – SF – 1994 – Spain
What counted for Brizuela at the guard spot, it is also valid for Edgar Vicedo at the wing. The 2m01 tall player was never really a major impact player for the different Spanish Youth National Teams over the last years but he became the main option for his team during the U19 World Championships. Playing mainly as Power Forward on this level, Vicedo used his length and athletic abilities to post up defenders. He can score from the with the jump hook but also with his good speed that he had over most of the PFs in the event. His future position though is certainly the Small Forward as he has the tools to develop into that direction.
His three-point shot is quite effective even if the mechanics are not perfectly fluid. He can play in a catch-and-shoot role when playing the Pick and Pop situation and he does not need to take the ball down to control it and take the shot. Defensively, Vicedo is doing a great job with his shot blocking timing and is also a decent rebounder for his size. If he can develop his ball handling and get a more fluid and regular shot from outside, Vicedo can become a very interesting Small Forward for the ACB level. He lacks maybe the big-time talent to have some major impact on the Euroleague level but the Estudiantes player showed in Prague that he is a very interesting prospect of this Spanish generation.
Stats: 12.7ppg (62.5% 2FGs – 31.4% 3FGs), 5.8rpg, 1.0bpg
Oriol Pauli – 1m99 – SF/SG – 1994 – Spain
Present for several campaigns already, Oriol Pauli is always a player that you have to like because of his great fluidity and overall versatility on the court. However, he rarely translates this into great stats which makes him a player that is often overlooked when talking about interesting prospects. Pauli can play SG and SF on this level as he has a very good shot but he can also put the ball on the floor with good and low ball handling to beat his defender on the dribble. Additionally, his height gives him good opportunities to finish close to the basket despite being not very strong physically. Pauli is looking the best when can play in the open court where his fluidity helps him in direction changes and pushing the ball up quickly.
Stats: 4.2ppg (42.9% 2FGs – 30.8% 3FGs), 1.3rpg
Dario Saric – 2m06 – SF/PF – 1994 – Croatia
Selected to the All-Tournament team despite not being very successful with his team, Dario Saric showed once again his well known strengths and weaknesses. During the days in Prague, he mainly played from outside instead of using his length in the paint. He tried to put the ball on the floor and come up with mid-range jump shots where he was not very effective. When he got the ball on the low post, nearly anybody could stop him there in 1-1 situations. However, Saric showed some problems when he got a double team as his passes were often not very good and resulted in turnovers. Nevertheless, Saric remains one of the most talented players of his generation. Once he can canalize all his skills into the right direction, the result will be tremendous.
Stats: 20.3ppg (56.4% 2FGs – 20.7% 3FGs), 11.2rpg, 4.9apg, 4.8topg, 1.3bpg
Tomislav Gabric – 2m02 – PF/SF – 1995 – Croatia
Last year, Tomislav Gabric excelled with his above average motivation skills for the Croatian National Team. This year, he showed that he has developed some game as well as he was more or less the second best player of the Croatian team behind Dario Saric. Still as energetic as we knew him, Gabric has added a streaky but quite effective three point shot during stretches. Mainly used in catch-and-shoot situations, Gabric needs to find a better balance in his shot though to become more regular as he often fell sideways when he came of screens for the pull up. In the low post, he can also score with the jump hook but he clearly is developing a tendency to play more from outside which hurt his rebounding and effectivity somehow as he lacks the necessary versatility at the moment. However, his decision making is improving as is his ball handling so that a transition to the Small Forward spot in the future does not look out of reach.
Stats: 10.3ppg (60.0% 2FGs – 29.3% 3FGs), 3.4rpg
Mihajlo Andric – 2m00 – SF – 1994 – Serbia
On the Small Forward position, Mihajlo Andric was among the most effective and deadliest shooters of the tournament. The 2m00 wing player was often the target when Micic drove to the basket and played his kick out passes where Andric was very effective in doing quick catch-and-shoot attempts. His shooting curve is having a very high arc and his whole execution is superbly fluid. But Andric is not only a catch-and-shoot player, he can also create his own shot and likes to do that especially in tough game situations. The Serbian shooter likes the step back three point shot and can get the necessary space to shoot as he has a quick dribble when putting the ball on the floor.
Stats: 8.0ppg (47.1% 2FGs – 34.9% 3FGs), 2.4rpg