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Albert Schweitzer Tournament 2014: the Bigs

May 14th, 2014 · No Comments

In the last part of our analysis of the Albert Schweitzer Tournament, we are taking a look at the European big guys. Unfortunately, I could not follow a game of France in order to scout Antoine Wallez but here are my reports on the other interesting players and also on the MVP of the tournament, the future Wisconsin Badger Ethan Happ.

Mattias Markusson – 2m15 – Center – 1996 – Sweden

The Albert Schweitzer Tournament has been a sort of coming out party for the Swedish Big Man who was not really known on the European scene before. Having a strong body but no real basketball background, Markusson is an imposing person with his 2m15 tall frame. He can also run the floor and seems to be coordinated nicely. Still not in full physical shape, Markusson had a major effect on the game during the stretches he was on the floor as he was a great target inside from where he finished with an amazing efficiency doing only stuff he is capable of doing.

Markusson can catch the ball on Pick and Roll situations and finish immediately with the strong two handed dunk despite a lack of explosiveness or leaping ability. He is not afraid though to finish hard and he has also some very basic back-to-the-basket game where he can use his physical strength to push his defender in a difficult position. His shooting technique is not too bad considering that he plays basketball only for 3 years but he needs to work on the final release of his shot to make it more regular also from the free-throw line. Markusson is a good presence in rebounding on both sides of the floor and he has the timing to finish on the put back as well. On the defensive end, his footwork is looking interesting as he is quick enough to contest three-point shots but he needs to become more agile when defending smaller players who are playing him face to the basket. It might be still a long way to go for the Swedish big but he can develop into an interesting European Center player in the next years.

Stats: 8.5ppg (79.3% FGs), 6.8rpg, 0.8bpg

Yankuba Sima – 2m07 – Center – 1996 – Spain

Somehow, I am still waiting to see what Yankuba Sima can do. After a relatively poor outing at the NIJT in Belgrade, I have seen only one game of him in Mannheim and he did not really play well. However, according to the stats, he had a nice tournament underlining his over potential as an athletic and explosive inside player with good rebounding instincts and a good verticality. On the other hand, Sima has a surprisingly fluid three-point shot which is an asset in his game that can bring him to a different level. Still a year to go in his development before being eligible to play College Basketball, Sima should be able to attract some high-level schools to get his services in the Class of 2015.

Stats: 12.7ppg (54.4% FGs – 28.6% 3FGs), 11.5rpg, 1.7bpg

Nikola Pavlovic – 2m02 – Power Forward – 1996 – Serbia

The Serbian power forward had an important role in the rotation of the Bronze Medal winners with his energetic play and massive presence in rebounding. Not the best athlete but physically strong, Pavlovic knows how to position himself or get into the good position to grab the defensive rebounds. He can also bring up the ball out of these situations and he likes to go full court in transition. On offense, his game is also based on his energy level and fighting spirit to get some lose ball finishes or hard drives to the basket. He is an excellent player for this kind of level but his overall upside looks to be limited.

Stats: 10.0ppg (46.8% FGs), 8.6rpg

Niklas Kiel – 2m07 – Power Forward – 1997 – Germany

The German Power Forward had an interesting tournament and can be considered as one of the most interesting prospects of the event despite being a year younger than the competition. Kiel has been used as one of the main ball handlers for Germany as he played a lot from outside in a role of stretch-four. With his quick and good ball handling skills, Kiel was able to beat most of his defenders on the drive and he could also finish after a spin move when penetrating. Additionally, he recognized the defensive match-ups so that he went to post up smaller defenders even when starting the action around the three-point line. Out of his drives, he even could find good passes which is quite unusual for such a young power forward.

However, his overall shooting performance was not that good. His three-point shot lacks stability as he does not really have a high release point which puts him in trouble when being under pressure. The execution of his shot is fast but he might need to work on the overall shooting mechanic in order to become more stable, also out of the dribble. Additionally, Kiel should become a bit more explosive off two feet as he looks to be a good athlete and runner. This would give him an additional part to his face up game that is already well developed. On the defensive end, the Paderborn player is an excellent rebounder and reads also well where he can come from the weak side for blocking shots. Overall, Kiel looks like a really interesting prospect in the 1997 generation and it can only be hoped that Germany will be promoted back to the A Division in the U18 category this summer in order to see him on that level in 12 months. We will get another look at him this weekend during the NBBL Top4 in Quakenbrück.

Stats: 12.7ppg (44.6% FGs – 20.0% 3FGs), 10.7rpg, 2.3apg, 1.3bpg

Mahir Agva – 2m06 – Center – 1996 – Germany

The second inside option for Germany was the massive center Mahir Agva. The Urspring player was a big presence in the paint where he showed excellent finishing qualities against players he dominated physically. When Agva had to play against the taller Turkish inside defenders, he struggled to put the ball in the basket. Despite looking quite big, Agva has very good feet which he can move quickly and in small surfaces to get in the right positions. Athletically, he is limited and he lacks the necessary explosiveness to be a factor against taller players. Agva is though a surprising passer especially out of the low from where he could find his shooters or cutters on multiple occasions. The future though looks interesting for the 2m06 tall player as he can develop into a role player big man on the national level.

Stats: 14.3ppg (54.0% FGs), 8.0rpg

Egemen Güven – 2m08 – Center – 1996 – Turkey

The Turkish big man played a really interesting tournament where he underlined his overall potential and talent. Extremely mobile on both ends of the floor, Güven was a constant shot blocking threat for every guard or forward who attacked the basket. He moves really well and recognizes the situations where he can reject shots. His overall vertical presence on the defensive end is great and he can grab the rebounds above the rim. Güven runs the floor really well too and is a good finisher in transition when coming as a trailer. On the offensive end, he is a good finisher in the key where he has great touch and can use his long arms in various ways to get close to the rim for the scoops or layups. Additionally, he can find his team mates with nice passes either out of the low post or from the high post. On the downside, Güven really needs to get stronger in order to compete on the Center position in the future as he is more of lanky mobile center at the moment. He did not show any long range shooting so that it is difficult to see if he could develop into a Power Forward type of player in the future.

Stats: 14.3ppg (61.2% FGs), 7.3rpg, 1.1bpg

Ege Arar – 2m04 – Power Forward – 1996 – Turkey

The second inside option for Turkey was their hard hustling power forward Ege Arar. Less talented than Güven, Arar was really effective on the offensive end taking nearly only good shots and making them with high percentages. The 2m04 tall player can finish with the contact in paint but is also capable of knocking down the jump shot from mid range. On the defensive end, he was not that present in rebounding but was a great shot blocking threat for anyone approaching the Turkish basket. Because of his limited size, the upside of Arar remains limited but he should be able to develop into an interesting defensive option on the power forward position in the future as he has the lateral speed to defend stretch four players who can put the ball on the floor from outside.

Stats: 10.6ppg (62.5% FGs), 5.7rpg, 1.9bpg

Ethan Happ – 2m00 – Power Forward – 1996 – USA

The MVP trophy of the tournament went to the American forward Ethan Happ. Happ played a superb tournament and showed an amazingly European playing style as a highly effective undersized power forward. The future Wisconsin Badger did a bit of everything for the American team with great rebounding and especially stealing a multitude of balls on the defensive end. Offensively, Happ excelled with great drives to the basket where he could use his quick feet and variety of offensive moves. But he was not only successful on the drive. He could also use the post up as an offensive opportunity as he showed great shooting touch on the hook shots or using a multitude of fakes to get open looks. The main question mark is on his outside shot as he has strange mechanics shooting from his should but with a perfect clap of his hand on the release. It will be very interesting to see how he can impose his strengths with Wisconsin and how far he can develop over the next years. It would not be a major surprise to see him back on the highest European level after his College career.

Stats: 19.1ppg (64.8% FGs – 27.3% 3FGs), 10.7rpg, 3.4spg, 1.6bpg

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