Updated: May 9
In the latest edition of ‘P.I. Pulse’, Pro Insight’s Jason Filippi compiles his scouting notes after spending multiple days evaluating the top prospects playing in ANGT Belgrade:
I recently made the trip from my home base in Bologna, Italy over to Belgrade, Serbia for the Adidas Next Generation Tournament, a can’t-miss event filled with talented young prospects from all over Europe. It was a productive trip, highlighted by the ability to get an in-person look at aspiring college and pro players and write up detailed reports for the Pro Insight database. I’ve included a distilled version of those reports below for the purposes of this article. For more detailed scouting reports — and intel — on these players, as well as reports on some of the other younger prospects I saw in Belgrade, subscribe to our database, here. With any questions or comments, shoot us an email: email@example.com.
With that, here are my scouting takeaways after spending some time evaluating the top prospects from ANGT Belgrade:
Kymany Houinsou | 6-5 Guard | Asvel Lyon (France)
Houinsou was very inconsistent as usual but he still stood out as one of the top prospects in the tournament. He was probably the most physically gifted guard in the tournament with a strong build, long arms and NBA-level athleticism. A combo guard who is trying hard to improve his playmaking but still fights an eternal conflict with his scoring instincts. His decision making with the ball remains an issue but, if anything, he seems to be playing more under control than in the past and has cut down on his turnovers. Houinsou is an excellent slasher who really attacks the rim and had a couple spectacular dunks in traffic, here. He can drive-and-kick effectively, too. Houinsou is also an NBA-caliber open court player both as a handler and as a finisher – he is hard to stop when he is running full steam. His weak spot remains his three-point shot – he can score with mid-range pull-up jump shots, but he is simply not a good shooter from long range and I fear that it is starting to get to his head now. I like his defensive potential – he was more engaged and focused than in the past (especially in the last two games) – he can defend both guard spots at a high level thanks to his length and athleticism. His game should translate well to higher levels of competition and I think that it may actually be better suited for the NBA than Europe. Regardless of the competition level, this is a guy who would excel in a fast-paced offense. He has just recently been loaned to Saint Quentin in the French 2nd Division and will now have the opportunity to start proving himself at the senior level.
Killian Malwaya | 6-6 Guard | Asvel Lyon (France)
Malwaya improved over the course of the tournament which culminated in an impressive performance in the final two games, which led to him being named tournament MVP (he finished third in both scoring and statistical evaluation). He has decent size (appears to have grown another inch since I last saw him) and long arms. Although not a freak athlete, he is nonetheless fast-twitch and quick off his feet. He showed nice versatility on both sides of the court. He looks like a guy that can do a bit of everything – someone who will do whatever his team needs in a given moment. He appears to have more of a role player’s mentality (he doesn’t need the ball to help his team) but I was happy to see him suddenly become more assertive on offense in the final two games where he looked to score more aggressively. Malwaya is more of a slasher than a shooter and still looks a bit tentative when shooting it from long range – he definitely needs to develop more of a pull-up game. An unselfish, willing passer and a team player who works well in a system and plays well off others. He’s also an opportunistic scorer who gets most of his points in the flow of the game (he moves well without the ball and is a good finisher off cuts to the basket). Malwaya crashes the offensive glass hard and had an impressive tip-in dunk at one point, as well. On the defensive end he can basically guard positions 1-through-3 thanks to his physical tools. Malwaya still has realistic room for improvement and I think his game will translate well to higher levels of competition.
Zaccharie Risacher | 6-8 Forward | Asvel Lyon (France)
Risacher was arguably the best NBA prospect in this tournament despite being very up and down over the course of the event (he didn’t play in the championship game due to injury). He has a long body/arms and appears to still be growing! He moves well and is very smooth. His advanced feel for the game is evident, too. Risacher fits the mold of a combo forward with a versatile, well-rounded game. He plays mostly as a spread 4-man, although I ultimately think that he will be more of a natural small forward at the pro level (shows some 3-and-D potential). Compared to last season, Risacher is playing with much more confidence and is looking to score more than in the past, too (he is learning how to take better advantage of favorable mismatches). Despite being a perimeter-oriented player, I like that he is trying to put the ball on the deck more now (even though he often doesn’t finish plays). He has a nice-looking stroke from three-point range but his jump shot is very erratic (he did not shoot it particularly well in this event). He has added a step-back move to his repertoire, which adds some intrigue. Risacher is a good passer, unselfish, team-oriented player. He’s a versatile player on both sides of the court and has great instincts for the ball. Risacher can defend both forward spots, using his length well to deflect a lot of passes. He needs to get stronger, though, as he lacks physicality. This kid has huge upside and I think his game will translate well to higher levels of competition. He is destined to be a star at whatever level he plays!
Ege Demir | 6-10 Big | Tofas Bursa (Turkey)
Demir had a solid tournament and was perhaps the top big man in the building. He had a major physical impact on both sides of the floor. He has a strong mature body and often looked like a man amongst children. He has pretty average height for the position, but he has long arms that help compensate as well as decent athleticism. Demir is more of an old-school center who plays mostly in the low post where he can score with turnaround shots or put the ball on the deck and try to power his way to the basket. However, he tends to force plays and needs to be more patient. He will shoot it from mid-range if left wide-open but this is not a strength and I don’t see much potential as a stretch big man. Demir is a good pick-and-roll player who is an athletic finisher at the rim off cuts to the basket. I would rate his feel for the game as just average, but his game is quite effective and I think it will translate well to both the college and pro level. Demir was a major factor on the defensive end in Belgrade: he is a physical presence in the paint and contests shots aggressively showing legit potential as a rim protector for pro the level (he led the tournament in blocked shots). He can also defend the pick-and-roll well enough for higher levels of competition. He is going to be an interesting prospect for the NBA level, too, but I am not sure how much margin for improvement he has left as he doesn’t seem to have improved much from last year.
Berke Buyuktuncel | 6-8 Foward | Tofas Bursa (Turkey)
Buyuktuncel was one of the most accomplished players in the tournament but he was not the difference maker he should have been considering that he was one of the players with the most pro experience participating in this event. He has excellent size for his position but is just an average athlete, in my opinion. Buyuktuncel is a versatile combo forward with a nice all-around game. He has excellent ball skills and shows some potential as a facilitator on offense, too. He’s also a good passer, who plays well within a system. He can put the ball on deck to score one-on-one and does a nice job posting up smaller wings but he doesn’t always finish well (lacks explosiveness). He has a nice mid-range game but his three-point shot is a major question mark (his shot mechanics are not very fluid and he had some bad misses here from long range). He does a nice job guarding bigger players but needs to prove that he can handle more athletic wing players at higher levels of competition. I think he is going to be a nice pro player in Europe but that may be his ceiling.
Sergio De Larrea | 6-6 Guard | Valencia (Spain)
De Larrea was one of my favorite players in this tournament. He didn’t really impress me much when I first saw him last year but he has shown great improvements since then. He appears to have grown another inch or two and has great positional size with long arms and a lanky, wiry build. Although not a freak athlete he seems to be able to get to wherever he wants to with the ball (a la Luka Doncic). He’s a tall combo guard with legit playmaking skills and a nice all-around game (he was among tournament leaders in scoring, assists, rebounding, and statistical evaluation). He played mostly as a primary ball-handler in this tournament and showed smart decision making. He can drive-and-kick well and does a good job in general at finding the open man, displaying excellent court vision. De Larrea has a good feel for the game and has a high BBIQ. His confidence has grown a lot over time and he is much more assertive at this event than he was last year. He is more of a slasher than a shooter – drawing a lot of fouls and getting to the free throw line often. He’s a crafty finisher, as well. It’s worth noting that he is not as versatile on the defensive end as he is on offense: he plays very stiff/erect and needs to prove that he can contain more athletic guards at higher levels of competition. I think his style of play may be better suited for Europe than for the NBA, but he remains a high-level prospect in any case.
Lucas Mari | 6-5 Guard | Valencia (Spain)
Mari was one of the surprise players of the tournament (led the event in both assists and steals). I was not crazy about him last year at this same event, but I have to say he played much better this time around and looks like a very improved player. He teamed up with Sergio De Larrea to form the best backcourt duo in the tournament. Mari has good positional size with long arms and is wiry strong. In the past he stood out mostly for his scoring but in this tournament he impressed me with his playmaking ability. He did a great job as a secondary ball-handler showing the ability to create off the dribble for others, too. In the past, he would often play selfishly but he showed improved decision making and doesn’t force things as much as he used to. I am very intrigued with his combo guard potential. He’a a good open court player both as a handler and as a finisher. He is more of a slasher than a shooter – he prefers to attack rim and can score with contact. His weak spot remains his range shooting, which is very erratic. Mari has also made progress on the defensive end, where he plays aggressively, helps pressure the ball, deflects passes and shows quick hands. Mari is an excellent college prospect who should be a nice pro player, too!
Rokas Jocys | 6-6 Guard | Lietkabelis (Lithuania)
Jocys was one of the surprise players of this leg of the ANGT and he ended up leading the tournament in scoring, PIR and three-point shots made (he also won the three-point shooting contest). He has decent size along with a strong build for his age. Although known primarily for being a scorer, he helped handle the ball a lot and showed some interesting skills as a secondary ball-handler – he was assertive and showed the ability to make plays for others in pick-and-roll situations. Jocys can score both on drives (he is a good one-on-one player and a crafty finisher) or with his jump shot (he is more of a scorer than a pure shooter), but his three-point shot is very streaky (he’s more of a volume shooter). Jocys plays hard on both sides of the court and looks like a tough kid. He can defend bigger wings well but will have to prove that he can contain smaller, more athletic guards for the pro level. He has a very polished and mature game but may not have much upside left. Jocys was playing on loan from Palanga in the Lithuanian 2nd Division but definitely looks like he is ready for higher levels competition.
Daryl Doualla | 6-4 Guard | Lietkabelis (Lithuania)
Doualla was one of the better-known prospects in this tournament (having already played in the previous two editions with ASVEL) but he was a bit of disappointment and only played in the first two games of the tournament before being sidelined with a minor injury. He was one of the most athletic guards in the event and he appears to have grown an inch from last year but he doesn’t seem to have improved his game much since then. Always known to be more of a scorer, he is trying to become more of a combo guard now – in Belgrade, he helped handle the ball more than in the past but with mixed results. He can create off the dribble but he still forces a lot of plays and needs to improve his decision making. Doualla can get to the rim well and is an athletic finisher who can score in traffic. He is a very good open court player both as a handler and as a finisher but he needs to improve within the half-court game. His range shooting in particular is very erratic and it’s definitely an area where he needs to improve if he wants to take his game to the next level. He was solid on the defensive end where he shows the ability to defend both guard spots well despite being perhaps a bit undersized at the 2-spot. He looks more like a good Euroleague prospect than an NBA prospect.
Zinedin Mulic | 6-7 Wing | Next Generation Team
Mulic was one of the best wings in the tournament and looks like a very intriguing prospect for higher levels of competition. He has good size and length for position but now just needs to get stronger. He’s a decent athlete/leaper. Mulic is a three-level scorer with good offensive skills and a nice all-round game. He can score both off the drive or with his jump shot and has developed a nice step-back move, too. He moves well without the ball and is a good finisher off basket cuts. He also drew a lot of fouls and routinely got to the free throw line, here. He showed improvements as a secondary ball-handler and is a good passer who can drive/kick well. Mulic does a good job leaking out to score in transition, too. The kid has a good feel for the game in general and I liked that he was assertive in crunch time (he hit some big shots in the final minutes of his team’s win over Lietkabelis). He plays hard on both sides of the floor. He uses his length well on the defensive end to stay in front of his man and did a nice job at helping pressure the ball throughout the event. I like this kid and think he would make a very nice college prospect!
Filip Jovic | 6-8 Forward | Next Generation Team
Jovic is an underrated prospect who quietly had an excellent tournament and was one of the most consistent performers on his team. He is a combo forward who is at his best as a small-ball 4-man. He has a strong body for his age and is a decent athlete/leaper, also. I find his versatile game endearing. He has good ball skills and can score one-on-one (he does a nice job taking advantage of favorable mismatches). He’s also a crafty finisher at the rim – he finishes strong and can score through contact. He showed some nice post-up moves here, as well. He can shoot it well from the high-post area but lacks consistent NBA three-point range, currently. Jovic is a good open court player who showed the ability to handle the ball in transition and had a couple athletic finishes in fast break situations. He’s a good passer and overall quite unselfish. Throughout the event, he did a nice job guarding bigger players but moving forward, he needs to prove that he can defend more athletic wing players at the pro level. He looks like a nice college prospect as well as a good Euroleague-caliber player.
Luka Vudragovic | 6-6 Guard | Red Star Belgrade (Serbia)
Vudragovic had an excellent tournament (finished fourth in scoring and was second in three-point shots made) and looked like an improved player based on past viewings. To be honest, I didn’t like him last year in this same event but he had a major impact this time around. He has nice size and is quite strong, too. He is not an elite athlete but nonetheless he made some sneaky athletic plays in space. Vudragovic is a combo guard but he played mostly as an offensive terminal in this tournament. He can score one-on-one and is a crafty finisher at the rim but needs to prove that he can get to the basket as easily against more athletic defenders. He is a good shooter from three-point range but is more of just a spot-up shooter – he needs to improve his pull-up game. Vudragovic plays with a lot of confidence and was assertive in clutch situations in this tournament. My biggest concerns with him are on the defensive end – he has the size to defend his position but may lack the foot speed to contain more athletic guards in one-on-one situations at pro level. Vudragovic is a good D1 college prospect whose game is better-suited for Euroleague than for the NBA.
Lazar Gacic | 6-11 Big | Red Star Belgrade (Serbia)
Gacic was one of the players with the most upside in the tournament but he was a bit of a disappointment for me. I liked him last year both at ANGT as well as in the summer with his U18 National Team but he was very inconsistent in this tournament and didn’t really have much of an impact. He has a long body but is still very weak physically. Although not particularly athletic, he moves quite well for his size. Gacic can play both the 4 and 5 spots but is likely going to be more of a power forward at the pro level. He can both post-up or face-up and can play both in the high and low post. He’s a good pick-and-roll player. In the high post he can both shoot it or put the ball on the deck and drive to the basket. He draws a lot of fouls and gets to the free throw line (he’s a good free throw shooter for a young big man). He doesn’t look to shoot it much from range yet but he has a nice stroke and shows some potential as a stretch big man. He needs to improve on the defensive end – he lacks physicality and often plays smaller than his listed size. He’s an average rebounder for his size/position. Gacic still needs a lot of work on his body but I think he has a lot of legitimate upside. He would be a high-level college player and has nice potential for the pro level, too.