Bourges – We continue the review of players from this year’s FIBA Europe U16 Championship. (www.fiba.basketball/europe/u16women/2017). Here are my picks for the All-Tournament 3rd team as well as my honorable mentions in the form of an Extra All-Tournament team.
All-Tournament 3rd Team
Duygu Ozen (Turkey), Point Guard
A dynamic pocket size point guard, who really did look solid during the tournament. She plays with confidence and maturity. Her setting the tempo and feeling the flow of the plays is very promising. A very unselfish player who orchestrates her team well, she will prefer to find the open player and go for the assist rather than score herself, though she also can create her own shots. Reckless in both offense and defense, she can be decisive at any given time. Her passing game reminds me at times the one of Turkish PG star Biserl Vadarli, someone whose footsteps Ozen would certainly love to follow…
Goksen Fitik (Turkey), Shooting Guard
Turkey lost in group phase to France and Latvia (1st and 4th) and to Italy (3rd) in the Round of 16. A tough draw which saw them not make it to the last 8. Part of their talented starting guard duo, alongside Ozen, was Fitik who is a very skilled combo guard. Has great composure, and like Ozen shows a lot of maturity. Was the 2nd best shooting guard, although not in percentage, after France’s Wadoux: great release, great form, good touch, great confidence. She is an offensive force (14.4pts) and can get really hot from the perimeter. Guard her too closely and she’ll go for the drive. Needs to work on her shooting efficiency and to improve her assists average to make the next step. She doesn’t focus only on offense as she is very impactful on the defensive end as shown by her 3 steals average.
Nina Rosemeyer (Germany), Small Forward
Nina Rosemeyer was rock solid for Germany during the whole tournament. She took care a bit of everything, bringing the ball up, scoring, passing, rebounding, pacing the game, defending. An efficient all-round activity helped by a mix of guard skills and good size. She is a very solid, very tall backcourt option with good skills who doesn’t make many mistakes. Decent shooter, handles the ball well, big enough to post, has good physicality and can play strong. Nothing fancy to expect but simple quality and reliability, completed by an overall good attitude and promising leadership qualities.
Caterina Gilli (Italy) Power Forward
Aged only 15, it was already the 2nd appearance for Gilli at the tournament and she can make it three if she plays again next year. Already significant last year, her contribution has grown even bigger this time out. Her major quality on the court must be her bold mentality. She doesn’t hesitate, always attacks the basket or defends hard, and certainly never gives up on a play, whether in defense or offense. Still very raw, she will only get more refined in the coming years. Capable of mammoth-like performances such as 23 rebounds against Spain (of which 10 offensive), one can see she is an impactful player in the making. Finished the tournament close to a double-double average with 9pts-9rebounds. Though not yet fully efficient is capable of stretching the floor with some range.
Veronika Pavliuchenko (Russia), Small Forward/Forward
Pavliuchenko was the stand out player for Russia as she filled all of the stats categories for her team. She was Russia’s top scorer (15.9pts), rebounder (8.9rbds), blocker (1.7blk) and passer (3.4ass) and finished overall tied 3rd of all players in efficiency. Showed an interesting shooting faculty even from very far. Looks a bit slow in her movement but overall controls the ball well and uses her size advisedly. A leader and a character on the court, she likes to be the go-to player. Has a very determined attitude. Will be interesting to see if she can keep having the same kind of impact moving in further age categories.
Extra All-Tournament Team
Elea Gaba (Germany), Center
Strong center who complemented well Emily Bessoir in Germany’s frontcourt rotation. A dedicated player with solid positioning under the basket and good hands. Works hard without the ball. Is very active on the offensive boards and always looking for any potential put-back. Runs well the floor in transition and is mobile. The kind of hard-nosed player with a strong team-spirit. Finished with a fine 10.3pts-7.3rbds average.
Reka Dombai (Hungary), Small forward
Voted to the championship All-Tournament Team, Dombai is a very precious player. She is all-around strong and doesn’t mind taking care of all the intangibles (rebounding, defending, passing, drawing fouls). She showed good hands and an interesting touch close to the basket. While her actions are not necessarily fancy, expect them to be solid. Doesn’t step backwards and can face tough defenses. She will tirelessly try to come out with a positive play.
Anna Kuznetsova (Russia), Small Forward
As other team-mates Kuznetsova showed some strong character and even sometimes attitude during the tournament. Has on her record the unenviable and sole disqualification foul of the tournament. Besides this, she is an interesting small forward with a strong offensive game. She is a good finisher and attacks the basket naturally. Her change of pace can prove to be hard to follow. Doesn’t mind traffic and contact.
Laura Meldere (Latvia), Center
If Latvia managed to make it to the semi-finals, Meldere was of much influence in that run. Her double-double average of 14pts-12rbds was crucial. She is a classic center with solid post fundamentals who doesn’t mind stretching the floor shooting from distance. She is physical and uses this asset to rebound and deflect efficiently. Don’t expect flashy plays, just solid contribution which led her to rank 5th in overall efficiency during the tournament. Much of her future will depend on how she will evolve physically and how her game will adapt to faster plays.
Raquel Carrera (Spain), Center
— elSuperHincha (@elSuperHincha) August 6, 2017
Another classic center but with good mobility. Reads and feels the plays very well. Showed good hands and strong dedication to the team. Uses her size to her advantage. Posted a strong tournament in scoring, rebounding and blocking which led her to rank tied 3rd in efficiency. Is very dissuasive in defense thanks to her frame and a great shot blocker. Has to work on her shooting percentage but knows enough and does enough already to contribute in offense. If she continues working can become a competitive center at all levels in the future.
— Paul Nilsen (@basketmedia365) August 7, 2017