European Prospects

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Ponitka and Karnowski progressing in PLK

February 7th, 2012 · No Comments

The Polish 1993 generation is one of the better ones in Europe. The team around Mateusz Ponitka and Przemyslaw Karnowski had quite some success in the different continental championships that they participated over the last years. Both players have now major roles in the Polish first league so that it was time to make an update on their situation. We give you a short scouting on their progress but also a Video update on their game.

Mateusz Ponitka came out of a more or less disappointing U18 European Championship in Poland and decided to stay with his team AZS Politechnika Warszawa despite some offers from bigger names throughout Europe. This looks like the right choice so far as the 1m96 tall Shooting Guard is averaging 23.5 minutes per game in the competitive PLK. The 18 year old has 12.1ppg at 55.7% 2FGs but only 26.3% from behind the arc combined with 4.2 rebounds and 1.5 steals per game.

He looks totally recovered from some smaller injuries that he had during the summer 2011. His athleticism has improved and he is working on his shot selection. His first step looks very explosive right now and gives him the possibility to go by his defender easily in many occasions for the mid-range jump shot. This pull-up jumper looks particularly effective even when taken out of high speed dribble or flashes as he is nearly in perfect balance in these occasions. With his improved athletic abilities, Ponitka is not afraid to dunk the ball in traffic.

Defensively, he can guard smaller players as his lateral speed is good but he is still in a learning process on this level. The absence of European competition for his team is not a major problem so far as he is still very young. Another year in Poland would not limit his progress but moving to a better team that also plays in EuroCup or EuroChallenge would be positive. See the Video below to get a better impression on his current game.

Karnowski and Ponitka: face-to-face in October 2011

Next to Ponitka, Przemyslaw Karnowski is the other big name of this Polish generation. The 2m14 tall Center is still not decided about his future as he is eyeing the possibility to play College Basketball next season. But with his current team of Siarka Jezioro, he is having an excellent season in an environment dominated by several heavy usage US guards. Karnowski is averaging 8.9ppg and 4.5rpg in 24.2 minutes on the court.

The big guy is in a better shape than we have ever seen him. He runs the court better, is more explosive and improved in his lateral speed. He still struggles though when he has to recover long distances on hedging situations for example but in man-to-man situations in the post or even on the perimeter, he looks better now. His overall defensive positioning looks improved too and his is not committing too many stupid fouls for trying to block shots for example.

As you can see in the Video above, he is still mainly going for his left hand in the offense. He is trying difficult fade away jumpers and we could not see once where he finished on some kind of jump hook with either hand. He is doing a good job in Pick and Roll situations where he finishes stronger now but falls sometimes into the trap of his good passing skills by overly trying to find his team mates. Karnowski needs to work on his low post game to add other assets to the turn around jump shot and improve his right hand. He currently plays already for a mid-level Polish team which means that a move to an NCAA mid-major would not be a real progress. He has to think very well about his future this summer in order to make the right choice for the development of his career.

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