The FIBA ranking of the best countries in youth basketball says that Spain is 5th in the world. Moreover our country may be the most desirable destination for further development in entire Europe. This position is good as we have to consider that in Spain most of native players aren’t very strong and tall. However three prospects that I decided to evaluate are my fellow countrymen and seems to have a highly fascinating profiles for young athletes. Considering their talent, tools and potential it’s easy to state that all of them can play on really high level in future.
Let’s take a look at overview, physical profiles, offensive & defensive skills of Usman Garuba, Pau Tendero and Andria Domenech.
Team: Real Madrid Born: 09/03/2002
Current position: Center
Future position: Forward
Born in Madrid, has one brother named Ab Sediq Garuba (‘04) who also plays in the same team. Used to play in CB Azuqueca before landing in Real. He did the pre-season with ACB’s team and was named MVP and the best rebounder of Orotava Tournament. Currently is playing with U18 juniors while still being eligible for U16. Participated in 8 EBA Liga games where he logged 19 mpg and averaged 9.6 points, 8.6 rebounds (3.9 D and 4.7 O). All mentioned numbers compose his very good 14.4 Performance Index Rating.
There are some question marks about future of Usman because he is very developed and may have problems to adjust when he no longer has such a big physical advantage. In my opinion he can play in high level but not in NBA because he is unlikely to have neither Center size nor wing skillset.
Clearly one of the best in his generation in Europe. When he was U14 he could play against 2 or 3 years older and wasn’t any weaker. Currently is pretty much picking up where he left off among even more advanced players age wise. In the pre-season with ACB’s team he was able to fight for the rebounds and defend well vs pros. He has a strong frame and in general all the parts of his body are tough as rock. He can use it to create the space to shoot in the paint. Moreover he can run the court well.
Downside is development stage which suggests that he won’t make a huge physical progress. Morevover his coordination isn’t perfect.
Thanks to body type, he has all the tools to be impactful post up player. Beside scoring shows good vision as he can notice players on weak side and pass them the ball to hit the open shot. He is good at grabbing offensive rebounds and chases them outside of his area. Gets opportunistic and attacks aggressively to the rim at any chance. After grabbing the rebound can start transition quickly either by passing and handling the ball.
Needs to improve his footwork in the paint which would extend his repertoire. However bigger problem is that he hasn’t good mid and long-range shooting efficiency. Also he lacks isolation moves with his face to the basket.
Ambitious on ball defender who secures defensive rebounds. Can block some shots in the paint.
Unable to guard players faster than him.
Team: F.C.Barcelona Born: 29/01/2002
Current position: Forward
Future position: Guard
Pau Tendero plays with Barcelona’s U16 and U18. He couldn’t participate in Adidas Next Generation Tournament because he was in Valladolid with Catalonia U16 team. Used to play in Bahía San Agustí, where he scored 57 points and grabbed 25 rebounds in the final of Mallorca’s Championship 2 seasons ago. Recently at U16 Sant Josep Tournament he went for 24 points, 5 rebounds & 25.5 PIR per game. He followed good performance as member of Spain cadetes at Íscar tournament Tendero where he averaged 19 points and 16.6 PIR per game. He is considered one of the best prospects of Spain. In my opinion he is a NBA prospect because he already has shooting skills of a pro player especially off the dribble even under defensive pressure. Moreover has amazing athleticism.
Tendero is one of the best in his generation in this regard. He is really fast, strong and is able to make greats changes of pace while dribbling. He isn’t fully developed and can grow even more. His physicality helps him a lot to be able to play with U18 league. He isn’t a corpulent player but has good muscles especially in lower body. It gives him ability to guard fast players and have significant leaping ability.
His best offensive quality is nice stroke off the dribble. Able to play as playmaker, shooting guard and small forward but in the high level I see him more as a combo. He has a tremendous killer mentality and shines in transition offense.
Tendero possess decent court vision but he has to improve a bit his IQ.
In general he is able to guard all the position except centers thanks to his physicality. His hands are very active and he can press on ball. Decent rebounder due to his long arms vertical leap.
Team: Joventut Badalona Born: 10/07/2002
Position: Small Forward
Adrià Domenech is also one of the best players of his generation in Spain. He most likely hasn’t reach physical maturity yet and keeps growing. Like other two evaluated by me Spaniards, Adria plays either for U16 & U18 teams of Joventut. He’s having a good season and is one of the leaders of the team but some of his performances were disappointing. It’s normal because he is a long term prospect considering he is skinny and a bit slow but he needs to be more consistent day in & day out. In my eyes he has potential to be the best Spanish player of his generation in 2/3 years. There is a lot to like in his personality. Domenech is ambitious and wants to improve in all his aspects of the game.
Adrià has an huge room for improvement and possess long limbs. He is well coordinated but needs to work on his body and quickness.
Makes a lot of grab & go plays in his age group. He has a strange mechanics but somehow shots it with high percentages. Can handle the ball really well for his height and remains active without it in his hands. Keeps improving his court vision every time I watch him.
On the other hand has troubles on playing one on one against faster players from the perimeter.
He can guard easily outside of the paint thanks to very good lateral movement. Provides even some rim protection thanks to his wingspan. Collects rebounds easily if doesn’t suffer from physical disadvantage. Has considerable potential to become impactful player on this end of the court as well.