ImageImageImageImageImage

U17 World Championship: THE COMPETITION

Moderators: Yuri Vaultin, pbj, Rhettmatic, Duffman100, Alfred, DG88, Patman, Morris_Shatford

Hair Canada
Senior
Posts: 619
And1: 645
Joined: Nov 02, 2017

U17 World Championship: THE COMPETITION 

Post#1 » by Hair Canada » Wed Jun 27, 2018 9:24 pm

This year, the championship takes place in Argentina (Rosario and Santa Fe), with 16 participants from around the world. Similar to previous championships, the teams will first play in four groups of four (3 games) and then all 16 teams will face up in three elimination games, leading up to the final (7 games altogether). Canada is in Group C, with Montenegro, Egypt, and New-Zealand. We meet Montenegro on the first day, and they will probably be our strongest rival in this group, so this will be a key game for group positioning.

Since it’s a bit long, I’ll divide this into two posts. The first will look at the other teams and the second will focus on the Canadian roster.

So who else is worth following?

The US is usually on another level in these competitions and the current team is no exception. In fact, from what I’ve seen last summer at the U16 FIBA Americas, this is one of the stronger US teams I remember. This is due to their very dominant two centers, Vernon Carrey and James Weisman, but also the fact that this might be just about the best team that the Americans can put up (unlike the relatively weak US team in last year’s U19 WC). Both Carrey and Weisman are good to great athletes, powerful big men with very strong physique, but also and a nice skillset (Carrey is more polished, while Wiseman is a real physical specimen). The two of them just crushed the completion and looked like grown men playing against boys. The US just sailed through the tournament, beating everyone, including Canada in the finals, by a 40-60 points margin with no one on their roster playing more than 20 minutes a game.

Beyond the two bigs, just about any player for the Americans looked really good. The level of athleticism, as always, was head and shoulders above the competition, including Canada, but the skill level and shooting were also quite superb. I was particularly impressed with Jalen Green, Jalen Suggs, Scottie Barnes, Jeremy Roach, and RJ Hunter, but really all 12 players on the roster just seemed better than everyone on any of the other teams. In short, I don’t think anyone stands a chance against the Americans this year, although France might be able to give them a better fight than the others. So the competition pretty much begins from the second place down.

Besides the US, traditionally the strongest competition comes from the European teams, from the south (mainly Argentina and Brazil) and Central (mainly Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic) American teams, and from Australia.

The rest of America: I watched the American competition last summer at the FIBA Americas U16 and frankly was quite unimpressed. Argentina, Puerto Rico and The DR are the other teams that reached the tournament. Despite our very missing roster and mediocre team play, Canada beat all of them relatively easily and clearly had superior talent. The DR did have two interesting prospects I thought. The first is Jean Claudio Montero, an athletic guard who was still 13yo at the time and has not turned 15 yet, but still got some minutes and showed nice potential. The other was David Jones Garcia, another young athletic guard/forward (only 16yo), who is a good scorer and has very good instincts on defense (3 steals a game). PR has an energetic 6’2 PG, Curbello Rodriguez, who led the competition in scoring with 22 a game. Argentina played its usual team-oriented game, but no one really impressed me there.

Europe: Traditionally, this is where the toughest competitors come from at these competitions. This year, the teams that made it to the championship are France, Montenegro, Serbia, Turkey, and Croatia. I’ve watched quite a few games during last year’s U16 European tournament, and again was not blown away by most of these teams. That said, as we’ve seen before, any of them may beat Canada on any given day. This was the case in the quarterfinals of this tournament two years ago, when perhaps our most talented young team ever (Barrett, Nembhard, Shi-ttu, Bradeikis, Akot, and more) lost to a less-talented but tall and disciplined Turkish team in the quarterfianls. Croatia has a nice combo-forward, Matej Rudan, who can space the floor, but they actually had a fairly weak team that I think was quite lucky to get to this tournament from what I’ve seen. Turkey had good team-play and can make life hard for opponents, but no individual player there impressed me much. Serbia seemed a bit better, but again I wasn’t blown out of the water. Their tall SF Djordje Pazin showed a good stroke from the perimeter and some nice offensive aggressiveness. Montenegro had home court advantage, which helped them get to the final game. They have a couple of nice athletic guards/forwards (Tomasevic, Kljajic, and Vlahovic), play excellent and very inspired team basketball, and will probably be Canada’s toughest rival in the group stage. I wouldn’t count out a loss against them.

France needs to be singled out here. From what I’ve seen, this is the best and most talented team in this tournament after the US. Last summer it was led by two fantastic athletic guards, Killian Hayes and Theo Maledon. Hayes is a 6’5 PG who I think can be a top-10 draft pick in two years and is probably the best non-American prospect in this tournament. He finished the championship last year as the MVP with 16.5 points, 7 rebounds, 5 assists, and 3 steals a game, but he’s quite young (hasn’t turned 17 yet) and seems to have improved significantly since, playing big minutes and showing excellent production in France’s U21 league. Hayes is an explosive and very skilled guard, with great handle and composure. Also a decent shooter, though that’s not his forte at this point, and a very good defender. Maledon was also excellent. He’s a big CG (6’5; 6’9 wingspan), who’s also improved significantly since last year’s championship, where he had 14.5 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists, and almost 3 steals a game. He is not as explosive, confident and assertive as Hayes, but still an excellent prospect who already gives great production on both ends of the floor. Good shooter, good feel for the game, footwork, and change of speeds, and also nice passing and instincts. All in all, another first-round draft prospect.

The scary thing about the French team is that the talent pool doesn’t end there. They have another really talented guard, Malcolm Cazalon, who didn’t play with the cadet team last summer (not sure why). He’s even slightly bigger than the other two (6’6 with a 6’11 wingspan) and a very good athlete. Much like Hayes and Maledon, Cazalon has also made great improvements to his game over the last year and boasts considerable scoring abilities, along with a good handle and an explosive game, although he still needs to improve his shot and decision making.

In my view, all three of them are top-5 European prospects in this age group and all have clear NBA potential. In short, France seems to have enough talent and firepower to beat any non-US team in this tournament and I think they are also better than Canada, although it might be a close call. If the two end up facing off, it should be really fun to see the matchup between this French backcourt and the Canadian one with Patterson, McNeilly, and Hemmings/Moncreiff.

Australia: Together with France and Canada, the Australians seem like the most promising future senior national team outside of the US. They have a phenomenal talent pool, though perhaps not as deep as the French and Canadian ones, but really top-heavy. As for this current team, in April they easily won the FIBA Asia U16, beating New Zealand in the semis and China in the final, both games by 25 points difference. Their best current player and future prospect is Tamuri Wigness – a lightning-quick 6’0 PG with a fantastic handle and very good creativeness. He’s only 16 (class of 2021), but reminds me (and others) a bit of a young Kyrie Irving (another “Australian”). Wigness is maybe the most talented non-American player in the competition, along with Hayes from France and the Canadian Patterson. Next to him, Wani Swaka Lo Buluk is a SF with good size (6’6). Excellent shooter from behind the arc, with good shot mechanics (although release is a bit slow). Not a great athlete, but strong and fundamentally sound. Both Wigness and Buluk scored 15 points a game and were the best prospects on the team.

Beyond these two players, Australia also has a couple of nice role players, in particular, the two Lukes -- Travers (good athleticism, slashing and passing skills, although he often plays big in the Ozzies’ undersized roster) and Jackson. Australia is not a tall team (tallest rotation player is 6’7), so they are likely to be eaten alive in the paint by the Americans. But, like most former Australian teams, their game is very team-oriented and they play disciplined and with a lot of spirit, so I think they can make some noise and can make life hard for bigger and perhaps more talented teams. In fact, Canada met Australia for a scrimmage game yesterday and was hardly able to squeeze a tight one-point-difference win. Certainly will not be a walk in the park if they meet again.

Should be a really interesting tournament!
Hair Canada
Senior
Posts: 619
And1: 645
Joined: Nov 02, 2017

Re: U17 World Championship: THE COMPETITION 

Post#2 » by Hair Canada » Wed Jun 27, 2018 10:59 pm

Hair Canada wrote:This year, the championship takes place in Argentina (Rosario and Santa Fe), with 16 participants from around the world. Similar to previous championships, the teams will first play in four groups of four (3 games) and then all 16 teams will face up in three elimination games, leading up to the final (7 games altogether). Canada is in Group C, with Montenegro, Egypt, and New-Zealand. We meet Montenegro on the first day, and they will probably be our strongest rival in this group, so this will be a key game for group positioning.

Since it’s a bit long, I’ll divide this into two posts. The first will look at the other teams and the second will focus on the Canadian roster.

So who else is worth following?

The US is usually on another level in these competitions and the current team is no exception. In fact, from what I’ve seen last summer at the U16 FIBA Americas, this is one of the stronger US teams I remember. This is due to their very dominant two centers, Vernon Carrey and James Weisman, but also the fact that this might be just about the best team that the Americans can put up (unlike the relatively weak US team in last year’s U19 WC). Both Carrey and Weisman are good to great athletes, powerful big men with very strong physique, but also and a nice skillset (Carrey is more polished, while Wiseman is a real physical specimen). The two of them just crushed the completion and looked like grown men playing against boys. The US just sailed through the tournament, beating everyone, including Canada in the finals, by a 40-60 points margin with no one on their roster playing more than 20 minutes a game.

Beyond the two bigs, just about any player for the Americans looked really good. The level of athleticism, as always, was head and shoulders above the competition, including Canada, but the skill level and shooting were also quite superb. I was particularly impressed with Jalen Green, Jalen Suggs, Scottie Barnes, Jeremy Roach, and RJ Hunter, but really all 12 players on the roster just seemed better than everyone on any of the other teams. In short, I don’t think anyone stands a chance against the Americans this year, although France might be able to give them a better fight than the others. So the competition pretty much begins from the second place down.

Besides the US, traditionally the strongest competition comes from the European teams, from the south (mainly Argentina and Brazil) and Central (mainly Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic) American teams, and from Australia.

The rest of America: I watched the American competition last summer at the FIBA Americas U16 and frankly was quite unimpressed. Argentina, Puerto Rico and The DR are the other teams that reached the tournament. Despite our very missing roster and mediocre team play, Canada beat all of them relatively easily and clearly had superior talent. The DR did have two interesting prospects I thought. The first is Jean Claudio Montero, an athletic guard who was still 13yo at the time and has not turned 15 yet, but still got some minutes and showed nice potential. The other was David Jones Garcia, another young athletic guard/forward (only 16yo), who is a good scorer and has very good instincts on defense (3 steals a game). PR has an energetic 6’2 PG, Curbello Rodriguez, who led the competition in scoring with 22 a game. Argentina played its usual team-oriented game, but no one really impressed me there.

Europe: Traditionally, this is where the toughest competitors come from at these competitions. This year, the teams that made it to the championship are France, Montenegro, Serbia, Turkey, and Croatia. I’ve watched quite a few games during last year’s U16 European tournament, and again was not blown away by most of these teams. That said, as we’ve seen before, any of them may beat Canada on any given day. This was the case in the quarterfinals of this tournament two years ago, when perhaps our most talented young team ever (Barrett, Nembhard, Shi-ttu, Bradeikis, Akot, and more) lost to a less-talented but tall and disciplined Turkish team in the quarterfianls. Croatia has a nice combo-forward, Matej Rudan, who can space the floor, but they actually had a fairly weak team that I think was quite lucky to get to this tournament from what I’ve seen. Turkey had good team-play and can make life hard for opponents, but no individual player there impressed me much. Serbia seemed a bit better, but again I wasn’t blown out of the water. Their tall SF Djordje Pazin showed a good stroke from the perimeter and some nice offensive aggressiveness. Montenegro had home court advantage, which helped them get to the final game. They have a couple of nice athletic guards/forwards (Tomasevic, Kljajic, and Vlahovic), play excellent and very inspired team basketball, and will probably be Canada’s toughest rival in the group stage. I wouldn’t count out a loss against them.

France needs to be singled out here. From what I’ve seen, this is the best and most talented team in this tournament after the US. Last summer it was led by two fantastic athletic guards, Killian Hayes and Theo Maledon. Hayes is a 6’5 PG who I think can be a top-10 draft pick in two years and is probably the best non-American prospect in this tournament. He finished the championship last year as the MVP with 16.5 points, 7 rebounds, 5 assists, and 3 steals a game, but he’s quite young (hasn’t turned 17 yet) and seems to have improved significantly since, playing big minutes and showing excellent production in France’s U21 league. Hayes is an explosive and very skilled guard, with great handle and composure. Also a decent shooter, though that’s not his forte at this point, and a very good defender. Maledon was also excellent. He’s a big CG (6’5; 6’9 wingspan), who’s also improved significantly since last year’s championship, where he had 14.5 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists, and almost 3 steals a game. He is not as explosive, confident and assertive as Hayes, but still an excellent prospect who already gives great production on both ends of the floor. Good shooter, good feel for the game, footwork, and change of speeds, and also nice passing and instincts. All in all, another first-round draft prospect.

The scary thing about the French team is that the talent pool doesn’t end there. They have another really talented guard, Malcolm Cazalon, who didn’t play with the cadet team last summer (not sure why). He’s even slightly bigger than the other two (6’6 with a 6’11 wingspan) and a very good athlete. Much like Hayes and Maledon, Cazalon has also made great improvements to his game over the last year and boasts considerable scoring abilities, along with a good handle and an explosive game, although he still needs to improve his shot and decision making.

In my view, all three of them are top-5 European prospects in this age group and all have clear NBA potential. In short, France seems to have enough talent and firepower to beat any non-US team in this tournament and I think they are also better than Canada, although it might be a close call. If the two end up facing off, it should be really fun to see the matchup between this French backcourt and the Canadian one with Patterson, McNeilly, and Hemmings/Moncreiff.

Australia: Together with France and Canada, the Australians seem like the most promising future senior national team outside of the US. They have a phenomenal talent pool, though perhaps not as deep as the French and Canadian ones, but really top-heavy. As for this current team, in April they easily won the FIBA Asia U16, beating New Zealand in the semis and China in the final, both games by 25 points difference. Their best current player and future prospect is Tamuri Wigness – a lightning-quick 6’0 PG with a fantastic handle and very good creativeness. He’s only 16 (class of 2021), but reminds me (and others) a bit of a young Kyrie Irving (another “Australian”). Wigness is maybe the most talented non-American player in the competition, along with Hayes from France and the Canadian Patterson. Next to him, Wani Swaka Lo Buluk is a SF with good size (6’6). Excellent shooter from behind the arc, with good shot mechanics (although release is a bit slow). Not a great athlete, but strong and fundamentally sound. Both Wigness and Buluk scored 15 points a game and were the best prospects on the team.

Beyond these two players, Australia also has a couple of nice role players, in particular, the two Lukes -- Travers (good athleticism, slashing and passing skills, although he often plays big in the Ozzies’ undersized roster) and Jackson. Australia is not a tall team (tallest rotation player is 6’7), so they are likely to be eaten alive in the paint by the Americans. But, like most former Australian teams, their game is very team-oriented and they play disciplined and with a lot of spirit, so I think they can make some noise and can make life hard for bigger and perhaps more talented teams. In fact, Canada met Australia for a scrimmage game yesterday and was hardly able to squeeze a tight one-point-difference win. Certainly will not be a walk in the park if they meet again.

Should be a really interesting tournament!


Here's a link to my other post on team Canada:

viewtopic.php?f=32&t=1719573&p=67055703#p67055703
howlin mad axer
Sixth Man
Posts: 1,586
And1: 1,154
Joined: May 30, 2018
Location: Gothamilton
         

Re: U17 World Championship: THE COMPETITION 

Post#3 » by howlin mad axer » Wed Jun 27, 2018 11:01 pm

Is their a Coles notes edition for your post?
mojo13
Sixth Man
Posts: 1,722
And1: 1,309
Joined: Mar 25, 2014
   

Re: U17 World Championship: THE COMPETITION 

Post#4 » by mojo13 » Thu Jun 28, 2018 12:16 am

Great work Hair. Loads of us here that really appreciate the work you put into this.
Some goofs don't realize that this is the best analysis anywhere on the Interwebs for these topics.
TheBunk
Senior
Posts: 545
And1: 15
Joined: Oct 28, 2008

Re: U17 World Championship: THE COMPETITION 

Post#5 » by TheBunk » Thu Jun 28, 2018 5:52 am

Hayes looks like he has that special feel/iq for the game, similar to Harden. I'd be surprised if he's not a top 3 pick in whichever draft he declares for.
Hair Canada
Senior
Posts: 619
And1: 645
Joined: Nov 02, 2017

Re: U17 World Championship: THE COMPETITION 

Post#6 » by Hair Canada » Thu Jun 28, 2018 7:50 pm

TheBunk wrote:Hayes looks like he has that special feel/iq for the game, similar to Harden. I'd be surprised if he's not a top 3 pick in whichever draft he declares for.


Yes, I agree. Really liked what I've seen from him so far. Really early to tell about the draft though. He'll be competing with the young Americans and some of them look very promising (Green, Barnes, and Hunter, to name just a few).
Hair Canada
Senior
Posts: 619
And1: 645
Joined: Nov 02, 2017

Re: U17 World Championship: THE COMPETITION 

Post#7 » by Hair Canada » Fri Jun 29, 2018 12:15 pm

Some more about the main stars of the competition (including Patterson, Carey, Hayes, and Wigness):

http://www.fiba.basketball/world/u17/2018/news/sensational-seven-the-top-stars-of-the-2018-u17-world-cup

Return to Toronto Raptors