In the latest edition of ‘P.I. Pulse’, Pro Insight’s Jason Filippi compiles his scouting notes after spending multiple days in Milan, evaluating the top prospects playing in Basketball Without Borders:
Mohamed Diawara (FRA) | 6-8 Forward | Paris
Diawara continued his breakout season and was named camp MVP (he improved over the course of the event and played extremely well over the last two days) while leading his team to the championship. His versatility was once again on display as he showcased his excellent ball skills — especially for someone his size. He is a combo forward who has made great strides as a secondary ball-handler and can act as a facilitator if not a straight-up initiator. He can score one-on-one and does a nice job taking advantage of favorable mismatches. However, he still forces some plays/shots and needs to learn to be more patient (he often plays like a guy who has a chip on his shoulder and thinks he has something to prove). His jump shot is still very unreliable — he can shoot it from range too, but this is not a current strength. He’s a good passer who shows nice court vision. He is very good in the open court both as a handler and as a finisher and is comfortable leading transition offense himself after snagging defensive rebounds. His versatility should translate well to the defensive end, too. Despite having just average positional size, he is very strong for his age and has long arms which help him play bigger. He can switch both up and down a lineup effectively. He is growing on me and I am very curious to follow his progress next season. This is a very good prospect for both college and the pro level.
Pacome Dadiet (FRA) | 6-7 Wing | Paris
Dadiet played very well once again in this event, confirming my positive impressions from earlier in the season. Over the course of the year he has shown consistent development in his game and I still think he has ample margin for improvement. The area in which he has made the most strides is simply his confidence level — he is so much more assertive now. He looks to score more aggressively and in general he finishes stronger than in the past. His jump shot is still quite inconsistent, but he can score with pull-up jump shots from out to three-point range. Dadiet is not necessarily a freak athlete but he has a deceptively quick first step that makes him tough to stop one-on-one. He can create off the dribble for others, too (he drives/kicks well). Although he played mostly off the ball here compared to when I saw him in the recent past, he can help with handling the ball and shows legit potential as a secondary ball-handler for the pro level. Gifted with excellent physical tools (size, length and athleticism), his game should translate well to higher levels of competition. He is versatile on both sides of the court. Dadiet may come off as being too much of a finesse player at times, but he has the tools to be a nice defender — he needs to get stronger but he has the size/length to defend bigger players as well as the quickness to defend out on perimeter. His stock is rising and I think he is already a guy to know for the 2024 NBA Draft.
Sergio De Larrea (SPA) | 6-6 Guard | Valencia
De Larrea played well once again and has now clearly established himself as one of the top international prospects born in 2005. He is likely going to be more of a combo guard at the pro level, but he has legit playmaking skills and in my opinion was the top ball-handler in the tournament. He has the size to play both guard spots and is deceptively athletic. A good slasher, he can score one-on-one but will need to prove that he can create and finish as well at higher levels of competition. He is playing with a lot of confidence now and is much more assertive than I’ve seen from him in the past. He is very creative with the ball and sees the court well. De Larrea brings a good feel and high BBIQ to any team. He’s a good pick-and-roll player and can drive-and-kick well. He’s a flashy passer – no-look, behind-the-back and thread-the-needle stuff – and is always fun to watch. The type of guard that gets everyone involved and you get the impression that guys genuinely like to play with him. He's a very good open court player both as a passer and as a finisher and pushes the ball down-court quickly. His lone weak spot is his three-point shot which is currently very unreliable. He has a slow, low release on his shot and needs to improve his pull-up game. On the defensive end he can guard positions 1-2-3 but he will need to prove that he can defend smaller, more athletic ball-handlers at the pro level. He remains an elite college prospect who should wind up as a nice pro prospect, as well.
Tidjane Salaun (FRA) | 6-9 Forward | Cholet
Salaun was one of the surprise players of this event and seemed to improve a bit each day! Still only 16 years old, he is a diamond in the rough and has huge margins for improvement. He has a long body (and wingspan) and is in the middle of a major growth spurt that has seen him grow almost five inches over the past year. He’s mobile/agile and runs the court well. Salaun is more of a 4-5 now but should become more of a hybrid forward at the pro level. He can put the ball on the deck from both the high and the low post to score one-on-one. He moves well but doesn’t finish well against contact at the moment as he still needs to get stronger. In the low post, he can score effectively with his turnaround jumper. He can knock down shots from the high post area, too, but he doesn’t show much in terms of three-point shooting range, yet (his shot mechanics look quite fluid, which doesn’t hurt). He runs the court hard and can finish plays in transition, as well. He’s a good rim-runner who is a solid finisher off cuts to the basket. Salaun follows his own shots well and scores on put-backs with regularity. He is still learning the game on the defensive end and can get overpowered by stronger players. He is mobile enough to defend smaller players out on perimeter but can be slow reacting to the ball. I didn’t have much of a feel for him going into this event but now I am very intrigued by his potential for higher levels of competition. He’s one to monitor closely in the future.
Jan Vide (SLO) | 6-5 Guard | Real Madrid II
Vide stood out as one of the most polished and mature players in this camp. He is very assertive and plays with a lot of confidence. He has good size for both guard spots but is clearly more of a scorer than a playmaker at this stage in his career. Although not an explosive athlete, he seems to be able to get to wherever he wants to – at least at this level. Vide uses more strength than quickness to get by his man. He takes it strong to the basket and can score against contact, showing impressive body control (he draws a lot of fouls and gets to the free throw line often). He’s a crafty finisher and is capable of posting-up smaller guards. I view him as more of a slasher than a shooter – just a bucket-getter. He can score with mid-range pull-up jump shots, but he is not much of a threat from three-point range (doesn’t even look to shoot it much from long range, which worries me). As a primary ball-handler he can make plays for others in pick-and-roll situations, but he looks for his own shots first and will force plays at times. Vide is a competitor and plays hard on both sides of the floor. On the defensive he is better against size than speed and he will need to prove that he can contain smaller, more athletic guards at the pro level. He would be a high-level college prospect who is likely destined for a nice career in Europe.
Leonardo Marangon (ITA) | 6-6 Wing | Padova
Throughout this event, Marangon confirmed my positive first impression from earlier in the season. I think he is an underrated prospect who still has realistic room for improvement, not to mention a game that should translate well to higher levels of competition. He has decent size with long arms and a wiry-strong body. He’s a good vertical athlete, too. Marangon is more of a 3 than a 2 and plays mostly off the ball. He moves well without the ball and is a good finisher off cuts to the basket but he needs to improve at creating off the dribble to take better advantage of his athleticism. He scored on a couple nice baseline drives, but I would like to see him do it more often. He can hit corner threes, but may not have NBA range, quite yet. He is mostly just a catch-and-shoot guy and needs to improve his pull-up game. Marangon is a very good open court player who is an athletic finisher in transition. He crashes the offensive glass hard and scores on put-backs. He also shows nice potential on the defensive end thanks to his length, which enables him to guard both bigger and smaller players. He’s an above-average shot-blocker for his position. I like his potential as a 3-and-D guy. He reminds me a bit of Adam Hanga. Overall, a good system player who would make a very nice college prospect.
Izan Almansa (SPA) | 6-10 Big | Overtime Elite
Almansa was one of the most consistent performers in this event and really appears to have taken his game to the next level. He also formed a great duo with Sergio De Larrea as arguably the top guard-big combo in tournament play. Almansa looks taller than I remembered and has a long, solid frame that is filling out nicely. He is very mobile and runs the court well. He is not necessarily a freak athlete, but he can make athletic plays and is quick off his feet. I can envision him playing at both the 4 and 5 spots. He’s a consistently effective rim runner as well as a good pick-and-roll player who is an excellent finisher off basket cuts. He has good hands and makes some tough catches on the move. He has good instincts and always seems to be in the right place at the right time. Almansa is a versatile piece who can both post-up or face-up. He can score one-on-one both from the high and the low post and does a nice job of taking advantage of favorable mismatches. He doesn’t show much shooting range in games and his shot appears to be very flat with a low release, so that remains an area of improvement. He runs the court hard to finish plays in transition and is a good rebounder on both sides of the court, following his own shots well to score on put-backs. He plays with good energy and can defend both power forwards and centers thanks to his mobility. His choice to come to the USA to play for OTE has proved to be the right one as he has improved a lot since then. It will be interesting to see whether he chooses to go to college in the USA or return to Europe next summer.
Aday Mara (SPA) | 7-2 Big | Zaragoza
Mara had a slow start (these events are often better-suited for guards) but improved over the course of the event and had a major role in helping his team win the championship. He is still growing into his body and is working hard to improve his agility (he runs the floor much better now vs. the past). He didn’t get many touches in the low post during the first two days and was instead used a lot in the high post where he showcased his excellent passing skills: he sees the court well and did a great job at finding the open man. He has good hands and a nice feel for the game in general. He can shoot it from the elbows if left open, but his bread and butter is his low post game. He can score with turnaround shots as well as spin towards the middle to score with jump hooks (with either hand). He doesn’t have much lift, but he is so long that he just shoots over people. He’s a good pick-and-roll player who finishes lobs well. Mara is a major presence on the defensive end with his size and length. He has legit potential as a rim protector, but he is not able to switch onto smaller players at the moment, which will be a major concern moving forward. He still needs time and work, but I think he has huge upside.
Esli Edigin (GER) | 6-4 Wing | Rhoendorf
Edigin had a slow start but finished strong and looks like one of the prospects at camp with the most potential for the pro level. He has just average size, but he has very long arms that help him play bigger than his listed height, along with a strong body and good athleticism. Edigin plays mostly off the ball but he showed some improvements as a ball-handler in this event. He needs to attack the rim more to take better advantage of his athleticism. He moves well without the ball and is a good finisher off basket cuts. He’s also a very good open court player who is an athletic finisher in transition. He can hit corner threes, but he is mostly just a catch-and-shoot guy at the moment and he’s another one who needs to improve his pull-up game. Edigin is a willing passer and someone I’d consider to be unselfish. He has the tools to be a high-level wing defender and uses his length well, enabling him to guard much bigger players as well as to help pressure the ball. He’s a good rebounder for size, as well. Edigin is someone I’d consider to be an underrated prospect and a good system player for the college level. I like his potential as a 3-and-D guy for the Euroleague level.
Alexandros Samodurov (GRE) | 6-11 Big | Panathinaikos
Samodurov was very inconsistent over this four-day event but he played his best on the last day, when he helped lead his team to championship. I like him but I have to say he has not been living up to my expectations after his impressive performance at the ANGT leg in Patras earlier this season. He has a very inconsistent motor, which worries me. On the offensive end, Samodurov is very versatile and dynamic: he can post up and play inside as well as stretch the floor and shoot it from three-point range. He plays mostly in the low post here where he can score with turnaround or face-up shots and put the ball on the deck to score one-on-one. He’s an effective pick-and-roll player. He runs the floor well and can finish plays in transition. He’s also a good offensive rebounder who follows his own shots well and scores a lot on put-backs. He has nice size/length and is quite mobile. He needs to improve on the defensive end, overall. He can defend the low post well and is mobile enough to defend the pick-and-roll, but he is not always aggressive enough. He can alter and block shots, showing some legit potential as a rim protector. He would be an elite college prospect, but I would expect him to stay in Europe and turn pro next season.
Ruben Prey (POR) | 6-10 Big | Joventut Badalona
Prey was a bit inconsistent and didn’t have the same impact he had in previous viewings, but he remains a high-level prospect in my opinion. Long and mobile, Prey is an excellent rim runner who is trying to expand his game. He plays mostly in the low post, but he can also face-up and is looking to shoot it more and more from the perimeter with mixed results. He can pop out to the international three-point line, but he still has a ways to go to become a legit stretch big man. He has a nice high release on his shot. In the low post he can score with turnaround shots as well as go one-on-one. He can score off lobs and he makes some tough catches on the run, showing impressive coordination for a young big man. He will need to get stronger to finish inside at the pro level, however. He’s a good offensive rebounder and follows his own shots well. He is versatile on the defensive end, too, showing the ability to switch onto smaller players. He contests shots and has some potential as a rim protector, also. He is an elite college prospect and I think he has NBA potential too.
Andreas Holst (DEN) | 6-10 Forward | Barcelona
Holst is an underrated prospect who has some very interesting upside! He first caught my eye at the ANGT leg in Patras last March and confirmed my positive first impression here in Milan. He has a long body but is still quite skinny. He is mobile and runs the court well. Quick off his feet. Holst can play both 4-5 spots but should be more of a big forward long term. At this point he is mainly just a rim runner, but he is working on expanding his shooting range and shows some potential as a stretch big man, too. Holst is a good pick-and-roll player. He plays mostly in the high post and doesn’t show much of a post-up game. In the high-post he can both shoot it or put the ball on the deck and drive to the basket. He hit a couple corner three-point shots here, but his perimeter shot is very unreliable. He uses his mobility well on the defensive end and can switch to guard smaller, quicker players, but he needs to get stronger to defend the low post at the pro level. In my opinion, he is a guy who would really benefit from playing college ball.