European Prospects

News about Young European Basketball Prospects

Today’s picks (live from Riga)

August 8th, 2008 · No Comments

I have arrived in Riga to cover the last two days of the U20 European Championship. I use this post to give you a few updates of both U20 tournaments as well as some other stories about European prospects. But let’s start with the U20s.

  • Starting with the B Division, two teams remain unbeaten and look like the favorites for moving up to Division A. Germany started as one of the big favorites in Targu Mures, and until now, everything went well for them. They will face Estonia that qualified for the semis after a double overtime win over Romania yesterday evening. The presence of Belgium at this level is a little bit surprising as they miss 2 of their most promising players of the 1989 generation that won the U18 B Division last year. Still, the will face Sweden tomorrow and the winner moves up to Division A next year.
  • The Division A tournament in Riga will go into its hot phase tomorrow with the Semi-Finals. 3 of the 4 teams qualified here were present in the U20 Tournament in Luxembourg that I have covered a few weeks ago. Turkey is the most surprising of the 4 as they did not look very promising there. Both Spain and Lithuania added quality talent with Donatas Motiejunas and Victor Claver.
  • The disappointment so far is of course France. Started as one of my personal favorites for Gold, the generation that won the U16 and U18 Gold medal was impressive during the preparation but came up with two very bad misses in the Qualification round against Latvia and Spain. Now the team of Richard Billant will play Italy for the places 5-8 where also Montenegro and Ukraine are battling.
  • Kostas Sloukas, the unofficial MVP of the U18 tournament in Greece is currently being chased by all the main Greek teams in order to join them for next season.
  • Rasid Mahalbasic, the 17 year old Austrian player who was one of the main actors of the interesting Austria team in the U18 B Division joined the Senior national team for the Eurobasket Division B round this fall.
  • Frank Wiseler, former PG of Urspring Academy will join the Drake Bulldogs in the NCAA. The Missouri Valley Conference team will however need to wait one year before Wiseler will be eligible.

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