Euro Trip Journal: Euroleague ANGT Istanbul Rewind

With the Adidas Eurocamp coming up this weekend, I wanted to dust off the notebook and breakdown some of my favorite and most interesting prospects from the Euroleague Adidas Next Generation Tournament (ANGT) that happened a couple weeks ago in Istanbul.

The ‘Finals Stars’ as determined by the Euroleague were: Ivan Fevrier (MVP, CFBB Paris), Yanik Blanc (CFBB Paris), Goga Bitazde (Mega Bemax), Sergi Martinez (FC Barcelona), Luka Samanic (FC Barcelona), and Dino Radoncic (Real Madrid).

Some of these players are included in the write-ups below but I really wanted to focus the other players that caught my eye during the four days. And since these players stood out, it means they played well and the notes published focus more on the positive side of their games. Also in an effort to try something different and creative, I copied in some of my game notes on the players with added descriptors to bring it all together.

#20 Sofiane Briki, Versatile Guard (CFBB Paris)

  • Crazy hustle play – All weekend Briki was the glue, in this instance the opponent had already dived on the floor, Briki dived right after him, ripped the ball from him and threw it to a teammate ahead. This play cemented Briki as my favorite player of the weekend.
  • Quick trigger 
  • Long, D-ing up hard 1v1 – Had a solid mix of pesky on-ball D and destructive off-ball D plays.
  • Nice PnR pass inside
  • Super pass ahead on break, everyone on Paris is throwing an extra pass
  • Catches and turns the corner, no motion wasted – One of the keys to his game was efficiency. Such quick decisions. If it was a handoff into a drive, seeing an open pass off a PnR, or a shot coming off a screen, there was no hesitation and it made Briki (and CFBB) so fun to watch.
  • Length!

#96 Yanik Blanc, Aggressive Playmaker (CFBB Paris)

  • Slashing like a mad man – Blanc’s relentless ability to push the pace really helped fuel the French attack. If you check some of the highlight videos you’ll see his super passes ahead and forceful drives.
  • These kids are going all out – Might as well be the CFBB Paris motto for the weekend
  • Strong, look at his arms, Strength! – If Briki has length then Blanc has strength. For a PG this was and will continue to be a massive advantage as it’s tough to stop him once he gets some momentum. 
  • Playing PG mainly – Can see him being a combo guard or playing in double playmaker lineups in the future.
  • Athlete, a super quality too him
  • Steal, active on D – Led tournament in steals.
  • Just a beast for a guard with his size – Fevrier won MVP but it easily could have been Blanc.

#13 Rokas Jokubaitis, Creative Point Guard (Zalgiris Kaunas)

  • ‘Saras likes him’ – Heard from a scout at the event. Now let’s not ramp up the hype meter at all please cause Jokubaitis isn’t close to the legend. But there are some qualities Saras sees of himself in Jokubaitis’ game.
  • Risky passer – Game is built on creativity and also taking chances.  Super PnR navigator. Does need to clean up some decision-making risks but has the tools to be a really dangerous facilitator coming off a ball screen.
  • Funky shot but like it
  • Clutch – In the picture, below that Jokubaitis shot goes in with seconds left to cut the lead to 1.

#5 Aleksa Uskokovic, Tough Playmaker (Crvena Zvezda)

  • Gamer, passer, swag – Seriously creative and innovative off the bounce. Swag speaks for itself. Led tournament in assists.
  • 3 pointer, tough make
  • Takes contact, and-1 finish – Including the comment below, maybe the most impressive thing about Uskokovic is his able to stay poised in traffic. He’s not so big but he drives in fearlessly and keep his decisions open
  • Driver, drop off passes, sees everything

#8 Sergi Martinez, Strong Slasher (FC Barcelona)

  • Strong as hell
  • Finishing through contact, doing his thing – Martinez has so much experience, playing ANGT last season, Spanish National Team, and LEB Gold that this level is easy for him. He’s a bruiser, simple game but his strength + IQ made him look like a pro against kids.
  • Inside wing – His quick take pro outlook is, ‘what’s his position?’ or ‘how do you use him?’. Because his jump shot needs work Martinez isn’t a traditionally modern 4 but he was the best cutter at the tournament and can also drive. So you have to be creative on how to use him but he’s still very effective even with his lack of shooting. Also set screens during the week and worked as a diving big.

#32 Yury Umirkhin, Quick Playmaker (CSKA Moscow)

  • Quick, length, skinny
  • PG, gets in the lane, fighting but has turnovers
  • Moves! Dropped a dude on a crossover – The whole CSKA team just attacked, probably the most impressive performance as a group besides CFBB Paris. And look how many ! I used with Umirkhin, one of the most exciting players of the weekend.
  • Wheels!
  • Maybe game winning 3! – If you watch the bottom tape you’ll see his go-ahead 3 vs. Barcelona with under a minute left.

#23 Alexander Khomenko, Innovative Guard (CSKA Moscow)

  • Transition cross step back 3 – Watch the video
  • Awesome hesitation move – Slippery driver, was really tough to stay in front of.
  • Getting to rim
  • Almost saves ball on a block with under 1 minute left – Hustler, these CSKA guards were MotherF*%#ers.

#22 Aleksander Ershov, Wing Scorer (CSKA Moscow)

  • Stud shooter – Between Istanbul and Kaunas he was 14/28 from 3. With prototypical wing size it makes him a potential NBA (at least Euroleague) prospect.
  • Finishes over 2 dudes in fast break
  • Touch! – It wasn’t just the 3-pointers, Ershov had touch from just about everywhere including a killer pull-up J.