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The Euroleague Basketball Adidas Next Generation Tournament series gets its start on Friday, January 20 with the first qualifier, at the Audi Dome in Munich, Germany, a EuroLeague-level stage on which to see some of the best European talents of the future. Check out some of the players to watch in Munich.
Alexandros Samontourov, U18 PanathinaikosAthens
Samontourov will be playing his second season in the ANGT. He competed for the Next Generation Patras team at the ANGT Patras qualifier last season, where he averaged 14.2 points, 6.5 rebounds, 1.5 assists, 2.0 steals and 1.8 blocks. He was then chosen for the Next Generation Select team at the ANGT Finals, where he collected 6.5 points, 3.0 rebounds, 2.0 assists, 1.0 steals and 1.0 blocks. He represented Greece at the FIBA U18 European Championship 2022 and tallied 11.0 points, 6.0 rebounds, 1.0 steals and 1.7 blocks. The 2.10-meter forward has great ballhandling skill for his size. He has good court vision and passes the ball very well. Samontourov, who joined Panathinaikos during last season and has played in two Greek League games this season, is a sneaky spot-up shooter who can also play in the low post. He mainly needs to improve his strength and aggressiveness around the basket.
Linus Ruf, U18 ALBA Berlin
Ruf will be lining up for his second appearance in the ANGT. Last year he picked up 8.2 points and 5.8 rebounds at ANGT Ljubljana. He also helped ALBA win the German U19 NBBL league title. Ruf missed out on playing for Germany at the FIBA U18 European Championship 2022 with an injury after having played at the FIBA U16 European Challenger 2021. This season, the 2.07-meter center is averaging 11.0 points, 7.0 rebounds and 1.4 assists in the U19 league as well as 3.4 points, 2.2 rebounds and 1.2 assists in the ProB third division. Ruf can play both in the low post and facing the basket. He has a great ability to create points off the dribble and he is quickly improving his shooting range. Ruf needs to improve his physical skills and keep working on his long-range shooting technique.
Samuele Miccoli, U18 EA7 Emporio Armani Milan
Despite being a year younger than most players in the tournament, Miccoli will be competing in his second ANGT after he collected 9.5 points, 3.5 rebounds, 1.0 assists and 1.2 steals last season at ANGT Varese. He starred for Italy at the FIBA U16 European Championship 2022 with 14.0 points, 3.0 rebounds, 2.6 assists and 1.3 steals. Miccoli leads Milan's U19 team this season with 18.0 points per game. The 1.90-meter guard made his Italian League debut last April and scored his first points in the league in late November. Miccoli is an excellent offensive player who is creative and good at attacking the basket with many solutions. He still must work on his individual defense and consistency on his three-point shot.
Desmond Yiamu, U18 FC Bayern Munich
Yiamu will be making his ANGT debut as the 2006-born big man joined Bayern after fleeing his native Ukraine to Germany. He played for Ukraine at the FIBA U16 European Championship 2022 Division B and averaged 12.1 points, 8.6 rebounds, 1.8 assists, 2.5 steals and 1.1 blocks. Yiamu is a mobile big man with great footwork, and he has soft touch around the rim. He has a great feel for rebounds and issolid whether near and far from the rim.
Pacome Dadiet, U18 ratiopharm Ulm
Dadiet will be playing in the ANGT for a second season after he was selected for the Next Generation Patras team at the ANGT Patras as well as the Next Generation Select team for the ANGT Finals. All told, he averaged 16.1 points, 4.9 rebounds, 1.2 assists and 1.6 steals in eight games in ANGT play last season. Last summer, the 2.05-meter guard collected 4.8 points, 1.4 rebounds and 2.2 assists in helping France win bronze at the FIBA U17 Basketball World Cup 2022. Just before ANGT Munich, Dadiet moved from Paris Basketball to Ulm but has not played this season. He can defend multiple positions because of his length and athleticism, which makes him extremely versatile on the defensive end. Offensively Dadiet has the ability to get shots, create his own shot and get to the basket with strong finishes.In addition to his three-point shot consistency, he still must improve his pick-and-roll play.
Jan Vide, U18 Real Madrid
Vide comes to Munich with a lot of ANGT experience, having played the last two seasons in the competition, including winning the 2021 ANGT title with Real when he averaged 3.0 points, 1.2 rebounds and 1.2 assists at the finals. The Slovenian guard picked up 10.5 points, 2.3 rebounds and 2.3 assists at the ANGT Ljubljana qualifier last season and then had 3.7 points, 1.3 rebounds and 1.0 assists at the ANGT Finals. Last summer, Vide led the FIBA U17 Basketball World Cup 2022 in scoring with 20.1 points to go with 5.7 rebounds and 3.6 assists. This season he is averaging 20.8 points, 3.6 rebounds, 2.4 assists and 1.2 steals in the Spanish fourth division. The 1.96-meter guard can score in many ways and dominate in transition. He is an excellent rebounder with all the physical skills for modern basketball. Vide still must improve his shooting quickness and dribble less.
Mantas Laurencikas, U18 Zalgiris Kaunas
Laurencikas is a year younger than the competition in Munich but he will be playing in his second ANGT season. He collected 3.5 points, 3.5 rebounds, 3.8 assists and 1.0 steals at the ANGT Ljubljana last year. The 1.89-meter guard last summer helped Lithuania win the FIBA U16 European Championship 2022 title, averaging 13.7 points, 3.4 rebounds, 2.1 assists and 1.7 steals, including draining 4 three-pointers for 26 points in the final. Laurencikas is currently contributing 2.1 points and 1.5 assists in 10 minutes in the Lithuanian second division. Laurencikas can drive to both sides of the basket and changes directions well while also finishing with contact. He exudes good leadership skills and has good physicality for his position. Laurencikas also has a good IQ and reads pick-and-roll situations well. He still needs to work on his spot-up and pull-up shooting, get better at one-on-one defense, and be a more consistent floor general.
Illan Pietrus, U18 Next Generation Team Munich
Pietrus will be at the ANGT for a second season after playing for the Next Generation Patras team last season as well as the Next Generation Select team at the ANGT Finals. In eight games, the 1.92-meter guard averaged 12.6 points, 2.2 rebounds, 2.6 assists and 1.2 steals. Pietrus is the son of long-time former EuroLeague Basketball regular Florent Pietrus. He already won a bronze medal with France at the FIBA U17 Basketball World Cup 2022, where he tallied 10.9 points, 2.9 rebounds, 3.1 assists and 1.3 steals. He has played 7 minutes in three France League games for for SIG Strasbourg, scoring 3 points. He also appeared in one Basketball Champions League game, picking up 4 points and 2 assists. In the French U21 league, Pietrus is contributing 20.2 points, 4.4 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 1.6 steals. Pietrus can create in pick-and-roll situations and score in many different ways. He needs to be a bit more consistent with his three-point shots and his decision-making at point guard.