FIBA Europe U18 Championship Scouting Reports: Power Forwards
by: Jonathan Givony - President
August 6, 2015
Scouting reports on six of the top power forward prospects seen at the 2015 FIBA Europe U18 Championship in Volos, including Lauri Markkanen, Isaiah Hartenstein, Killian Tillie, Niklas Kiel, Leonardo Tote and Martynas Echodas.
More FIBA Europe U18 Championship Content:
-U18 Scouting Reports: Small Forwards
-U18 Scouting Reports: Shooting Guards
-U18 Scouting Reports: Point Guards
-Martynas Varnas Interview
-Killian Tillie Interview
-Richard Freudenberg Interview
-Jonathan Jeanne Interview
-Leon Kratzer Interview
-Isaiah Hartenstein Interview
-Tadas Sedekerskis Interview
-Frank Ntilikina Interview
-Verners Kohs Interview
-Kostja Mushidi Interview
-Lauri Markkanen Interview


Lauri Markkanen, 6'11, HBA-Marsky, Finland, 1997

Jonathan Givony

Strengths:
-Great size for a power forward at 6-11. Big enough to play some center in smaller “stretchy” lineups
-Very nice frame that is continuously filling out. Solid upper body
-Fluid athlete. Moves well. Can play above the rim
-Terrific shooter. Made 41% of 3-point attempts at U18s. Career 41% 3-point shooter in 26 FIBA competition games
-Excellent mechanics on jumper with a quick release
-Very reliable shooter with feet set
-Can come off screens even
-Excellent first step. Can attack closeouts with long strides for impressive straight-line drives and finishes
-Gets to the free throw line at a great rate (8.1 times per-40 at U18s)
-Will grab a rebound and handle ball in open floor
-Can score inside the post with nice footwork and soft touch. Has a jump-hook with either hand
-Highly efficient and unselfish team player.
-Fundamentally sound with a high basketball IQ
-Competitive on defense. Team switched on every pick and roll and he did not look out of place on perimeter. Very nice mobility. Steps out onto smaller players and moves feet. Doesn't get abused
-Gets in passing lanes. 2.6 steals per-40 at U18s. Career 2.5


Weaknesses:
-Possesses just an average wingspan relative to his height
-Not a great rebounder on either end of the floor (8.7 per-40 at U18s, career 9.3)
-Doesn't block shots. Only 1.2 blocks per-40 at this competition. Career 0.9
-Can continue to improve his back to the basket game to allow him to post up smaller power forwards. Will likely come with added strength and maturity
-Struggles holding his ground inside the paint at times. Lower body strength still a work in progress.
-Lacks a degree of physicality when stronger players try and back him down
-Bites on pump-fakes
-As prolific as he was offensively, team maybe could have benefited from him being a little more selfish. Tends to play passively and blend in at times. Doesn't quite realize how good he is at this stage? May not be as much of an issue playing with better players

Outlook: Big, skilled power forward on the NCAA track. Picking between Arizona, Utah and North Carolina. Had an outstanding tournament, helping a very weak team avoid relegation, while averaging 25 points per-40 minutes on an outrageous 65% TS%. Can do a little bit of everything offensively. Ideal stretch 4 man. Shows some potential defensively as well. Could stand to get a little tougher, meaner and more aggressive as he continues to mature.

Isaiah Hartenstein, 6'11, ?, Germany, 1998

Jonathan Givony

Strengths:
-Extremely impressive physically.
-Legit 6-11. Outstanding frame that will fill out nicely in time. Long wingspan. Big hands
-Very good athlete. Mobile. Quick off feet
-Can do a little bit of everything offensively
-Made ten 3-pointers in nine games at the U19s. Capable shooter with feet set. Even knocks down an occasional pull-up 3. Can pick and pop
-Can attack a closeout driving left with a strong first step
-Can score a little with back to the basket. Has soft touch and decent footwork. Should be able to develop this part of his game in time
-Can create his own shot from mid or high post going one on one. Finishes high and soft off the glass, or finds open man spotting up from perimeter with impressive crosscourt passes
-Outstanding rebounder. 15.5 per-40 at U18s. 14.5 at U16s. Goes out of area impressively with quickness and length, good timing and can beat opponents off the ground with quick bounce off two feet
-Can handle ball smoothly and confidently in open court, sometimes going coast to coast
-Shows very nice mobility on the defensive end, including quick feet and nice length. Can cover ground, stay in front of smaller players and contest shots impressively on the perimeter. Should be able to guard both big men positions as he fills out

Weaknesses:
-Feel for game, decision making hasn't quite caught up to his skill-level and athleticism yet
-Can make 3-pointers, but is not consistent from outside (26% 3P% at U18s, 18% at U16s). Shoots ball off the side of his hand with quite a bit of side-spin rotation. Will throw up some airballs at times
-Not a really team player. Plays for himself seemingly. Needs to be reeled in offensively
-Was very inefficient (46% TS% at U18s, 46% TS% at U16s) as well as turnover prone (5.6 turnovers per-40 at U18s, 4.1 at U16s).
-Doesn't quite know what his limitations are at this stage.
-Takes crazy shots off the dribble early in the shot-clock, which sometimes go in.
-Forces the issue with his drives
-Drives wildly into traffic and then throws up low-percentage floaters or ill-advised passes
-Rarely uses his right hand on drives or finishes
-Needs to improve his advanced ball-handling ability to be as much of a driver as he wants to be
-Loves to float out onto the perimeter, even when he has a clear-cut advantage inside. Views himself as some kind of combo forward, not as a big man.
-Back to the basket game can be developed into a real weapon if he's willing to, but right now it's at a very early stage.
-Lacks a degree of toughness and physicality on the defensive end, particularly on the interior. Doesn't always look like he's operating with the highest level of intensity. Gets beat a little more than he should. Fundamentals are average. Has tremendous potential on this end of the floor, but doesn't always look fully engaged. Much more focused on his offense.

Outlook: Extraordinarily talented lefty big man with tremendous versatility. Does things that 17-year olds his size aren't normally supposed to do. Sky is the limit as his combination of physical tools, skills and upside make him one of the most intriguing long-term prospects in Europe. On the downside, looks like he's used to doing whatever he wants. Needs to be reeled in by a good coach and figure out how to play efficient basketball. Was very up and down over the course of the tournament. Team finished a disappointing 8th despite having arguably the most talented roster in the competition. Recently ruled out the NCAA track. Will likely sign in Spain, possibly in Vitoria according to rumors.

Killian Tillie, 6'9, INSEP, France, 1998

Jonathan Givony

Strengths:
-Good athlete. Runs floor well. Good leaper off two feet. Bouncy
-Good frame that should fill out nicely in time
-Has the potential to develop into a capable outside threat. Can make a catch and shoot jumper. Solid mechanics. Elevates a bit. Has a quick release.
-Very good offensive rebounder. Quick to the ball. Good instincts pursuing loose balls. Always puts himself in the mix. Often able to get to it first due to the quickness in which he gets off the ground
-Shows potential on defense. Fairly competitive. Moves feet. Mobile enough to step out onto the perimeter with long hedges
-Year younger than the competition as a 1998-born prospect

Weaknesses:
-Not exceptionally long
-Does not appear to possess a very high skill-level or a great feel for the game at this stage
-Mostly a garbage man offensively. Lives off cuts, offensive rebounds, transition finishes and the occasional spot-up jumper
-Needs to continue to improve his post game, footwork, ball-handling skills and become a more consistent outside shooter
-Gets posted up inside due to his lack of lower body strength. Struggles to hold ground inside the paint.
-Does not posses great awareness on defense at this stage. Looks very upright in his stance. Struggles to bend his knees
-Not a shot-blocker at all (due to lack of length and awareness?)
-Had an injury plagued season. Missed 73% of team's regular season games, then got hurt in third game of U18s. Something to be concerned about long term?

Outlook: Son of volleyball pros (father from France, mother from Netherlands). Older brothers are also professional athletes. Kim plays basketball for Laboral Vitoria in Spain, and Kevin volleyball in Poland. MVP of the U16 European Championship last summer. Had a difficult 2014-2015 season due to injuries (broken thumb, stress fracture in foot, ankle). Will play one more year at INSEP and then move to the States to play college basketball (brothers played at Utah and U.C. Irvine). Likely will chose from Utah and Gonzaga. Cal and Miami are also in the mix.

Borisa Simanic, 6'11, Red Star, Serbia, 1998

See our scouting report on Simanic from the FIBA U19 World Championship in Crete for a detailed breakdown.

Niklas Kiel, 6'10, Frankfurt, Germany, 1997

Jonathan Givony

Strengths:
-Good size for a power forward at around 6-10. Has worked on his body and now sports a much better frame than he did a year ago
attacks driving left. Doesn't want to use right hand. Skilled and versatile. Can handle a bit. Makes open 3s occasionally.
-Versatile power forward who shows you flashes of a little bit of everything. Has the ability to post up, handle ball and shoot to varying degrees. Not really consistent in any area, but shows a decent framework of skills
-Can attack a closeout and drive left or right. Has nice footwork
-Plays with a solid intensity level
-Always in the mix for loose balls. Tremendous offensive rebounder everywhere he's been thanks to combination of good hands and strong instincts. 6.4 per-40 at U18s. Career 5.1 per-40 in FIBA competition.

Weaknesses:
-Physical tools are average by NBA standards
-Has an average wingspan
-Not exceptionally athletic
-Needs a moment to gather himself before elevating around the rim
-Really struggled finishing around the basket at the U18s. 40% 2P%,
-Doesn't create much for teammates. Looks very focused on his offense. Tends to force the issue at times.
-Will make an occasional spot-up jumper, with a fairly quick release, but does not have the most fluid or smooth shooting mechanics. Release point is low. Touch is average.
-Career 21% 3P% and 59% FT% in 48 games we have tracked
-Lacks a degree of toughness inside the paint
-Needs to continue to maximize his physical tools and improve his experience-level to emerge as a capable defender at the power forward position. Struggled at times on the perimeter at this tournament.

Outlook: Did not have a great tournament individually or team wise, but looks to have improved his skill-set and body since the last time we saw him. Has some versatility and intensity. Needs to become a much more consistent 3-point shooter and defender to reach his full potential and play at the highest levels of basketball.

Leonardo Tote, 6'11, Brescia, Italy, 1997

Jonathan Givony

Strengths:
-Great size for a power forward at 6-11
-Good athlete. Moves well. Runs the floor. Can play above the rim with ease, sometimes in highly impressive fashion
-Fundamentally sound player who shows a great framework of raw skills
-Does not have the prettiest mechanics (has sloppy footwork and tends to lean back excessively on his release) but has nice touch and shown some ability to knock down 3-pointers in the past. Has good touch.
-Excellent footwork inside the paint
-Soft hands
-Makes swooping hook shots with either hand
-If strength isn't a factor, has the ability to operate with back to the basket
-Can make turnaround jumpers out of the post
-Moves intelligently off the ball
-Good instincts getting in the passing lanes, crashing the offensive glass and coming up with occasional blocks
-Plays hard and smart

Weaknesses:
-Has a very narrow frame that will take at least a few years to fill out. Lack of strength affects him in every area at the moment.
-Does not have a great wingspan
-Very poor defensive rebounder (career 5.1 per-40)
-Struggles to hold his ground inside the paint defensively. Gets posted up and pushed around
-Needs to continue to expand his shooting range. 11-35 from beyond the arc in 30 career games we have logged. Will have to become a true stretch PF to play at the highest levels
-Sets very narrow screens on offense

Outlook: Versatile power forward who can do a little bit of everything offensively. Already a veteran on the FIBA scene, played four tournaments with Italy in two summers (two European championships and two world championship). Could develop into an interesting prospect in a few years if his body fills out the right way.

Martynas Echodas, 6'9, Zalgiris Kaunas, Lithuania, 1997

Jonathan Givony

Strengths:
-Has solid physical attributes. Strong, mature frame and good mobility.
-Competitive player. Strong offensive rebounder. Attacks the glass every time
-Good hands. Reliable finisher on cuts.
-Soft touch around the basket with either hand
-Can post up weaker players with some footwork and power
-Solid IQ. Finds open man

Weaknesses:
-Looks like a center in a power forward's body
-Has a strong frame but isn't particularly toned
-Lacks a degree of explosiveness
-Plays strictly 15 feet and in. No real perimeter game. Needs to improve his skill-level
-Struggled to score efficiently at this tournament inside the arc. Shot just 42% for 2. Not long or athletic enough to finish over length in traffic
-Struggles stepping outside the paint defensively

Outlook: Mature and fundamentally sound big man who lacks a degree of size, length and explosiveness to be considered a top-shelf prospect. Plays hard and knows how to make the most of his tools at this level.
 


Feedback for this article may be sent to jonathan@draftexpress.com .

 

Lauri Markkanen
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 7' 0"
Weight: 225 lbs.
Birthday: 05/22/1997
19 Years Old
Teams:
High School: HBA
Current Team: Arizona , Freshman
Positions:
Current: PF,
NBA: PF,
Possible: PF
Quick Stats:
15.6 Pts, 7.1 Rebs, 0.9 Asts


Isaiah Hartenstein
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 7' 0"
Weight: 225 lbs.
Birthday: 05/05/1998
18 Years Old
Teams:
High School:
Current Team: Zalgiris , International
Positions:
Current: PF,
NBA: PF,
Possible: PF
Quick Stats:
0.5 Pts, 1.0 Rebs, 0.3 Asts


Killian Tillie
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 6' 10"
Weight: 230 lbs.
Birthday: 05/03/1998
18 Years Old
Teams:
High School: Insep
Current Team: Gonzaga , Freshman
Positions:
Current: PF/C,
NBA: PF/C,
Possible: PF/C
Quick Stats:
4.6 Pts, 3.1 Rebs, 0.7 Asts


Niklas Kiel
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 6' 10"
Weight: 225 lbs.
Birthday: 09/04/1997
19 Years Old
Teams:
High School:
Current Team: Frankfurt , International
Positions:
Current: C,
NBA: C,
Possible: C
Quick Stats:
5.7 Pts, 2.6 Rebs, 0.5 Asts


Leonardo Tote
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 6' 11"
Weight: 200 lbs.
Birthday: 07/08/1997
19 Years Old
Teams:
High School:
Current Team: Verona , International
Positions:
Current: PF,
NBA: PF,
Possible: PF
Quick Stats:
4.9 Pts, 2.5 Rebs, 0.4 Asts


Martynas Echodas
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 6' 10"
Weight: 230 lbs.
Birthday: 07/07/1997
19 Years Old
Teams:
High School:
Current Team: Siauliai , International
Positions:
Current: PF/C,
NBA: PF/C,
Possible: PF/C
Quick Stats:
9.9 Pts, 6.1 Rebs, 1.2 Asts


Borisa Simanic
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 6' 10"
Weight: 220 lbs.
Birthday: 03/20/1998
19 Years Old
Teams:
High School:
Current Team: Red Star , International
Positions:
Current: PF,
NBA: PF,
Possible: PF
Quick Stats:
2.9 Pts, 1.3 Rebs, 0.4 Asts