MATTEO VISINTIN (PG/SG, 6’2, 2004, Italy, Stella Azzurra).
Doubtless Matteo Visintin is one of the most intriguing prospects of Italian Basketball. Acquired by Stella Azzurra Rome in the summer of 2018 – coming from Azzurra Trieste, city in which the guy is born -, he is now competing in the Italian Serie B, the third local basketball’s level, also disputing some games in the U-18 championship. He had the opportunity to debut in the second Italian league with Roseto, thanks to the partnership established between Roman club and Roseto. Last January he played the Adidas NextGen tournament as well.
Serie B’s stats. 22 games: 14.7ppg, 5.0rpg, 2.1apg, 2.3spg, FGP: 50.2%, 3PT: 18.2%, FT: 74.3%.
First of all, there are two specific features that draw attention: the competitiveness and the personality he shows on the court. Despite being only 16 and not contending with the senior level before Stella Azzurra signed him, he didn’t struggle with the new physical effort. Naturally he has to improve physically to achieve the top-level, but he already owns a decent frame for his age; something that, in addiction to his outstanding defensive attitude, allows him to put pressure on the ball, to take up the contacts without avoiding them and to always have a good, balanced stance. His endurance, his anticipation instinct, the unbelievable footwork to slide and his hands and feet’s quickness make him a tenacious defender and are also the reasons why he is one of the best thieves of the Serie B. Eager to fight when he is involved in mismatch’s situations, too. Always ready to work on the pass lanes, with deflections or anticipations due to the length of his wings. Quick to recover the position when he has been beaten as well. He always has a bright body language, from which you can notice his determination and dedication. It is truly remarkable his ability to clean up after making a mistake: ready to come back in defense after a wrong decision.
Coming to talk about his offensive game, he is a very skilled player who could score in several ways. One of his better characteristics is the mid-range jump shot. Besides the fluidity with which he is able to execute the technical move, it is noteworthy the way he “prepares” it, trying to create separation off the defender before running a pick and roll in order to create some space. He is also talented to create his own shot when the defense is set and the offense has not been able to share the ball quickly. To do that, he takes advantage from his very good ball handling, about which he has still a room of potential. The advantage he has consists in the fact that he can perform the move going right or left, being comfortable with both hands, although he could still improve his weak hand’s skills. But this is just one part of his game.
Visintin is also a tremendous open court’s player: he can grab a defensive rebound and go straight, “coast to coast” to the basket. He knows the lanes to attack, showing all his athleticism with his strides to go to the rim. He indifferently whips the ball with both hands; the power of his weak hand’s handle is amazing for the age. He immediately provokes the defense to let the defenders react to his decisions.
He is always ready to play and active: able to get the correct spacing, capable at offering the right pass lanes, intelligent at figuring out how to throw off the defender, ready with the “triple-threat” position. He feels comfortable at playing with the ball in his hands, but also off the ball. He can help at rebounding. He could be more creative to generate advantages, but he already owns lead guard’s flashes with good, crafty court vision, so it will be an ongoing process with the time.
The comprehension of the game is good, but obviously he has to complete the process: sometimes, for example, he “kills” the handle loosing the possession, due to his being undecided either passing or shooting and that can condition the choices he makes; sometimes the execution of a fundamental is not so much fluid and “safe”, so he would need to mechanize these stuffs. He certainly has to widen his range; in fact, he does not have an overall confidence in his three-point shot and that lack sometimes leads him to refuse some shots, taking bad decisions. He could improve at finishing in the traffic as well: his strong and quick first step, united to a remarkable ball handling, allows him to beat the defender, but he has still extensive room for improvement to finish at the rim, if he will get better physically. He will probably grow again as regards the height and strengthen his physical tools will be important to avoid to get overpowered when he will face opponents with a certain size.
In conclusion, Matteo Visintin owns everything he needs to become a top-level player: he has an advanced IQ for the age, he is a passionate, determined guy, he has constancy and intensity on defense, he is a plus athlete, he has developed technique on offense for the age which sums up for a stunning upside. If he will improve some parts of the game, sky is the limit!