U15 competitions are great to take the first look at the potential stars who are not widely known yet and can draw a lot of attention next season at FIBA U16 European Championships. However despite the fact that one year makes a huge difference at this stage of development some kids are ready to play with older generation. That was the reason behind the absence of Luc Van Slooten, Len Schoormann, Ariel Hukporti and Noah Jallow in German team. Also Croatia lacked Boris Tisma in the roster and unfortunately Roko Prkacin got injured after 2 minutes of the first game. Below short notes on the most intriguing players participating in 2017 Ramunas Siskauskas Tournament:
Kasparas Jonauskas – Very aggressive Forward. Attacks with a lot of energy. Athletic with outstanding frame. Can buldoze his way in isolations but seems to be left side heavy. Also has a bit push shot which is a bad sign for such a strong kid who should easily get it off with proper technique even from deep range.
Other notable names: Azuolas Tubelis (MVP), Edgaras Preibys, Eirinas Pilkauskas (thinking very long term) and super smart Augustas Marciulonis.
Kriss Helmanis – His father Uvis was a long time pro around Baltic countries and kind of prototype stretch big. Kriss is other player with different build but if there is one thing in common it’s shooting skills. Although a bit unorthodox mechanics which causes side spin rotation, kid managed to polish his pull up J to the extremely high level regarding his age. You can also see really good IQ. Can handle a bit but far from being fluid, quick and well coordinated.
Other notable names: Rodijs Macoha, Ricards Vanags (thinking very long term) and finesse PG – Toms Skuja.
Ivan Perasovic – Four man with very good leaping ability. Tries to handle a bit but still raw in this regard and mostly attacks close outs in straight lines. Has some developable perimeter game and intriguing defensive potential.
Other notable names: Matej Bosnjak (a bit overmature but displays rare footwork and low post moves considering age group) and perfectly fluid & long – Leo Menalo.
Elias Rodl – Pretty much he lead unexperienced and starless national team on his back in Kaunas. Beside basketball genes he is gifted with good physical predispositions which allow him to excel on both ends. However thinking long term doesn’t seem to have Top potential. Needs to work a lot on left hand and creating for others.
Other notable names: Lennart Weber, Linus Hoffmann and Miles Osei.