European Prospects

News about Young European Basketball Prospects

Xmas Tournament Kortrijk 2014: Day 3

December 30th, 2014 · No Comments

After following the U19 Tournament during two days, I decided to use my last day in Kortrijk not only to fill up my home cellar with some local Omer and have a nice lunch but also to check out the semi-finals of the U16 tournament that has been played in a different gym. And the least I can say is that it was worth doing the short trip to Deerlijk.

In the first game, CBA Amsterdam played against the local team Tiger Zwevegem-Deerlijk and it was not much of a problem for the Dutch subsidiary of the Canarias Basketball Academy to advance to the final. They were lead by the 2m04 tall Björn Rosman who played already with the Dutch U16 National Team last summer being a year younger. The physical inside player showed a great all-around package being able to score from the post but also as a jump shooter from around the key or even the three-point line. The Tiger team was not a real matchup for him so that this was certainly not a reference game for him but he looked to be a very promising player for Holland in the next years. He is already a member of the main academy in Gran Canaria and should be a mid-to-high major prospect in 2 or 3 years.

A second player that showed some promise was Reva Tholel. He is a long guard who can handle the ball quite well for his size and is capable to bring the ball to the hoop. He can finish with either hand at the rim and showed some interesting passes in transition where he found his team mates cutting to the basket. Tholel is though still very raw and has a long way to go both from his fundamentals but also basketball understanding and mental approach. But with his physical profile, he is certainly a long-term project that can become interesting in a few years.

According to the coach of the CBA Amsterdam team, the most interesting prospect of their team had to sit out. In fact, the Chinese Point Guard Wang “Allan” Xiaoyi broke his wrist on a dunk the day before and was only present on the bench for the team. The 2m01 tall prospect is considered to be a top-level talent and he is working with the CBA Academy in Gran Canaria for some time now. Unfortunately, he could not play so that I missed him in action.

The talent level in the second semi-final was a lot higher overall if you combined the two teams. Antwerp won that game against the Walloon AWBB U16 regional team and advanced to the Final where they managed to beat CBA Amsterdam and took home the U16 trophy.

For the winner, Bruce Hendrickx was clearly the leader on the court. The versatile swingman likes to have the ball in his hands and then explode to the basket with great acceleration. He is real 1-on-1 player who likes the individual challenge on the court and score against his direct opponent. The 99 born can finish either at the rim or go for the jump stop in midrange and score on a good pull-up. He has the court-vision to come up with some nice passes out of the drive and likes to have the little cocky no-look play here and there. Quite athletic, Hendrickx can develop into a Point Guard in the future as he seems to have the leader qualities needed for that role.

Next to Hendricks, the most impressive player was the physically strong forward Vincent Peeters. He was probably the most athletic player in the game and showed his good jumping abilities in a nice dunk on the break. But Peeters has also a really fluid three-point shot and made three attempts from behind the arc in the semi-final. Physically, he was dominating the defensive rebound but he lacks a bit the necessary ball handling to play on a guard position at the moment. He might have peaked already in his body development but he should be an important factor for the Belgian U16 National Team this summer as his athletic abilities are a big plus on that level.

Senne Wuyts was the tallest player of the tournament as the son of former Belgian pro Jan Wuyts is probably already around 2m10 tall. He only came from the bench but he showed and overall good body coordination and the capability to score on the jump shot from around the key. Not really a bruiser in the low post, Wuyts is more of a long shooting big who is however present as a shot blocker and rebounder in the paint. Physically, Wuyts has a good progress margin so he is certainly a player to follow on the long term.

Lenny Coppens was another interesting prospect on the Antwerp Giants team. Used on the different guard spots and sporting a good size, Coppens impressed with great ball handling and acceleration when attacking the basket. He can finish at the rim and likes to run in transition. He did not take many shots so it is difficult to say something about his qualities from behind the arc but he should also be an interesting prospect to follow this summer with the Belgian U16 National Team.

For the AWBB selection, the first player that stood out was Noah Fogang. The 1999 born has a superb body to work with in the future. Being probably around 2m05 tall with large shoulders and a good wingspan, Fogang can do a bit of everything on the court even if he probably did not realize this yet. Mainly used as a Center, Fogang showed that he has ball handling too when he went full court after a defensive rebound pushing the ball himself. He takes the jump shot nearly out to the three-point line with a good shooting form but could not make the few attempts he had. In the paint, he tries to score with either hand which is a good sign at this age and he is a great rebounder. Still quite raw both physically and technically, Fogang is another top-level project at the moment and he should be able to develop into a very interesting player in a few years with the necessary work.

Giuliano Neri was the top scorer for the AWBB team. Neri was used mainly as a shooter from downtown where he had a great and quickly executed jump shot. However, Neri showed also interesting ball handling skills and crossed his defender several times to attack the rim at full speed to go for the layup. He also finished from mid-range on the floater and tried to do this with his left hand too. He also has an excellent wingspan which should help him to become a good defender in the future as he has already good size for playing the SG position in the future.

The Final of the U19 Competition can actually be followed as an on-demand stream here.

Scouting Reports on the main players of the U19 competition will be posted in the next days.

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