Albert Schweitzer Tournament’s 2018 was unfortunately a bit disappointing as the teams didn’t came here with their best available squads. Germany clinched the championship in GBG Halle against Australia and they were the top team loaded with talents. Here are the players who impressed in this traditional mini World Cup.
Jonas Mattiseck (PG, Germany)
The unanimous MVP of the tournament, Jonas Mattiseck controlled the tempo in all the games for Germany. He was the leader of the champions and it was an all-around phenomenal showcase of his abilities and mentality. He shot 62.5% from 3s, was second in assists and also the co-scoring leader along with Hendrik Drescher. The most impressive thing we saw from him was his eagerness to take responsibility at breaking points of the games. He scored several clutch baskets in different matches and allowed his team to play well balanced offensive game with his playmaking ability. He got more quicker with the ball which allows him to create separation from his defender and creating appropriate passing angles. Never hesitated to shoot the ball when he found space, has a very good release for a lefty. On the defensive end, he displayed his motor and relentless mindset. German prospect possess notable basketball IQ, he rarely turned the ball over especially against pressure, seemed comfortable and confident. He made other backcourt players with him more efficient especially Obiesie. Still he does not have the tremendous upside to be a superstar but can be a decent guard for Eurocup level teams in the upcoming years.
Federico Miaschi (SG, Italy)
Italian guard was an All Tournament Team member and the top scorer of the tournament with 22.9 points per game. He showed super quick jumper with high conversion rate beyond the 3pt line and from midrange. Was able to create his own shot with fakes and first step. Standing at 6’5 is not afraid of contact in any way. He made use of his wide frame and long arms. Likes to play at high tempo, excelled in transition game. Very fast and determined to get to the rim. He made the much needed extra passes on perimeter even though being a good shooter himself which is a big plus considering he was a bit selfish in the earlier tournaments this year. Quick at changing directions and has a good ball handling ability. Underrated athlete with decent vertical as well. Can get into microwave mode to score bunches in sequences throughout the game. Very active on the glasses, fought for offensive rebounds with high energy. Willing defender but needs to get his lower body stronger in order to cope with physically gifted and athletic opponents. Did not lost the ball despite a high usage rate on offense. Defensive output will be a deciding factor for his role in the pro level. Definitely a desirable player for top-tier Italian teams at this point.
Deni Avdija (G/F, Israel)
Surely a one to note for the future. All around forward had some ups and downs throughout the tournament compared to his standards. It’s safe to state that he made a progress since last summer. He became quicker, developed his ball handling and plays with higher intensity now. Above average control of the ball allowed him to glide towards the basket in this tournament. Has a high and fluid shooting motion however still he needs to increase his percentage beyond the arc and improve shot selection. Avdija can get out of rhythm when his shots are not falling and he needs to adjust his game in these kind of situations. He can do a little bit of everything – very talented overall. His body is a work in progress but has a sky high potential. He had solid defensive contribution in the tournament but if he develops his body in a good way it will definitely be better. He was significantly dedicated in games, aggressively forced inside with power, focused and has a killer mentality. He sprints in transition game, plays it very efficiently with either passing the ball for wide open looks or getting ahead of everyone with nice pace. Just OK as of now against contact, struggles to read the defensive weak side helps underneath the rim. Another thing I like about him is his slyness to get into rebounding positions in both sides of the court (averaged 9.1 rebounds per game.) He has to balance aggressiveness and composure in order to sustain his efficiency in top level basketball.
Nikita Mihaylovsky (SF/SG, Russia)
Nikita had a breakout showing in Mannheim. Lead the tournament in efficiency rating per 40 minutes with an impressive 30.1 rate. Mihaylovsky presented an ever scoring threat on the court. Aggressive offensive minded player who impressed with his shot selection and effectiveness on the court and shot selection is a precursor of the level of his offensive basketball IQ. Avtodor player gets it off with quick trigger, sets his feet up right and fast on his jumper. He is poised and looks very comfortable dribbling the ball down the court. Freak athlete of nature but has an enormous issue with strength. Lack of low body strength cause him to get bullied on defense. He shouldn’t be classified just as a volume scorer as he can distribute the ball well while driving to the rim. Has played transitions and ISO’s impressively but struggled heavily when opposing team brought double teams on him. Not the best mechanics you will ever see but his shot is more of an instinctual one – talented shooter who can improve his percentage later on. He does a lot of extra things on the court – takes position on both sides of the court appropriately, gets steals with good reading of the game, fights for the ball with hustle and so on. He was also the rebounding leader of his team with 7.1, helping the team which lacked big man big time. What raises questions is if he is able to be that efficient on pro level. It seems he will need more time to establish and master his skillset and improve his strength in order to compete.
Franz Wagner (G/F, Germany)
German wonderkid was recovering from an injury so he did not played much in Albert Schweitzer Tournament. Nevertheless he was one of the top prospects in this tournament when we look at long term potentials of the players. He is around 6’8 with undeveloped body and still growing. He specializes in shooting the ball but somehow was a bit disappointing from 3s this time. It’s easy to see his a bit improved ball handling but still there is room for further refinement. Franz is a team player, waits for queue to be most effective. Had a more secondary role as a year younger player in a loaded Germany team and it was just fine. He will need time to develop his body in order to be more competitive inside and on perimeter defense.
Joshua Obiesie (G/F, Germany)
Another German late-bloomer had his first stint with national team and it was more than enough to recognize his energy and talent. Very quick on his feet and a high motor, energy guy. He had a bit restricted role in this team and played alongside Jonas Mattiseck as secondary ball handler. A lefty that can shoot the ball very well from all over the perimeter and can also penetrate thanks to his athleticism. Provides good support in rebounding thanks to his tools. Can create his own shot on midrange with variety of moves but seemed like he did not want to rush possessions in this German team. There are problems considering his playing style. Needs to improve his weak hand, he struggles to finish to his right. Another problem is that he is a good combo guard now but will he be able to play the point is debatable. Can turn into both a point guard or a shooting guard in couple of years but the PG polish is still in the making. He is not a specialist at any of his skills for now so it will take some more time to see his best.
Hendrik Drescher (PF/C, Germany)
Biggest advantage of him is that he is much stronger compared to last year which allows him to be utterly effective on rebounds and low post offense. Of course the lack of solid bigs in the tournament paved the way for great performances but still the developments cannot be unseen. Been great stretch option on offense for a while now, Drescher is a solid shooter on the perimeter as well. He upgraded to be an average athlete with a strong body, did not seem slow like in the earlier tournaments. His passing game should be appreciated – he really helped the flow of the ball on offense. Defensively, best we can say is that he makes average contribution regarding he is an undersized big with not much of an athleticism. Struggles to catch up with more athletic bigs in the game. Will add value to most of the BBL teams in rotation in the upcoming years.
Aleksander Ershov (SG/SF, Russia)
Missed three games because of a minor injury, AST 2018 was a mediocre tournament for Aleksander Ershov. CSKA Moscow product gave the impression of a ball-waster with low percentage, 38% on field goal attempts. His strength has been a factor since now and it is still a vital part of his style as a shot creator. His stock is stagnating as a result of him not fulfilling the expectations. It wasn’t like he was the leader of the team but still has tremendous explosiveness and scoring potential.
Mattia Palumbo (G/F, Italy)
As an undersize forward, Mattia was the top rebounder of the tournament. Has a good body coordination and eager to fight for the ball with strength anytime. He shots the ball very well either from midrange or 3pt line but his stroke is mechanical and a little slow. It was impressive to see him fill up the stat sheet without drawing much attention. Plays for the team and scores when needed. He also handles the ball well but can’t say he is fast or athletic enough to create on his own against bigger opponents. Also a very good assister – made the extra passes while driving for assists. Very good understanding of the game but he will need to be more quicker in order to show his skill set on pro level. Just an OK defender for now.
Mert Akay (PG, Turkey)
Akay, slowed down by an injury on his dominant hand, performed OK for his standards. In a disappointing tournament for Turkey team, he looked like the best player on the team. Turkey struggled to share the ball on offense when he was on the bench. He was better than expected from threes even with a minor injury on his wrist but was struggling at the line. He is getting better at mid range pull-ups which is a certain upgrade to his game. He was furious attacking the rim with special athleticism and good core body strength. Very quick changing directions with the ball and likes to run the show on fast breaks. His low stance and work rate on defense was more than desirable. Limited to only 19 minutes per game in the whole tournament.
Timothe Crusol (PG/SG, France)
Crusol started the tournament a little slow but he got back on track in the later games. Still he is not used to play alone at point and performs better when he plays around dominant guards. Has good feel for the game, handles the ball well. Body is promising for the pro level with a decent wingspan. Was better playing with Lucas Bourhis, in order to play PG in professional basketball he must definitely develop his playmaking skills.
Luc Van Slooten (G/F, Germany)
2 years younger than the competition, Van Slooten got more a of restricted role on the team. Scored the big part of his points beyond the arc with spot up jumpers. He didn’t show bad body language like in the earlier tournaments, seemed like he embraced his role in this team which is certainly an improvement. Showed his capability as a passer too.
Omar Dieng (PF, Italy)
Italian forward with massive body went with the high tempo flow of the Italian team whole tournament. He wasn’t afraid to take his jumpshots confidently but the conversion rate is was very low (24% from 3s). He made use of his strong body and footwork around the paint. Average ball handler, relies on the guards a lot. Needs to handle the ball better to be more efficient on the perimeter. Was very active on defense but not quick to catch up with athletic opponents.
Kay Bruhnke (SF, Germany)
Not the greatest performance yet again what we saw from Bruhnke was decent. Physically looks mature with a defined body – only needs to bulk up a little. 6’7 can play every position from 1-4 thanks to his size and ability to take care of the ball. Will likely be a point forward as a pro, he lacks the much needed quick first step to devastate opposing players. Communicates and organizes the team when he is on the court. Shooting stroke looked a little off, had trouble to consistently hit the shots beyond the arc. Gave an edge on rebounds to his team averaging 4.3 RPG. Needs to find ways to score more often as he is not good enough on contact inside and his on jumpshots.
Jason George (SF, Germany)
Amazing physical profile that will help him a find a place on pro basketball market. Good athlete with impressive motor, does help his team a lot with his energy in the transition. All around talent, with a very important deficiency which is shooting. Doesn’t take much jumpshots but there is still hope for him to develop a decent shooting game. His feel and understanding for the game is exciting especially on off ball movements you observe he knows where to be. His shooting performance will determine his position as a NBA prospect.
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