ANGT Munich: Real Madrid – GUARDS & WINGS (Part II)

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Kareem Queeley

Per game statistics: 9 points (69% 2FG, 33% 3FG), 4.3 rebounds, 2.5 assists, 1 turnover, 1.3 steals.

A staple of the Real Madrid youth teams for quite some time, Kareem Queeley was arguably the best perimeter defender in the tournament. He drew the toughest assignments all weekend long, including limiting Maccabi’s star Deni Avdija to a 1/11 outing from deep in the final. Queeley has an ideal physical profile for his position, as he has the size but also the wingspan, the strength, the lateral speed and the vertical jump to be threat on defense. He is also developing a very good tactical awareness on this end of the ball, as he was rotating very well on pick and rolls to snuff out the rolling threat — a very important trait when moving up the professional ranks.

However, despite his excellent 15 point performance in the final against Maccabi, Queeley is still very limited on offense. Although his athleticism makes him an effective transition player, his lack of craft, ball-handling or shooting severely hamper him in the half court, and he will need to improve on this end in order to avoid being an offensive liability and be able to make it at the highest levels. He only attempted 6 three-pointers in the whole ANGT qualifier — a very low number considering his off-the-ball role on offense and the attention that defenses put on Garuba and Nakic. Nonetheless, despite these flaws, Queeley seems ready to play at a higher level than Real Madrid’s EBA (Spanish 4th division) team next year, and it’s possible that the Madrid team send him out on loan to see him get play time in the LEB leagues.

Boris Tisma

Per game statistics: 8.3 points (64% 2FG, 33% 3FG), 1.3 rebounds, 0.3 assists, 1 turnover.

Boris Tisma had a relatively quiet showing this weekend in Munich, and barely impacted the games even when he was able to put up good numbers. He only averaged 8.3 points per game His shooting stroke remains an asset, and his lanky physical profile is still intriguing at his size. He has a good skill foundation, with good touch on shots in the paint, decent ball-handling and the aforementioned shooting.

Tisma’s main problem at this point is that he’s just quite thin and generally avoids contact. His coach even yelled at him a couple times about not contributing on the defensive boards enough, and that speaks volumes about this limitation to his game. However, Tisma is a 2002 prospect and will have a much bigger role for Real Madrid next year with the departures of Amar Sylla, Mario Nakic, Kareem Queeley and Golden Dike, and perhaps also of Usman Garuba. Another year of experience being tasked with creating offense consistently will likely do wonders for his polish level and ability to impact a game, as will another year of physical development.

Mario Nakic

Per game statistics: 14 points (56% 2FG, 32% 3FG), 5.3 rebounds, 2.5 assists, 2.3 turnovers.

Mario Nakic’s Munich ANGT was another display of the Serbian’s strengths and weaknesses as a prospect. On the one hand, Nakic is clearly a talented offensive player. At 6’7, he is able to use his size, strength and craft to create shot for himself quite effectively. He can make a spot up jumpshot from deep when given space, and he has a few extremely polished moves that he can use to create good looks for himself on any given possession at this level. He has a very effective one dribble pull-up, for instance, and he is proficient at stepping through after an upfake in the paint. He averaged 14 points per game here in Munich and was the focal point of Real Madrid’s perimeter offense, coming off screens and running pick and rolls.

However, his weaknesses remain mostly the same too. Despite his size, he isn’t the most athletic wing around and struggles to finish against opposition at the rim when his craft doesn’t create him an open look. He has excellent touch, but too often settles for push shots or floaters — and that will likely happen more against the taller, more athletic big men he will find at the highest levels. Furthermore, despite giving some good passes, Nakic isn’t a very aware or willing passer, and will frequently force the issue when teammates are open in the half court or when the numbers aren’t there in transition. He had an essentially neutral assist-to-turnover ratio, which accurately reflects both his good passing and his area of improvement on this front. On defense, his average lateral quickness makes him exploitable, and he’s somewhat stuck between positions: he isn’t tall enough to guard the very best wings but also isn’t fast enough to stick with the quicker scoring guards, and will likely need to work hard to be a positive on this end.

Overall, Nakic had a decent showing. His passing seems slightly improved, and his shot looked well — and he himself looked confident taking them— despite mixed results. It will be interesting to see his progression in the Real Madrid system, especially considering that they have enough faith in him to have given him a couple of symbolic ACB minutes already.

Matteo Spagnolo

Statistics (per game): 3.5 points (4/10 2FG, 0/6 3FG), 2.3 rebounds, 2.3 assits, 0.3 turnovers.

2003 Italian prospect Matteo Spagnolo played some real minutes here in Munich, coming off the bench for a very deep Real Madrid junior team. Despite being a couple of years younger than his opponents, Spagnolo looked the part, with decent size for is position and a well-developed frame. He has some very polished moves, and his pull-up jumper is especially impressive as he has excellent form even when contested.

Spagnolo seemed to struggle somewhat adjusting to the physicality of play, and was especially weak when attempting to finish shots inside the paint — something that he will likely improve upon with time and experience playing at this level. However, his performance was encouraging, as he showed some good point guard traits running the team, an especially important aspect for him since at his height and with his athletic ability, he likely profiles as a point guard at the next level. Although he didn’t look like the offensive wonder that he sometimes plays as at the U16 level, he was quite deferential to his teammates, which is a sign of maturity and awareness considering the depth of this Real Madrid team. It is very likely that we will see a very different version of Matteo Spagnolo in the ANGT next season, as he will likely be one of the most important players in the squad once the 2001 generation leaves.

Ziga Samar

Statistics (per game): 6.8 points (7/10 2FG, 3/14 3FG), 2.5 rebounds, 3 assists, 0.5 turnovers, 1.3 steals.

Slovenian point guard Ziga Samar had a good showing as the starter for the championship team. He constantly showed his offensive skills, being a good shooter and a good ball handler and being tasked with some secondary offensive playmaking on the perimeter, which he was able to do quite successfully. Looking forward, however, Samar only has average size for a point guard, is not particularly explosive and looks to have quite a narrow frame. He is an excellent junior point guard and his importance for this Real Madrid squad is clear; however, he will need to become an offensive ace in order to transition to the highest levels successfully and compensate for his lack of physicality and athleticism.

Jorge Mejías

Statistics (per game): 4.3 points, 4.5 rebounds, 4.8 assists, 2 turnovers.

The backup point guard for this Real Madrid junior team, Madrid native Jorge Mejías looked much improved from where he was at last season. He is by no means a knockdown shooter, but isn’t scared of taking them, and he remains an intelligent player and a good floor general who can run pick and rolls when the primary options have been snuffed out. However, his limited size and athleticism limit his upside somewhat, and he will need to become a much better shooter and work on his body in order to keep progressing.

Javier Ramos-Yzquierdo

Statistics (per game): 10 minutes, 1.5 points, 1.3 rebounds, 1.5 assists.

Spanish 2002 guard Javier Ramos-Yzquierdo had a very minor role this weekend in Munich. Although he did get some very brief minutes in the competitive segments of the initial games, he mostly played in garbage time. The most interesting aspect of his game remain the flashes of good slashing technique he shows from time to time, with some polished footwork when penetrating and attacking the rim. However, he didn’t play enough competitive minutes to really extract any conclusions, and he will presumably be back in the ANGT qualifiers next year with a bigger role once Real Madrid’s stacked 2001 generation departs.

Dan Duscak

Estadísticas (por partido): 9 minutos, 2.3 puntos, 0.5 rebotes, 0.8 asistencias, 1.5 robos

Dan Duscak played very few competitive minutes in this ANGT, and remains a similar player to what he was in other outings. Duscak is an intelligent player who relies on his smarts and anticipation to contribute on defense, and on his good touch and timing to score on offense. However, his lack of size and athleticism hampered him on both ends and limited his production. In any case, he did not play enough minutes to make any conclusive judgements on his game.


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