There is no better time of the year to update the rankings than after completing all the FIBA European youth championship. This is rare opportunity to see almost every prospect from all over the continent gathered together and compare their progress and potential. Here’s our quick rundown on the most notable changes since we opened our website and published first 1999 ranking about three months ago:
Luka Doncic is having phenomenal summer with Slovenia and keeps being on another (6 stars) level. However there is one more prospect from this generation making jaw-dropping performances with senior team – Dzanan Musa. Bosnian hoops phenom is still Top 20 NBA Draft talent. He seems to have left his issues behind him and surpassed Isaac Bonga in new ranking who still struggles shooting wise and cannot limit his turnover numbers. German star has great length, fluidity but his explosiveness leaves a lot to be desired and he can’t beat anyone without ball screen.
Our Top 5 is completed by the best Center of this generation – Berke Atar and likely to end up being the best long term – Oliver Sarr. Wake Forest committ didn’t make offensive impact in weaken French U18 team but his athleticism, mid range and defensive potential are extremely intriguing for 7 footer.
Jaylen Hoard is last players with 5 stars in his rankings. He is followed by Dino Radoncic and Mega Leks products – Goga Bitadze (could easily be higher but his IQ and consistency against similar sized players keep raising questions) and Nikola Miskovic (MVP of U18s who proved many doubters and showed warrior mentality). Top 10 is closed by French physical specimen – Yves Pons.
It’s uncommon nowadays with all the games and informations spreaded online to find a lot of discoveries at this age. However you can never be 100% sure about the potential of given player and some of them turn out to be total late bloomers and make a tremendous jump in very short period. 4 newcomers in our Top 50 in chronological order:
Marko Simonovic’s advanced skillset brought many oohs and aahs not only from supporters but also scouts who normally doesn’t show much emotions while evaluating players. It was Marko’s third summer in row with Montenegro youth teams. Previously he was important player with potential but now put his name on the map as a one of the best big guys in entire continent. Should be able to prove himself quickly in Italian A2 which will most likely be his trampoline to the best European leagues.
Issuf Sanon was the biggest sensation of the summer. Ukrainian swaggy combo guard was too quick and too good for any defender in Bratislava. After every next game he was getting more and more recognition and people started to say about Issuf as high major or even NBA prospect louder and with bigger confidence. Sanon possess superior athleticism and is extremely fun to watch. He still has some flaws to his game but even more crucial for his further development than the amount of work he needs to put in will be the process of leaving his current team.
Jurij Macura arrived in Baskonia some time ago and was far from being such a hot prospect. However Baskonia may be doing even the best job in Spain at the moment in maximizing the potential of young players. He was the youngest player in FIBA U20s this summer where he impressed with his size, mobility, skill and competitiveness combination.
Great Britain had very successfull summer in every age group. The man behind this in Tallinn was definitely Mccalla. At times he looked like mid major version of Kawhi Leonard. His neverending energy is just hard to believe in. His length, quickness and relentless attitude makes him a nightmare matchup. Upcoming season Mccalla will spend in JUCO but probably it’s just the matter of time until he committs to some high major school.
Georgios Kalaitzakis – thanks to his size, handle and top notch shoot creating ability he can get to the NBA down the road.
Sani Campara – Bosnian guard took over the burden during Musa’s absence.He is leaving Real Madrid and let’s hope will find the team with similar setting to BiH U18.
Lukas Uleckas – joy to watch. Very rare to see elite shooter with such an amazing pick and roll distribution skills.
Lukasz Kolenda – finesse Polish PG. Explosive, competitive and artistic on the court. His only problems is lack of composure. After few amazing plays there always comes ridiculously silly mistake. ALWAYS.
Osas Ehigiator – grew up last year. Dominant inside, great low post defender.
Guglielmo Caruso – one of the most underrated players in this generation.
Muhaymin Mustafa – amazing all around athleticism. Checks multiple boxes
Matthias Tass – helped Estonian team to get promotion. Advanced IQ, skillset and passing ability allow him to survive lack of athleticism
Luka Brajkovic – Austrian big man gained a lot of weight without affecting his mobility. Was able to fight more inside. Adding perimeter skills and improving awareness are the keys to reaching full potential
Out of the mix
Ahmet Can Duran