heinnews have extended their summer youth European basketball Championship coverage with Simon Wilkinson taking some time out from his coverage for fibaeurope.com to offer some insight into the U18 Euros tournament going on in Metz and Hagondange. This time out, Si looks at the German team as well as Serbian big man Dejan Musli.

Right just finished game reports for today…

While I’m still in a ‘basketball-thinking’ frame of mind here are some of my thoughts on players I’ve seen…

I’ll start with Germany team:

Philippp Neumann

A very good big man. What surprised me about him was his athleticism, in particular how quickly he is able to jump for rebounds. He showed that off very well in Germany’s first game against Ukraine. He is quite a good defender too. A downside for him might be that he can’t play in quick, up and down games…he wasn’t very efficient against Spain and, even though I didn’t see the game in person (I think?! it’s too far back!!!), I guess that might have been the reason for it. He also has been getting into foul trouble in quite a few of the games. And, like any young player, I guess he hasn’t quite figured out the right shot selection. He’s been taking three-pointers and bricking them more than anything.

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Mathis Monninghoff

I really like this guy as well as Daniel Leithner. I think they complement each other very well. Monninghoff is right-handed and very versatile. He can spot up and shoot threes, or he can drive and pull up for a mid-range jumper and has the speed to get to the basket. He did have an incredible up-and-under lay up against either Ukraine or Croatia that was in the Julius Erving-category in terms of the angle he worked to score. And defensively he is very efficient too. He has the stamina to play entire games.

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Daniel Leithner

Leithner is definitely a great outside shooter. I didn’t really see much more to his game than that until today when he had several good drives to the basket. He has a bit of quickness. I guess he is confined to the role of a shooter because Neumann occupies the paint and Monnighoff and others can go inside to so someone needs to stay outside, on the perimeter.

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Ole Wendt and Anthony Canty

I actually don’t understand why Falko Theilig is the starting point guard. I woul drather see Wendt start. He has such a burst of speed and can hit the three. I think he is a better decision maker than Theilig who was horrendous against Slovenia. As for Canty, he’s in the same mould as Wendt. He had a great game off the bench against Ukraine (11 points and five assists) and if his playing time was a bit more regular he’d do a pretty good job.

So there you go as far as Germans…

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As for other guys…let’s start with the Serb big man Dejan Musli.

Dejan Musli

He’s actually been a surprise and not in a good way. He’s played pretty inconsistently. He got outplayed today by Ignacio Llovet of Spain. Musli didn’t score until late in the game and, granted, those points put his team ahead, but he just seems to take big stretches of the game off, like he actually switches off (and I’m not talking about when he’s on the bench!). The numbers he’s put up do flatter him. It’s been said he lacks passion and I can see where people come from with that notion. He shows little emotion. Today he actually did show some after fouling out, he showed his bleeding lip to the ref to make him understand that Llovet had swung at him. And that’s it really. 

I think a player of his calibre ought to do better. He’s got the low post game, with his back to the basket, facing the basket. He can shoot jumpers and has even made a three-pointer. He might need to get fitter but he actually does run up and down quite well already. You could argue that he’s too unselfish when he catches the ball. It seems he automatically expects the double-team to come, so, in anticipation of it, he passes the ball perhaps before he ought to. 

On the other hand, he is a good passer, a good reader of defenses. His assist total/average for a big guy in this age class is quite impressive. He might have watched Vlade Divac to inspire himself. He also needs to work on his free-throws.



So, that’s it for today, thanks Simon. And look for more from him later in the competition.



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