European Prospects

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German NBBL prospects with Bayern and Brose

November 30th, 2014 · No Comments

Last weekend, there has been the game at the top of the NBBL Division Southeast between Bayern Munich and Breitengüssbach, the farm team of the Brose Baskets. This matchup featured some of the most interesting German prospects like Richard Freudenberg, Andreas Obst or Leon Kratzer. Here is a short report with some impressions on the main players of this high-level game in the German U19 League.

Sebastian Schmitt – 1m84 – PG – 1996 – FC Bayern

The starting PG of Bayern Munich was mainly active as a scorer. He has good acceleration but lacks maybe a bit of size to finish at the rim. His overall ball handling is good but he might be a bit too “dribble-happy” and does not share the ball that much. When attacking the basket, he has often to go for jump passes which makes him turnover prone. Schmitt has the range to be a good three-point shooter. He can create his own jump shot out of the dribble, also in Pick and Roll situations. When he is playing off the ball, the right handed PG can also be used in a shooter role.

Karim Jallow – 1m95 – SG – 1997 – FC Bayern

Karim Jallow is a player that is making constant progress and growing into a really interesting body. Gifted with a great wingspan and superb hustle, Jallow is still used mainly as a defensive threat where he can pressure guards all over the court. His lateral speed is excellent and his long arms make him a tough presence in the passing lanes. Additionally, Jallow likes to go for the offensive rebounds where he can grab an extra possession here and there. Next to his tremendous defensive potential, Jallow is improving on the offensive end. His shooting form is improving when he can take a shot without pressure but he is still not a three-point shooter at all. He is improving a bit from the free-throw line but at 55% he needs to adjust quickly as he is getting a lot of foul calls and he needs to become more consistent if he wants to be a factor on the next level. Overall, Jallow has good acceleration but his footwork is a bit shaky and he risks some travel calls when attacking the basket on the spin move for example. Nevertheless, these are all parts of the game where Jallow can progress over the next years and paired with his excellent physical profile, he can develop into a high-level SG in the future.

Richard Freudenberg – 2m02 – SF – 1998 – FC Bayern

It was not a great game by Richard Freudenberg but you could see why he is considered one of the best prospects in Europe in his age group. Two years younger than the competition, Freudenberg was probably the most fundamental player of all on the court. He showed good court-vision, great technique on the jump shot and perfect passing even out of tough situations. Combined with a growing body and an improving stability against contact, Freudenberg is developing into a top level Small Forward for the future. The 2m02 tall forward does a bit of everything on the court. You could see him go for a chase-down block in defensive transition that is followed by a nice direction change drive to finish against the big guy Leon Kratzer. Another play where you could for example see his game understanding was when he recognized out of the pressure dribble that his defender had switched on a pick and roll so that he immediately stopped the play to organize an isolation to play the big guy 1-1 from outside.

When Freudenberg is attacking the basket, he is capable to finish above the rim easily and he has really made some progress in his body stability when drawing contact. He can hold his position in air and also re-adjust his shot to finish with the foul in an impressive way. Knowing that he is only born in 1998 and playing against 1996 born players, this gives you an indication how high he can go. Because he has not only a great offensive game with a lot of different weapons, Freudenberg is an excellent defensive player who can guard multiple positions right now. With the right development over the next years, Freudenberg will most likely make his debut on the professional quite soon for what should become a long career in Europe or in the NBA.

Dejan Kovacevic – 2m07 – PF/C – 1996 – FC Bayern

The Serbian-German big guy has an interesting mid range game. As he is not that physical, he likes to sneak around the key to get open jump shots and use his speed to put the ball on the floor to beat his man on the drive. He has the range to shoot from behind the arc and he can be used as a Pick and Pop player because of this. He moves quite well on the floor, has also interesting foot work that makes him more of a finesse PF than a C. He lacks the physical presence to defended stronger guys in the post and he is not an offensive low post player either. Kovacevic is an interesting prospect on the long term as he has all the basketball skills to become a good stretch four in the future. It will depend though on how he develops physically to see how high he can go.

Marvin Ogunsipe –2m04 – SF/PF – 1996 – FC Bayern

After moving from Austria to Munich, it was interesting to see what kind of prospect the long Austrian with a Nigerian father is. Ogunsipe played mostly as a stretch four for Bayern shooting from outside but also putting the ball on the floor to attack the basket. His three-point shot is not yet very confirmed as he sometimes hesitates before taking it. His shooting form is not fluid at all but it looks like it is progressing in the right way as he did not hesitate one second to take a second three after making one. When attacking the basket, Ogunsipe has a clear preference for using his left hand even if he struggles to finish with contact next to the basket. However, his first step is good and he can finish with one dribble on the layup when initiating his move at the three point line. On the defensive end, Ogunsipe is a good rebounder who has enough confidence in his ball handling to dribble the ball out and start the transition offense. Overall, I was quite impressed with the potential of the Austrian forward who certainly made the right decision to come to Germany in order to improve his skills.

Daniel Keppeler – 2m03 – PF – 1997 – Breitengüssbach

An interesting but not so well known prospect for Breitengüssbach is the 1997 born and 2m03 tall forward Daniel Keppeler. He does a bit of everything on the court, playing under control and not taking bad shots. Often used as a low post threat, he can use his body to back down his defender and finish on the jump hook over the glass. Additionally, he showed some nice kick out passes to the open shooter. He moves well on the court, and has a feel for the offensive rebounds. He can also take the mid-range jump shots even if his overall mechanics are not really fast. Nevertheless, he is still quite young and with his size and physical potential, Keppeler can be considered as sleeper among the large number of prospects in the Brose farm teams.

Leon Kratzer – 2m08 – C – 1997 – Breitengüssbach

Leon Kratzer is one of the most impressive players physically in his age group. Large shoulders and a massive body make him a big presence in the paint where he can dominate the boards on both sides of the court. Grabbing his rebounds above the rim and with ferocity, Kratzer is right now one of the best rebounders in the German youth ranks. However, his shooting touch is questionable at the moment. He can finish on the left handed jump hook but that’s more or less the only serious finish he has in his arsenal next to layups and dunks. His shooting form is not fluid at all and his free-throw technique is really bad. Kratzer absolutely needs to make some progress in this part of his game. His court-vision and ball handling is not very good either which makes him right now a quite one-dimensional player who is a force in the paint but who lacks any kind of skills outside the three-second area. It will be interesting to see how far he can go with his lack of technique but his rebounding and physical presence will certainly help him to have a long career as a professional.

Moritz Sanders – 2m10 – PF – 1998 – Breitengüssbach

It was not a really good game for the young big man who showed some problems to recover after hedging on Pick and Roll situations as his lateral speed is too slow for the quickness of the Bayern guards.On offense, Sanders took some bad shots and he was never really in this game. Nevertheless, he is one of the players to follow over the next years as he is still very young.

Andreas Obst – 1m92 – SG – 1996 – Breitengüssbach

Andreas Obst is one of the most promising German prospects on the guard positions. The Brose player who started several games already for the pro team is a tough SG who has technically a really well developed jump shot. He can knock down three-pointers in series and has made already several game winning shots in his career. His three-point shot in catch-and-shoot situations is perfect and he has the range to go deep and shoot quickly. The open shot in transition looks to him like a layup so that you can see him stop at the three-point line for the jump shot. Next to his great and confident shooting skills, Obst is also a good passer who can bring the ball to his big guys from outside. He can run the Point Guard position if necessary but he is more looking for his own scoring opportunities than creating for his team mates. Out of the dribble, he is capable to create the necessary space for his own jump shot with ease, knowing that he does not need a lot of space for the pull up jumper. The 1m92 tall guard can also attack the rim and he can finish against the defense even after tough moves or direction changes. With his great shooting skills, Obst will most likely develop into a great scorer who will become a serious part of the Brose Baskets Bamberg rotation earlier than most people expect. Athletically, he might be a bit below the top-level standards but this will not hinder him from having a great career over the next years.

Tibor Taras – 1m97 – PG/SG – 1997 – Breitengüssbach

Another highly interesting player in the Breitengüssbach team was the 1m97 tall Tibor Taras. Mainly playing as a PG, Taras showed great scoring skills from behind the arc where he netted a multitude of three-pointers either out of the dribble or after kick-outs. His jump shot is a bit slow in the execution but this will most likely improve as he is still quite young and is tall. Taras can also attack the basket with long steps which help him to overcome his lack of explosiveness in the first step. The guard has also an interesting floater from the top. Playing under good control, Taras looks like a leader in the making who organizes his offense quite well and finds the open players on the wing or in the paint on the Pick and Roll situations. The former Cologne player who turned 17 a few weeks ago might become one of the options for the German Senior National Team in the future that is lacking size at the PG spot. Used as a forward before, Taras is currently improving as a ball handler and earns lots of minutes as a playmaker which makes him a highly interesting prospect for the future.

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