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FIBA Europe U18 Championship Scouting Reports: Centers

FIBA Europe U18 Championship Scouting Reports: Centers
Aug 10, 2015, 01:14 pm
Scouting reports on four of the top center prospects seen at the 2015 FIBA Europe U18 Championship in Volos, including Omer Yurtseven, Jonathan Jeanne, Laurynas Birutis and Leon Kratzer.
More FIBA Europe U18 Championship Content:
-U18 Scouting Reports: Power Forwards
-U18 Scouting Reports: Small Forwards
-U18 Scouting Reports: Shooting Guards
-U18 Scouting Reports: Point Guards
-Martynas Varnas Interview
-Killian Tillie Interview
-Richard Freudenberg Interview
-Jonathan Jeanne Interview
-Leon Kratzer Interview
-Isaiah Hartenstein Interview
-Tadas Sedekerskis Interview
-Frank Ntilikina Interview
-Verners Kohs Interview
-Kostja Mushidi Interview
-Lauri Markkanen Interview

Ivica Zubac, 7'0, Cibona Zagreb, Croatia, 1997

See our scouting report on Zubac from the FIBA U19 World Championship in Crete for a detailed breakdown.

Omer Yurtseven, 7'0, Fenerbahce, Turkey, 1998

Jonathan Givony

Strengths:
-Measured 6-10 without shoes at the Adidas EuroCamp this past spring. Has a solid 7-1 wingspan and 9-foot standing reach
-Has an excellent frame that will fill out nicely in time
-Fluid big man. Moves extremely well. Quick off feet. Plays above the rim with ease
-Very impressive scoring instincts for a player his size, especially his age
-Can operate in different spots on the floor.
-Strong enough to establish deep post position
-Has great patience, footwork and wherewithal inside the paint. Very comfortable operating with his back to the basket. Never looks like he's rushed
-Terrific target off cuts and pick and rolls with soft hands and excellent scoring instincts
-Can turn over either shoulder in the post
-Extremely soft touch around the basket. Has a few different release points on his shot. Can score in a variety of ways using scoop shots, floaters, hooks, etc. Uses the glass or can simply throw the ball in the basket with terrific touch
-Has already seen a handful of minutes in the Euroleague and Turkish league.
-Tremendous rebounder. Has great instincts pursuing loose balls.
-Can step out and make a mid-range jumper. Looks like he should be able to eventually step out and make 3s
-With quick feet, strong body and excellent IQ, he's impressive defensively when he's fully engaged at operating at full speed. Unfortunately that's not always the case

Weaknesses:
-Wingspan and standing reach is decent, but still just average for a NBA center. Will have to make up for it with consistent activity, timing and smarts as his career evolves.
-Doesn't always play with a chip on his shoulder. Lets game come to him
-So skilled that sometimes falls in love with the finesse game inside the paint. Doesn't get as deep as he can on the catch or backing down his opponent, and instead just throws ball up on rim hoping for the best. Hurts his efficiency as a post-scorer.
-Only a 49% career 2P% scorer. With his body and skill-level, should be much closer to 60%
-Not a great passer. A bit of a black hole. Doesn't do a great job of passing out of double teams.
-Lacks a degree of intensity at times. Doesn't always look like he's going full speed. Still learning how to fully use his talent and dominate games
-Really struggles stepping outside of the paint defensively. Doesn't bend his knees. Displays a low activity level at times, just going through the motions with the way he defends the pick and roll
-Not a consistent shooter yet at this stage
-Career 56% free throw shooter in 47 games

Outlook: Skilled 7-footer for whom everything comes easy, especially scoring inside the paint and rebounding. Very intelligent player who has been receiving high-level coaching from European basketball legend Zeljko Obradovic for the past two years. Played up a year at this tournament, and helped Turkey reach the finals. Has a great future ahead of him if he's committed to reaching his full potential.


Jonathan Jeanne, 7'2, INSEP, France, 1997

Jonathan Givony

Strengths:
-Has tremendous height for a center at around 7-2 in shoes
-Has an incredible 7-6 ½ wingspan that would rank him among the longest players in the NBA right off the bat
-Very fluid and mobile. Can play above the rim with ease. Runs floor well. Covers ground nicely. Can get to places on the court (around the basket) that very few players on the planet can
-Very skilled for a player his size, particularly his age
-A consistent presence on the offensive glass. Has soft hands. Averaged 5.8 offensive rebounds per-40 at U18s. Career 5.5 in FIBA competition
-Can handle the ball a bit, even in open court. Long strides
-Has a nice looking jumper (from waist up) and should be able to develop into a capable shooter in time
-Excellent footwork and body control with back to the basket. Can score inside the post, sometimes from long vantage points
-Impressive touch around the basket
-Good feel for the game. Can find open man cutting to the rim
-Tremendous potential defensively with combination of height, length and mobility
-Very good shot-blocker. 3.5 blocks per-40 at U18s. Career 3.5 in FIBA competition. Rotates and protects the basket
-Steps out quickly and impressively on pick and roll. Extremely mobile.
-Shows some potential switching out on perimeter. Can move feet with small, choppy steps. Uses length to contest shots impressively
-Gets in passing lanes frequently (3.1 at U18s, 2.7 career)

Weaknesses:
-Frame is very frail. Still many years away from reaching physical maturity.
-Lower body in particular is very thin
-Has high hips, which affects his balance
-Gets backed down frequently in the low post.
-Average defensive rebounder
-Shot just 50% from 2-point range at U18s. Not as good of a finisher as you'd expect around the basket with his combination of size, length and athleticism. Lacks a degree of strength and toughness inside the paint. Career 3.5 free throw attempts per-40 and 50% 2P% at FIBA and ANGT level.
-Does a poor job of drawing fouls and getting to the free throw line
-Shows potential with his jumper, but struggled badly to convert at U18s. Hit just 1/12 jumpers at the competition. Rushes his shot at times, doesn't always display great balance. Contorts body sideways on release
-Career 26/45 (58%) FT% in 31 games

Outlook: Raw, developing prospect with huge upside. Has rare physical tools to go along with a versatile skill-set on both ends of the floor. Signed a contract with Le Mans in Pro A and will likely spend most of his time in the Espoirs league next season. Has clear-cut NBA upside with a chance to be a very high draft pick if he continues to develop accordingly.


Georgios Papagiannis, 7'0, Panathinaikos, Greece, 1997

See our scouting report on Papagiannis from the FIBA U19 World Championship in Crete for a detailed breakdown.

Laurynas Birutis, 7'1, Zalgiris Kaunas, Lithuania, 1997

Jonathan Givony

Strengths:
-Excellent size for a center, measured 7-0 barefoot at the Adidas EuroCamp
-Solid wingspan (7-2) and big standing reach (9-3)
-Has nice mobility. Runs well. Fluid. Can play above the rim with ease
-Good skill-level inside the paint. Soft touch. Finishes with both hands. 62% 2P% at U18s
-Can finish in a variety of ways from different vantage points. Hooks, floaters, scoop shots, etc
-Skinny, but tough and active. Doesn't back down from stronger players
-Will back down equally sized players
-Reliable target on pick and roll. Very soft hands.
-Catches and finishes lobs off two feet
-Good offensive rebounder. 4.7 per-40 at U18s. Career 4.5 in 38 FIBA and ANGT games
-Has some timing as a shot-blocker
-Solid feel for game. Career 1/1 assist to turnover ratio. Can pass out of doubles and find the open man

Weaknesses:
-Has a narrow frame that will take a long time and hard work to fill out
-Very skinny legs. High hips
-Weighs only 214 pounds right now
-Struggles to step out and defend outside the paint. Very upright in stance.
-Gets backed down inside the paint defensively
-Poor free throw shooter. Ugly shooting mechanics (locked elbow). Not a threat to do much outside of the paint besides knock down an occasional 15-foot jumper
-Career 56% FT%

Outlook: Mobile, skilled 7-footer with a very thin frame. Was extremely productive in the 18 minutes per game he played coming off the bench, scoring efficiently on post-ups and off the ball, while rebounding and providing solid rim-protection. Will start the preseason with Zalgiris senior team and either play a minor role with them or move to second division team. How his body develops in the next few years will dictate what kind of NBA prospect he is.


Leon Kratzer, 7'0, Bamberg, Germany, 1997

Jonathan Givony

Strengths:
-7-footer with a very well developed frame
-Tremendous offensive rebounder (7.7 per-40).
-Uses big body to move players around in the post. Constantly in the mix for loose balls
-Doesn't need any plays run for him. Finds ways to score via the offensive glass
-Can establish very deep post position. Good target for drop-off passes.

Weaknesses:
-Plays primarily below the rim. Will miss some “easy” looks around the basket at times. Career 53% 2P% at FIBA level. Not great considering where his looks come from
-Does not possess a very high skill-level. Struggles when forced to do anything complex offensively outside of five feet.
-Has a rudimentary post game. Footwork is not very advanced. Lacks counter moves. Needs to improve off hand, touch. Lacks some patience and feel at times
-Struggles to pass out of double teams. Career 24 assists total in 1200+ minutes (one per 51 minutes) compared with 87 turnovers.
-Exceptionally poor free throw shooter. Has a very ugly looking stroke.
-Shot 32% from free throw line at U18s. Career 40% free throw shooter
-Average defender. Intensity level comes and goes. Late on rotations. Doesn't always get a hand up on shooters. Struggles to rotate out to perimeter. Gets posted up and scored on more than you'd like. Not likely to be a major rim protector at the pro level.

Outlook: Bruising big man with a very developed frame. Tremendous rebounder, particularly on the offensive glass. A cross between Aron Baynes and Furkan Aldemir? Is his dominance on the glass a product of junior competition, or can he translate his rebounding prowess to the senior level as well?

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