Bayern is no longer European powerhouse only in football which could explain a bit why Munich is hosting Adidas Next Generation Tournament for the first time. It is third qualifier of 2017/2018 season and will take place from 9th to 11th of February in Audi Dome. Below you can find our usual rundown on rosters:
Kilian Binapfl and Bruno Vrcic can be considered current best 2000 born player in the roster but after losing Marko Pecarski Bayern lacks top talents in this generation either domestic and international. However they made up for this lost with signing 2001 born Matej Rudan from Cibona who is on pace to become Croatia’s next best thing. Another highly touted talent will be loanee Luc Van Slooten who is rotation player of best team in German 2nd tier as 15yo and has been gaining a europe-wide recognition for a while now. We cannot forget 2002 born very physical forward who should be ready to contribute – Matthias Sasha Grant from Italy. Noah Jallow could be described the same way but unfortunately injury won’t allow him to participate. Another two interesting prospects are Jonas Giesseck and Daniel Zdravevski (2001) but both are undermature and should be considered more of a long term products. Nat Sidi Diallo who normally plays for Rasta Vechta completes our rundown on interesting names.
Real’s youth system may be the most desirable destination for European prospects and roster is incredibly loaded as usual. Basically each player could play much bigger role in every other team from AdidasNGT competition. Let’s start from the youngest. Usman Garuba after superior FIBA U16s two years ago had some minor injuries and should present that he is something more than just physical force. Another 2002 born player in roster Boris Tisma has some Toni Kukoc to him. He may not contribute in big degree in Munich but has incredible long term upside. Third cadete is Ruben Lopez. Equally good talent who just missed Szent Istvan Basketball cup due to small health problems but should be cleared to participate in Munich. Golden Dike, Kareem Queeley & Amar Sylla will provide plenty of athleticism and length either in backcourt or froncourt. Mario Nakic should prove himself as one of the most intriguing swingman in generation. Finally ball distribution will be secured by Melwin Pantzar who displays rare strength-creativity combination and Ziga Samar who is good assister with shooting range.
Ratiopharm Ulm will participate in Adidas Next Generation tournament for the first time but it’s well deserved honor. German Orange Academy hired a lot of international coaches and specialized in recruiting second tier foreign interesting prospects as for now it’s hard to compete with powerhouses. Most of the eyes will be on Hungarian Center – Mate Fazekas who will have a chance to prove himself as one of the best bigs from 2000 generation in Europe. One more intriguing frontcourt prospect in the roster will be Lazar Scekic who joined the team past summer. However Serbian 7-footer is still raw and unlikely to have big impact which can obviously change in long term perspective. Another bright point should be 2001 born wing Jason George who returned to the team from Urspring Academy. He averaged ridiculous 25.7 ppg and 19.4 rpg in last NBBL season and now makes strides as a shooter. Fiba U16s Championship was disappointing for him but he was dealing with knee problems and doctors made tremendous job just to make him ready to participate. Angt tournament can help to evaluate if George is legitimate NBA prospect or not. Last name to remember is Timo Lanmuller. Scoring guard was Germany’s NT best scorer in Podgorica on August.
Brose returns to the Adidas Next Generation Tournament after one year break. The roster is undoubtedly headlined by Estonian prospect – Henri Drell. 6’9 fluid athlete with nice handles for his size is getting significant playing time in Bamberg’s affiliated Pro-A team. It’s time to step up and take scoring burden on his shoulders which Drell was unable to make recently at Baltic Sea Basketball Cup. He should be assisted by Kay Bruhnke. Year younger local super talent suffered tournament ending ankle injury during the first game of FIBA U16s past summer. Before that he was the best scorer of the team during the preparation and one of the standouts at Adidas Eurocamp which helped him to get invited for another prestigious event in Los Angeles. Another notable contributor who is full time Brose members may be Latvian solidly built center – Jekabs Beks who transfered from Crailsheim Merlins where he averaged 18.8 points and 9.3 rebounds per game in JBBL last season. Bamberg will bring as many as 4 players on loan. Finn Fleute is 6’9 frontcourt prospect who has been making very good progress since we saw him just as walk on in Germany U16 NT one year and a half ago. Joshua Obiesie is athletic shot maker with good positional size and Isaiah Ihnen has plenty of length and long term potential. Finally 6’0 PG Elias Baggette who was born in 2002 is superior JBBL player in TUSli where he excels thanks to quick handles and motor.
Team will be led by duo which knows each other perfectly since years – pesky guard Jonas Mattisseck and strong bodied Hendrik Drescher. Both of them already made their debuts in BEKO BBL. 2001 born Franz Wagner is not just a little brother of Michigan star but possess quite impressive game on his own and equally big potential. U16 JBBL team will be represented by light and super agile Evans Rapieque, smart shot maker Elias Rodl, physically ready Nolan Adekounle and 6’11 incredibly gifted athlete Matus Sedlak. From 2000 generation also Joshua Lubken is an interesting potential as he is 211cm long forward with inclination to play outside.
Turkish team will be led by do-it-all point guard and one of the best in his age group Mert Akay. He has also been invited to the Basketball Without Borders camp during NBA All-Star Weekend and this tournament will help to compare his development with others in his position. Akay will be accompanied by Swedish Olle Stumer and Cağdaş Atbaş, both as capable role players and defensive specialists at forward position for the Turkish side. Another guard in form recently is Efe Arıkan who will likely come of the bench for Akay. Can Kaan Turgut present scoring potential by driving to the basket and also excels in fast breaks. Two 2002 born players are listed and probably the biggest potential on this team is Tibet Deniz Görener. He is already between 6’7-6’8, pretty good playing with the ball in his hands and show near perfect shooting motion. The other is 6’9 center Tuğberk Altıntaş who will not likely play much as he is pretty raw at that moment.
REAL BETIS SEVILLA
Most eyes will be at one of the most skilled guards in this generation – Andrzej Pluta. Son of the best Polish shooter ever who was also considerably player with best work ethic. Junior has much more natural talent, positional size and moreover is real combo as he can create also for the teammates. He made a debut in ACB League and currently averages more than 20 points in EBA being one of the league leaders in this aspect. Biggest supporter will be Lithuanian Tomas Balciunas who is not as hot prospect anymore as previous years but in his age groups should stand out with solid production level. He is a strong power forward who can shoots occassional threes and takes pride in rebounding. Moreover he benefits from his experience in top Europe teams as Real Madrid. Another name to follow is Montenegrin Stefan Vlahovic who just won the silver medal in his homeland at FIBA U16s. He is an extremely athletic forward, whose main strength is the defense, plasticity and also ability to create his own shots. He is definitely one of the main purposes for going and watch this team.
Greek teams are finally trying to build real academies which can produce them a players for the first team. Hope for the future is definitely import Aleksej Pokusevski from Novi Sad who currently stands around 6’11 and reportedly possess quality guard skillset which help him to play as pick & roll ball handler and make impressive pull-up jumpers. Another prospect with high ceiling is Thomas Zevgaras – strong forward with good length and all around presence who participated in 2017 Jordan Brand Classic camp.