European Prospects

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FIBA U19 World Championship 2011: the Wings

July 20th, 2011 · No Comments

After having analyzed the most impressive guards a few days, here we go for the wing players that stood out the most. As previously, I concentrated my scouting mostly on European players which explains the small information on non-Europeans in the report.

Edgaras Ulanovas – 1m97 – SG/SF – Lithuania – 1992

The Lithuanian guard has played a very interesting tournament in Riga. Being mostly used on the SG and SF position, Ulanovas impressed with a great motor and constant attacks of the basket. The left-handed Ulanovas has an impressive wingspan and has good basics in terms of footwork. Being able to handle the ball, Ulanovas was often a driver in the fast-break situations where he pushed the ball around the defenders. However, he seems to shy away from using his right hand as he mostly goes to the left.

Next to his good feel for the game in the open court, Ulanovas was a big factor in the set offense for the Gold Medal team. The guard was often used as a shooter from the corner after kick outs of his team mates. He has a nice high release point and he can also take the mid-range jump shot. Out of the dribble, Ulanovas mostly goes to the basket and can finish close to the rim also after left-right direction changes. His pull-up jump shot out of the drive is not a first-use option for him but he can make this shot from the top of the key.

Stats: 11.3ppg (50.0% 2FGs – 33.3% 3FGs), 3.3rpg, 1.7apg

Bogdan Bogdanovic – 1m97 – SG/SF – Serbia – 1992

The Serbian forward finished his tournament strong after missing the beginning because of an injury. He finished though with only 8.9ppg even if he was dominating the semi-final against Argentina with 25pts. Bogdanovic was certainly one of the better pure scorers on the wing of the tournament as he can attack the basket, create his own shot an be effective from behind the three-point line in catch-and-shoot situations. The 1m97 tall player is quite a good athlete and is not afraid to go hard for the dunk, even against the defense. When attacking the basket, he can use his great fundamentals and footwork in order to avoid the defenders.

During the tournament, Bogdanovic did a good job on the defensive rebound as he was the second best wing on pace-adjusted rebounds with 5.9 boards per game. Despite his good performance during the semi-final, it was the only game in the Medal round where Bogdanovic was a serious factor as he scored 0 points in the quarters and had not a great day in the Final either. The question is if this was the result of his injury or if he is a player who can not contribute on a regular basis on this level. We will see more about that in the future.

Stats: 8.9ppg (45.2% 2FGs – 38.1% 3FGs), 5.0rpg, 1.7apg

Vladislav Trushkin – 2m00 – SF – Russia – 1993

Trushkin was the silent killer for Russia during the tournament. The 1993 born forward stepped up mostly in the decisive phases of the games to take the big three-point shots. Against the United States, he decided the game with several longs bombs out of the dribble. But Trushkin is certainly more than just a long distance danger. He goes hard on the court, moves well without the ball and is not afraid to jump and dive for lose balls.

His jump shot looks excellent with a quick release. He can post up smaller players and finish with the defender on him in the low post with some basic post moves. He likes also to attack the basket where he can finish with his left hand on the bank shot from mid range or go to the rim. Being a year younger, we can expect a lot from Trushkin in the upcoming European Championship where his Russian team is among the Medal candidates.

Stats: 11.7ppg (45.8% 2FGs – 37.0% 3FGs), 4.9rpg, 1.3apg

Sergey Karasev – 2m00 – SF – Russia – 1993

The athletic forward was another major scoring threat for the Russian Bronze Medal Team in the tournament. The left handed son-of is developing more and more into one of the most interesting prospects of the 1993 generation. Good scorer, interesting passer, great shooting touch and top-level athletic abilities are a good mix for this future contributor on the Senior level. Karasev has also got some superior understanding of the basketball game and recognizes situations on the court before others.

He can attack the basket with either hand and is not afraid to finish against taller players with either hand as well. He draws a good amount of fouls in these situations and is nearly automatic from the free-throw line. His shot is very smooth and he has a soft touch from long distance. Karasev is also a good shot blocker for a a wing player and can go for the hard sprint backwards to try the rejection. He had already some major impact with Triumph Lyubertsy in the PBL this season despite only turning 18 in October. This makes him one of the major prospects to follow not only in the future tournaments but overall.

Stats: 15.3ppg (50.9% 2FGs – 35.4% 3FGs), 4.1rpg, 2.7apg

Patricio Garino – 1m96 – SF/SG – Argentina – 1993

We remembered Garino playing at the U17 World Championship last summer in Hamburg as a multi-use guard/forward. During his days in Riga, he was though mainly used as a shooter/slasher and not much as a ball handler or creator. When he was averaging 2.9apg in 2010, this tournament was his poorest in terms of dishing out good passes to his team mates. With this not used or gone, Garino was however doing very well when attacking the basket or creating shots. His release is quick and he looks to have improved his athletic abilities during his season at the Montverde Academy in the United States. Defensively, Garino looked improved as he used his good wingspan to put pressure on the ball handler or be active in the passing lanes. With his size, he should be able to play as a full-time guard on mid- to high-major teams in the future. The Class of 2012 player will certainly get some serious interest during the next season.

Stats: 9.4ppg (39.4% 2FGs – 41.7% 3FGs), 4.2rpg

Mitchell Creek – 1m97 – SF/PF – Australia – 1992

After having dominated at the Albert-Schweitzer Tournament last spring, the only professional of the Australian team showed once again his strength during the World Championship in Riga. Creek is extremely active on the court with a great motor and high energy. He attacks the basket really well and can finish with the huge dunk over the defense. The problem is though that Creek has no real mid-range game and is ineffective from behind the three-point line. That’s why he has to play a lot on the PF position despite being only 1m97 tall. We could not really see any progress in his shooting during the days in Riga which puts some doubts on his long term future as a high-level player. Overall, he would be a great SF package but he needs to improve his shot in the next years.

Stats: 14.4ppg (45.0% 2FGs – 16.7% 3FGs), 6.9rpg, 2.3apg

Dario Saric – 2m07 – SF/PF – Croatia – 1994

The tournament did not really run as expected for Dario Saric and his Croatian team. Even if his numbers were really good, especially in terms of shooting percentages, the versatile forward could not lead his team to success in Riga. However, he was 2 years younger than the competition but this was not really seen on the court. During a lot of games, the whole Croatian offense was based on the individual talent of Saric. But as the 2m07 tall prospect played nearly 37 minutes per game, his huge stats did not look as good when calculated to a pace-adjusted 28 minutes. He was not even the Croatian with the highest USG% as he got topped in this category by Boris Barac.

In a lot of situations, Saric did everything on offense in a way that he forgot to use his team mates. He over dribbled the ball on the top of the key in order to create situations in 1-1 and the rest of the Croats were watching. When he attacked the basket, he found the cutters or shooters with ease without turning over the ball too much. This is one of the major areas that Saric has progressed as he is taking better care of the ball. However, he showed some problems when being double-teamed in the low post as several of his kick out or skip passes have been intercepted. When facing the double-team on the drive though, he is very effective in either finding the open man or the gap between the defenders to go for the score.

Stats: 18.1ppg (50.5% 2FGs – 53.8% 3FGs), 10.1rpg, 3.4apg

Davis Bertans – 2m08 – SF/PF – Latvia – 1992

The expectations were high in Latvia but the team around the newly drafted Davis Bertans could not reach the Quarter-Finals at home. This gave us only a limited time to follow the future San Antonio Spurs player. Overall, Bertans struggled to play on the same level than last summer as his shots were not falling. His shot selection was doubtful during long moments but he found the basket on the good attempts. When Bertans finds a way to improve his shot selection, he will develop into a very effective player as he has the speed to attack the basket out of the shot fake very well.

Stats: 15.2ppg (46.7% 2FGs – 26.7% 3FGs), 6.4rpg, 1.6apg

Djordje Drenovac – 2m03 – SF – Serbia – 1992

The Serbian forward, who played last season in Austria was an important factor with his scoring abilities. He could use his size to post up smaller forwards in the low post and shot over them. Drenovac has not great speed but finds a way to attack the basket with good footwork and direction changes. He can stop in the mid-range area for the jump shot but he also goes to the hoop to finish close to the rim. His shot is his main asset though, technically it looks very good.

Stats: 10.0ppg (49.0% 2FGs – 25.0% 3FGs), 3,9rpg, 1.0apg

Jeremy Lamb – 1m95 – SF – USA – 1992

Lamb was the most effective play on the American roster. He could create his own shot at will and was the clear go-to-guy of the team. The UConn forward was able to score in a multitude of ways from either long or mid range and also went hard to the rim when needed. With his amazing wingspan, he was a major factor on defense as well and he certainly helped himself a lot by accepting playing for Team USA. The experience of facing European teams can not be taken from him and he should be one of the main figures for Connecticut next season.

Stats: 16.2ppg (46.2% 2FGs – 29.4% 3FGs), 4.3rpg, 2.0apg

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