Real Madrid

The title holders came out on top once again, but they were in real danger of losing the final. Playing from behind, Mitar Bosnjakovic took over to get Real Madrid back in the game, with Hugo Gonzalez applying the finishing touches, despite playing the last minutes of the game with four fouls. Gonzalez ended up with another qualifier MVP for his elite play on both ends. He finished with 13.8 points, shooting 63.6% from 2. With 4 rebounds, 3.2 assists and 2.5 steals on 23 and a half minutes per game, he showed his all-around play and why he’s one of the most coveted players for the 2025 NBA Draft. He didn’t impress as a shooter but as done so in the past, so that shouldn’t be a concern. He continues to be a big threat attacking closeouts and his shot creation is clearly coming along – especially with his back to the basket. Can score on three levels, takes on contact and finishes well and is unselfish with the ball. For Hugo Gonzalez, the goal is to find the best shot, not his shot. Defensively, he’s not your usual 17-year old. He understands basic and advanced concepts of defense well, reads plays before they happen and is, most of all, aggressive and competitive. That gives him an edge over almost everybody to start. Never stops working, doesn’t use that side of the ball to take rests and will always look to make life difficult for opponents.

It was a quiet tournament for Mitar Bosnjakovic, until he had to take over. In his defense, with Gonzalez and Demin on the roster, Mitar’s role is usually to defend the other team’s best wing/forward and make the occasional play on offense. But his versatility allows him to step up when needed. And he did. With 18 points and 9 rebounds (4 offensive) in the final, he was Madrid’s best scorer and dig his team out of the hole. Ismaila Diagne was part of the All-Tournament team, especially after a scoring explosion against Cedevita. But there were true signs of evolution from him. More post creation and counters to defenses, crisper and better passing from the high post/short roll and a more patient approach as a rim protector. For Egor Demin, Podgorica was an opportunity to showcase his versatility. With 13.5 points and 6 assists per game, he continues to be a key player operating with the ball. His processing speed with the ball in his hands, at his size, is nothing short of extraordinary. Didn’t get the outside shot to fall as he had hoped, but the same way it happened with Gonzalez, it shouldn’t be a cause for concern given the bigger sample size from before. Demin continues to be an aggressive, smart presence on the defensive side. Quick laterally, quick hands and great reaction, he always puts the offensive player on high alert and forces him into bad passes/shots or to just get rid of the ball.

Consistency was key for Asier Miguel, who didn’t impress with his scoring, but rather with his efficiency on both ends. Again, it’s not an easy feat to be a high scorer in this Real Madrid team, given the amount of talent. But it’s also hard to find a role, and Miguel found his. Shot 60% from the field (and actually took more 3s than 2s), proving he doesn’t need the ball to be impactful. On the other end, he provided flexibility of options and aggressive perimeter defense whenever he was on the floor. A constant presence every coach would like to have. Last summer saw Declan Duru take – and miss – all of his 15 three-point attempts at the U16 FIBA European Championship. And although the alarms didn’t exactly ring because he can be such a dominant force near the rim, it was good to see him in Podgorica, comfortable shooting from the outside. Including the dagger in the final. He shot 45.5% on just below three attempts a game which, for a guy that’s much more of an inside scorer, is a great omen. Duru is explosiveness, athleticism and length combined to finish spectacularly at the rim and defend, so it’s a great sight to have him making different types of shots and being more methodical with his passing as well. Sidi Gueye had an intriguing presence at the ANGT qualifier. A great lob target and inside finisher, he had to work for some of his buckets and rebounds, preparing to be a much bigger name on this stage next season. Showed good instincts on defense to repel shots and good positioning offensively, although a bit raw at times.

Next Generation Team Podgorica

Jack Kayil‘s first experience on ANGT was big for him to start being taken seriously as a good prospect in Europe. The U18 European Championship confirmed it. But this tournament has probably put him on another level, near the top of his class. Always looked in control of every action and his team seached for him every time down the floor. With 15 points and 7 assists, shooting 52.6% from two and 30% from three on over seven attempts a game, Kayil found ways to score and assist, pushed the tempo when he had to but more importantly compared to other tournaments, he knew when to calm things down and get everyone organized.

The Greek pairing of Eleftherios Liotopoulos and Panagiotis Pagonis were some of the players that greatly benefited from the Podgorica participation. Liotopoulos was third in points and second in three-pointers made and steals. An efficient 19.5 points per game scorer, he was able to get baskets on and off the ball. Quick and to the point off pick and rolls, he would either pull up or get all the way to the rim – or even find the roller, for 3.8 assists. Never hesitated on a three when catching the ball and showed good moments as a cutter. Defensively, his presence at the ball and constant pressure on passing lanes made a lot of attackers overthink their options. For Pagonis, being versatile and fighting more than everyone else for any mere advantage was key. He’s not incredibly technically gifted, but he provides shooting, while also being a good driver and roller. Went after every rebound and scrapped inside against taller and stronger player, never backing down. Showed he can be a two-way option and give his team production in different roles.

Hannes Steinbach was one of the biggest surprises of the tournament. Steady in his actions, he wasn’t a magnificent scorer, but found ways at the rim using his IQ and athleticism for some impressive finishes. great rebounder, finished just short of twelve per game, while being in a physical disadvantage on most of his matchups. Smart defensively as well, proved he understands rotations and timings and had some interesting moments when he had to switch to smaller, quicker players. Borna Katanovic had a bit of an up and down performance in Podgorica, normal given the circumstances. His first-time in this setting, playing much more off the ball than he’s used to, he was able to hit his threes off the catch (33% on over four attempts a game). Had some moments as a driver, but the passing wasn’t there since he’s used to have so much more of the ball. Had a solid showing as a defender, using his size to neagte easy lanes to the basket.

SC Derby

Playing at home, SC Derby had a great performance and finished third in the qualifier, one layup away from the final. David Mirkovic had an incredible four games, including 28 and 29-point performances in the group phase. He finished with 22.3 points and 13 rebounds per game to lead all players present in Podgorica, along with 3.2 assists and 2.2 steals. High usage for Mirkovic, who showed his offensive versatility and ability to read the floor. Scored from the post, attacking closeouts, in transition or on off the catch threes. His anticipation of double teams was key in getting the ball moving and finding open teammates. He’s a force when he gets to the rim, but has a soft touch that allows him to finish layups and floaters without having to resort to his strength. More important than his 23.5% from three, with some forced shots, his 8.5 attempts per game stand out. Being willing to shoot is a good step for him, having to work on his balance and release.

Efficient outing for Maruan Cicic, who was one of the best bigs in the tournament. 17 points and 9.8 rebounds, acting basically as a roller and dunker spot finisher, with some lob finishes. Good reads on the short roll and an interesting handoff hub. Was great as a rim protector off the ball, with long arms and great size, with good enough leaping ability to make it difficult to finish over him. Ended up with 2.8 blocks. Vladimir Komnenovic shot the ball so well, with 46.7% from three. Shot off the catch or off the dribble with the same confidence. Used his gravity to get inside at times and find some easy scores. Collected 2.5 assists, with his game being a bit of a mix between handling the ball and spacing out to let Mirkovic work. Luka Durovic projects as an interesting 3 and D player. Stood out on the defensive end, with his slim frame but long arms and legs, able to stay in front of ball handlers, move his feet and hips well, creating trouble all-around to them. With 3 steals per game, he was aggressive on and off the ball looking to create problems to the opposition. Was a good enough shooter (30% off the catch) although a bit hesitant at times. Showed he can swing the ball and find colleagues well. 2008-born Maksim Brnovic had an interesting run at the Adidas Next Generation, with timely buckets without hesitation, combined with some ability to guard off the ball and use his size. Well-developed physically, his rim attacks were intriguing and he still got two of his six outside shots to fall. Someone to follow this summer.

FC Bayern Munich

Much better performance this time around for the German team, losing only to Real Madrid and then SC Derby in the 3rd place game. Ivan Kharchenkov, who missed last year’s qualifier in Munich due to injury, was the main man for Bayern, finishing with 16.5 points, 4.8 rebounds, 3 assists and 1.5 steals. Didn’t shoot the ball well, with the usage catching up to him throughout the three days, but he exhibited the flashes that make him one of the most impressive prospects of his generation in Europe. Good on-ball creation, using changes of speed and body fakes to get by his man and to his spots. Can score on three-levels and get there off the dribble. He’s probably at his best when he can get inside, avoiding defenders in his path to finish around them or even through contact. Always looked to push off rebounds and try to get himself and others an easy score in transition. Has the body, at 6’6, to guard and be physical with 2s and 3s, making them work for their shot and being a positive presence on the defensive end.

Ivan Volf greatly improved his stock in Podgorica with his off-ball play. Interesting defender who can guard ball handlers but also hold his own off the ball, his shooting and cutting on the other end were key for Bayern. Shot 69.2% from two and 55.6% from three (on 4.5 attempts). He was always ready to shoot off the catch, with great confidence. When the defense fell asleep, he found ways to cut behind it. Tried to get out in transition as much as he could. Speaking of transition, few were more efficient on the break than Nikolas Sermpezis. The young guard was always looking to run and find easy scores. Shot 40% from three on 2.5 attempts and although the volume could’ve been higher, it is encouraging to see him shooting this well in his debut in this stage. Had some good moments as a defender, staying in front of his man and not allowing easy drives. Good nail help and attention to errant passes. Dominik Dolic was more of a secondary ball-handler behind Kharchenkov, tried to get in the paint for easier scores as he struggled with his outside shot. Went 55.6% from two, never looking to force, with a good display of pick and roll patience and score. A soothing presence for a team that looked to run. Andrija Susic made the most of his minutes, with efficient scoring off the ball. The 2008-born wing is measured 6’3 already and can shoot the ball extremely well. And he wasn’t shy about it either, finding ways to contribute.

Umana Reyer Venice

Stefano Saccoccia stole the show for the Venice team with incredible shot making all-around. 20.5 points, shooting 52.5% from two and 34.6% from two with his level of usage is no easy feat. We factor into that the sheer difficulty in some of his makes and Saccoccia’s performance, loaned out from Napoli, becomes even more unbelievable. Great using his side-step and step-back to create separation for threes, he was rarely rushed. Always in control, balanced, with a dribble close to the floor, scanning the floor before making a move. Good finisher inside despite his size, uses his shoulder and strong frame to absorb contact and still shoot. A lot of drive-and-kick plays, knows how to use his low center of gravity and has a great first step.

Pietro Iannuzzi came into this ANGT qualifier as the highest-regarded player for Venice and, although Saccoccia got most of the attention, Iannuzzi’s play shouldn’t be overlooked. 15 points per game, shooting 34.1% from three on more than ten attempts per contest make him one of the best shooters present in Montenegro. With a lightning quick release and no hesitation at all, he was able to hit shots off the catch and some off movement and in transition. An impressive shooter to keep following closely. Able to get inside and use his body to protect his shot. Federico Natale and Petar Kuzmanic were important as a frontcourt double. Natale was able to finish plays but also get out on the perimeter and attack off the dribble and try a few from behind the line. Kuzmanic was mostly a roller and play finisher inside, looking to go up as soon as he got the ball. Great fight on the boards, with both finishing the tournament with 5.5 rebounds each. Natale more active on the offensive side, Kuzmanic more defensively, with good instances of perimeter defense and rim protection as well.

ALBA Berlin

The 6’11 forward Amon Doerries was one of the few bright spots for an ALBA team that looked way different from last year’s squad. Despite his size, Doerries is a great driver from the perimeter. Finds pockets of space to drive to and is a great finisher at the rim, with good touch and ability to adapt to what the defense gives him. Tough to stop when he gets a head of steam, can dunk, go for an euro step or spin to find the best way to finish. Smart cutter, will read defenses quickly and find an opening to the basket. As he did in other occasions, was one of the player that went more times to the line, with his combination of size, mobility and length proving to be hard for defenders to stop. Intriguing passer at his size. Reads the game from above and can find cutters or shooters from the top or the high post. Still needs to improve his reads as a passer on the move. Created problems to attackers as a perimeter defender with how much ground he can cover.

Nevio Bennefeld‘s role was probably a bit smaller than he expected for this ALBA team, but he still had his moments. A lengthy and thin-framed 6’11, he’s much more adept of playing from the perimeter, but can get inside and fight for rebounds and get his points. Mostly from cuts and some post creation, where he can use his foot work to find a way inside and then his size to finish over defenders. Can pass from the post or the top as well, finds teammates in good position. As a defender, he’s more of a rim protector than Doerries, a player that feels more comfortable roaming around the paint, trying to bother shots and deter attackers from getting to the rim. His lack of strength, especially on his lower body, puts him at a disadvantage against other big guys, but he can overcome that with his defensive IQ, floor coverage and mobility. Paul Bahn was the biggest surprise from the Germans, finishing this qualifier with 11.5 points per game. Versatile scorer, playing mostly off the ball, he was able to hit threes after the catch but also put the ball on the floor and drive to the basket. He wasn’t incredibly efficient, but that came with an uptick in responsibility in the final two games he’s not used to. Still, some great signs seeing him not afraid of having the ball in his hands and creating some offense for his team. Gritty guard, difficult to leave behind, has lateral speed and aggressiveness to guard on the ball.

Cedevita Olimpija Ljubljana

It was an up and down performance by Mark Morano, but he showed some signs of why he is one of the best prospects in Slovenia right now. With 12.2 points per game, his creation as a slasher and post creator was good to watch. At 6’6, he has been developing physically and that is noticeable in the way he can withstand contact on his drives and finishes and still get something out of a possession. His shot looks good, both from the perimeter and mid-range and he’s not afraid to go for it, both off the dribble and off the catch. He’s an intriguing offensive wing with the different ways he can attack a defense, react to covers and counter them to get his way. Rarely will he stop trying to find ways to figure out how he’s being guarded – and that’s a little wrinkle that is so interesting to follow during a game.

Derin Can Ustun‘s incessant driving and rim attacks raised some eyebrows in Podgorica. In transition, isolation or pick and roll, Ustun will always find his way inside, with great body fakes and quick dribble moves, crossovers and hesitations as he goes by one, two, three defenders in the same play. Unselfish player, finished the tournament with 4.8 assists per game, finding shooters, rollers and cutters the same, always keeping his dribble alive. Lovro Lapajne‘s numbers may not impress, but his play certainly did. Undersized, he never stopped fighting on the boards and trying to find ways to finish at the rim amongst taller and bigger players. And that’s why, as a play finisher around the rim at just 6’7, he finished with 67% from two. Smart mover without the ball and an aggressive presence, switchable on the defensive end, capable of guarding smaller players on the perimeter and create problems to bigs. Ian Lazarevski took a bit of time to adapt to his role as an off-ball player in this tournament. Usually a creator for others, with the ball in his hands, he was more of an off-ball presence and a spacer. Shot the ball well – 50% on 3.5 attempts – and that’s promising, but he struggled with his inside finishes, looking out of sorts. His size made him more of a forward defender, with good moments but some learning steps to take. The athleticism of Martin Tonejc jumped out for anyone watching. And so did he. Great finisher off the bounce, great leaper and backside cutter, offered his team a good weapon to have when drives were cutt off. At 6’8, his mobility proved to be of great use for Cedevita defensively. Switchable, he can cover a ton of space and read plays for passing lanes’ steals. Samba Gueye was probably the best 2008 player at ANGT. A springy center with good mobility, Gueye is a good rim runner with an interesting shooting motion that could project him to be a solid shooter. Some good reads on the short roll. Long and tall, with great mobility, lateral quickness and flexibility, he can be an interesting defender in the future, with some perimeter skills and instincts as a basket protector and shot deterrent.

Cholet Basket

Without the star power from last season, Cholet finished their participation in the last spot. But this tournament was so much more than that, with their young guys finding new challenges and having a place to showcase their talent. In his second showing at the Adidas Next Generation, Soren Bracq was one of the best two-way players present. Simple processes on offense, trying to initiate early and get quickly to the basket, where he got most of his 15.5 points per game. Shooting 64.7% from two, Bracq was consistently a great finisher at the rim, taking on contact, adapting his shot inside and beating defenders on his way to the basket. Still found ways to collect 5.8 assists, finding shooters or rollers off pick and rolls or pushing pace off a defensive rebound. Defensively, he was in my opinion, a top 2 player in terms of perimeter defense. Aggressive but patient and disciplined, great mobility and lateral speed, with good use of his upper body strength to deny paths to the rim. A true two-way star, who can still take part in the tournament next season.

At 6’7, Gabin Lefort played his role of spacer and perimeter defender really well. Impressive movement with his size, can take away drives and help at the nail with his length. On the other hand, he didn’t shoot particularly well, but didn’t let that get in the way of him looking for ways to help. Never stopped moving, showed his prowess as a cutter and transition finisher. Erwan Ntsantso Djoni was a pleasant surprise to watch. Smooth and fluid handler, creates for himself and others with the ball in his hands, manipulating defenders. Really good passer, toying with defenders before finding an open man. Extremely efficient, finished the qualifier with 60% from two and 35.7% from three (just below 4 attempts per game on each category). Good cutter, good pick and roll handler, exceptional in transition and rarely hesitant off the catch. A great showing from him. Romain Valakou arrived in Cholet this season and although he was scoreless for the first game, he would show his scoring ability. Three-level scorer with great potential as an outside shooter, ended up shooting 39.1% on just below eight attempts a game. Good with the ball in his hands, his ball-control and patience to find his spots made him one of the best scorers on his team. We couldn’t end this piece without mentioning Aaron Towo-Nansi. And that’s not because he was the youngest player present, born in 2009. It’s because, despite that age difference, he was confident and he was a full contributor. 8.5 points and a whopping 5.2 assists on 27 minutes per game. With dazzling dribble moves, a ball control and security that is not normal for his age and an IQ and feel that surprised everyone he had the ball in his hands. A shot creator off pick and rolls and isolation, he was always able to get inside in order to find a teammate, recognizing the timings of passes and what the defense was giving him. With 33.3% on threes, shooting with range off the dribble, he projects as a great shooter in the future.

For more information and analysis on the first Adidas Next Generation Tournament qualifier, head over to Eurohoops Scouting and my own profile on X.