Players to watch at FIBA Under-19 World Cup

During this period, Hungary is the host of the FIBA Under-19 World Cup, a competition that brings a lot of talent to the court. After each team played 4 matches, some names stood out.

Mathias M’Madi is perhaps the most interesting player in terms of evolution. Representing Madagascar, M’Madi was incredible with 27.8 points, he is the top scorer of the tournament including 2 matches with over 30 points. Next season there are chances to see him playing for Chalon and in the future having French citizenship is a very good option for the French national team.

With 19.3 points, 6.8 rebounds and 67.4% from the 2-point line, Izan Almansa is already a top prospect for everyone and this tournament only confirms his talent. Spain is probably the only team that could beat the USA in this final tournament and Almansa has chances to win another MVP tournament after the 2022 FIBA U17 World Cup.

Reynan Santos is the star of Brazil in this tournament with 19 points and 6 rebounds. His performance in the Round of 16, 25 points and 12 rebounds, was not enough for Brazil to eliminate Argentina, but the small forward from Franca proved his value.

Although France had come with Zacharie Perrin as the star, the one who shone so far was Melvin Ajinca. He impressed especially with the percentages in the action 63.2% from the 2-point line and 50% from the 3-point line. With 18.5 points, he is one of the favorites for the MVP title if France reaches the final.

Although he has 18.5 points, and 4 rebounds, everyone expected more from Jan Vide, a skilled big combo guard. Unfortunately, with only 1 of 12 from the 3-point line and 48.3% from the 2-point line, he is far from what the world expected from him, in the Round of 16 loss to Canada, he managed 4/17 with -16 to +/-.

Alexandre Bouzidi is the best passer so far, with 6.8 assists for the French point guard and an astonishing AST/TO of 5.4. In the match against Madagascar in the Round of 16, he managed 14 assists in 20 minutes.

In the rebounds category, there are 3 players who are in double digits, all with 10.0: Tobe Awake, Berke Buyuktuncel and Hansen Yang. If the last two achieved this performance in almost 30 minutes per match, Tobe Awaka achieved this in only 19 minutes, a remarkable thing for the American player.

My favorite so far is the Serbian Filip Borovicanin, an incredible guard with 14 points, 6.0 rebounds and 3.3 ast, achieving a double-double against Korea in the Round of 16, 26 points and 11 rebounds. Unbelievable how much this kid has grown, I remember him from when he was playing for Beko in EYBL U14, he was at a completely different level compared to his colleagues.

As a negative thing is the presence of a small number of spectators in the hall, I was expecting a different atmosphere, especially since we see the future of basketball at work, many of these kids will become superstars in the future. This may be the moment when you can most easily get a high-value picture with them, especially since the level of basketball was at high standards. Valentin Petruta

Image credit: FIBA