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Scouting Notes: Adidas Next Generation Tournament (Munich)
By Austin Green
The Adidas Next Generation Tournament is one of the best international events at the U18 level.
It features some of the top youth programs in Europe. They compete at one of four qualifying events for a spot in the final tournament, which takes place during the EuroLeague Final 4 in May. Most of the top European prospects, such as Luka Doncic and Victor Wembanyama, have played in the tournament in recent years.
NBA scouts from more than half the league were in attendance for the first 2023 qualifier tournament in Munich (Jan. 20-22). These were the top prospects.
Check out the full ANGT stats/metrics here: https://app.cerebrosports.com/event/1674288264414x834291190569565200
Hugo Gonzalez | 6’7 SG/SF | Real Madrid | Class of 2024
Spanish wing Hugo Gonzalez earned MVP honors and posted the highest C-RAM of the tournament (12.2) while leading Real Madrid to the title. He averaged 19.2 points, 2 steals and 1.5 blocks per game while shooting 61.1% from the 3-point line.
Gonzalez is an explosive athlete and intense competitor. While he is blessed with a strong frame and quick-twitch athleticism, it was his mentality that impressed me the most.
Gonzalez plays with infectious energy and aggressiveness, constantly hounding ball handlers and rotating defensively to challenge shots. He played with a high motor whenever he was on the court, regardless of the score.
Even though Real Madrid dominated the tournament, winning every game by at least 20 points, Gonzalez played each minute as if the game was on the line. These two blocks are prime examples of his hustle and competitive spirit.
In a significant development for his NBA outlook, Gonzalez showed considerable progress as a shooter. He knocked down 61.1% of his 3s on 4.5 attempts per game (11/18 total). He had a good arc, rotation, and touch on the ball and he shoots with a strong base. When he set his feet, he was almost automatic in Munich.
He has clearly put in a lot of work to improve this aspect of his game after shooting 28% from 3 last summer at the 2022 FIBA U17 World Cup (7/25 total).
If Gonzalez continues to shoot like this, he will be an ideal 3-and-D prospect for NBA teams to target in the 2025 Draft. His effort, physicality, and switchability on defense combined with his shooting and at-rim finishing with both hands (59.3% 2FG) make him a seamless fit for any team.
The next steps in Gonzalez’s development will be improving his handle and playmaking ability. He only averaged 1 assist with 2.8 turnovers per game, ranking 59th out of 96 players in Cerebro’s Floor General Skills metric (46).
He is more of a play finisher than an initiator, but he did show flashes of self-creation off the dribble and playmaking for others. If he can make strides in this aspect of his game, his already high ceiling will raise even more.
Gonzalez should be a fixture in the Spanish national team for years and will hopefully spend most of his pre-Draft time playing with Real Madrid’s pro squad in the ACB and EuroLeague. It is still early – he’s 2.5 years away from being Draft-eligible – but Gonzalez is on track to be a lottery-level prospect when the time comes.
Egor Demin | 6’8 G/F | Real Madrid | Class of 2024
Speaking of lottery-level prospects, I lived in Spain during Luka Doncic’s pre-Draft years and watched him play 20+ games in person with Real Madrid. I was the Pelicans’ international scout in Australia when LaMelo Ball and Josh Giddey played in the NBL. I scouted Dyson Daniels at the NBA Global Academy, and last year I watched Anthony Black play with Duncanville at HoopHall West.
I say all of that because I think it provides some necessary context for my Egor Demin analysis. I’ve seen this movie before. At 6-foot-8 with a great feel for the game, basketball IQ, vision, and playmaking ability on both ends of the floor, Demin is what a lottery-caliber prospect looks like in the modern NBA.
The 16-year-old Demin finished the ANGT tied for 2nd in Cerebro’s Floor General Skills metric (76), averaging 4.8 assists per game. He plays with great patience and timing in the pick-and-roll. He waits for his big man to set the screen and gets the defense off-balance with pass fakes, shot fakes, jab steps, stop-start moves, and use of his off-arm. Despite not having the most explosive first step, he manipulates the defense with his IQ, size, and craftiness, getting wherever he wants on the court.
He has good vision and passing ability for feeding cutters and finding 3-point shooters on the perimeter. He doesn’t dominate the ball either, looking to get off it quickly as soon as a teammate has an advantage.
Defensively he might struggle to stay in front of smaller, quicker players, but his activity and ability to read the game make him a major factor on that end of the court too.
He plays with one of my favorite traits – arms up with hands in passing lanes – which leads to a lot of deflections. He has great reflexes and is a smart off-ball defender who is almost always making the right rotation. When he gets a steal or defensive rebound, he immediately looks up-court and delivers quick outlet passes on target. Real Madrid feasted in transition thanks to Demin’s defensive activity and willingness to advance the ball quickly.
While Demin fits the archetype of the big playmakers I mentioned above, with similar strengths and weaknesses, it’s important to mention that he appears to be far ahead of guys like Giddey, Daniels, and Black as a shooter at age 16.
Demin needs to be more consistent with his form, but he opened some eyes with his 7-of-9 shooting display from 3 vs. ALBA Berlin. He made 3s curling off screens and pulling up off the dribble. The variety of shot-making and confidence he showed immediately raised his ceiling in the mind of NBA scouts. Similar to Gonzalez, when Demin set his feet and shot the ball with balance, the results were great.
He finished the tournament at 52.9% from 3 on 4.3 attempts per game, ranking tied for 2nd in Cerebro’s 3-Point Efficiency metric (93) behind only Gonzalez.
Some NBA teams will be hesitant to use him as a primary initiator, with his lack of burst perhaps making him more suitable as a second-side creator and connector rather than a true lead guard. In that scenario, his shooting development will be crucial. If he can consistently shoot like this, he will become a valuable off-ball player as well as an on-ball weapon.
For improvement areas, Demin struggled at times to create 1-on-1 in late-shot clock situations. This sequence vs. French wing Pacome Dadiet exposed Demin’s limitations in that regard.
Demin was also a little quiet in the championship game, finishing with just 8 points on 3-of-10 shooting. While Gonzalez was clearly ready for the fight against Real Madrid’s toughest opponent Zalgiris Kaunas, Demin didn’t respond quite as well to the in-game adversity.
I wouldn’t overreact to this because he’s clearly a tough and competitive kid, but it’s something to monitor in future big-game situations.
Pacome Dadiet | 6’7 G/F | Ratiopharm Ulm | Class of 2023
French wing Pacome Dadiet is a smooth, talented scorer at 6’7. He delivered one of the most impressive individual performances of the tournament with an efficient 21 points vs. Real Madrid (6/11 2FG, 2/4 3FG, 3/5 FT) in just under 24 minutes.
Dadiet attacked switches with aggression, made 3s spotting up and pulling up off the dribble, and finished with both his left and right hand through contact. He has a good handle for his size and he cut hard off the ball. He played with confidence and physicality, and his shot-making kept Ulm competitive vs. Madrid in the first half. He also made some strong defensive plays against the loaded Madrid squad.
Unfortunately, Dadiet landed on a defender’s foot and turned his ankle late in the 2nd quarter, which limited him for the rest of the tournament. He toughed it out to finish the game vs. Madrid and tried to play in Ulm’s second game, but he clearly wasn’t moving as well and sat out for the final two games.
This was especially disappointing because Dadiet had missed almost the entire season up to this point due to a contract dispute when he moved from Paris Basketball to Ulm in the off-season. This was the first real opportunity for scouts to see him this season, and while it would’ve been great to watch him three or four times, his strong game vs. the eventual champions should have him firmly on the NBA radar.
The injury and lack of production in the 2nd game will obscure his numbers – he finished 26th in C-RAM at 6.5 – but Dadiet was definitely one of the top 5 prospects at the tournament when healthy.
Alexandros Samontourov | 6’11 PF/C | Panathinaikos | Class of 2023
Samontourov (spelled Samodurov in FIBA events) has an argument for the most talented player at the tournament. At 6-11, he is skilled and mobile, moving like a wing while also playing in the post with good footwork and touch around the rim.
Samontourov led the tournament in scoring with 22.3 points per game and finished 2nd behind Gonzalez with a C-RAM of 11.1. He also added 7 rebounds, 3 assists, 2.8 steals, and 1.5 blocks per game.
He made a ridiculous 74.5% of his twos (35/47), showing great scoring instincts in the paint and an impressive ability to attack closeouts from the perimeter. Opposing bigs had no chance of staying in front of him when he attacked quickly off the catch.
He was ice cold from the 3-point line, making only 1-of-14 attempts. However, he shot 84.2% from the free-throw line (16/19) and his stroke looked great from 15 feet. He doesn’t get as much rotation on the ball when he shoots from 3, but as he gets stronger and more comfortable with the distance, it’s definitely possible he could be a weapon from behind the arc.
So why isn’t Samontourov higher on this list? Well, if there was a metric for “vibes” Samontourov would’ve ranked last in the tournament.
He was constantly rolling his eyes and complaining to officials. He was disconnected from his teammates and coaches, often wandering around by himself instead of engaging with the group. His body language turned off many scouts in attendance who got the impression that Samontourov felt the event was beneath him.
He also couldn’t handle physicality and didn’t play with a competitive spirit or motor that scouts want to see from a top prospect. In Panathinaikos’ 73-65 loss to Zalgiris, he was out-worked and out-played by a much less talented frontcourt. Any time there was contact, he was looking at the refs to bail him out instead of playing through it. If he couldn’t handle physicality at a U18 tournament, how’s he going to survive in the NBA?
Samontourov received a big 5-year contract from EuroLeague club Panathinaikos in the offseason, so maybe that led to a sense of entitlement. He’s still young and there’s time for him to mature before he’s Draft-eligible in 2024. It’s too early to write him off based on his attitude, and some NBA teams won’t care regardless, they’ll just take the talented 6-11 guy and hope it works out.
But there are only spots for 450 players in the NBA. If you lack mental or physical toughness, or if you’re a bad teammate or not coachable, you won’t stick around for long. Hopefully, Samontourov will learn and grow from this experience because his talent is undeniable.
Illan Pietrus | 6-3 Combo G | NGT Select | Class of 2023
During the season Pietrus plays with Strasbourg in France, but he was competing in Munich with the Next Generation Select squad, which brings together some of the top prospects from teams who weren’t invited to the tournament.
Pietrus is a quick guard with impressive scoring instincts. He finished 2nd in scoring with 20.3 points per game, shooting 61.9% on twos (13/21), 43.8% on threes (7/16) and 82.4% from the free-throw line (14/17). That put him tied for 3rd in Cerebro’s Pure Scoring Prowess (PSP) metric behind only Gonzalez and Samontourov.
His quickness was a huge problem for opposing defenses in Munich. He drew 7 fouls against both Panathinaikos and Zalgiris, who couldn’t keep him out of the paint. He also showed some tough finishing ability in traffic and his pull-up jumper looked smooth from both mid-range and the 3-point line.
Pietrus had tunnel vision at times, often only looking to make plays for himself rather than create for his teammates. He struggled with clock management, several times waiting until there was 1 second on the shot clock before throwing a grenade to a teammate, resulting in a turnover or a heave at the buzzer.
He also somehow registered a DSI (Defensive Stat Impact) of 0, with no steals or blocks in 71 minutes on the court. He has quick feet and was competing, but he didn’t appear to be a difference-maker at that end of the court.
Long-term, Pietrus will need to improve his decision-making, passing ability, and defensive impact. It won’t be as easy for him to score against the length and athleticism of opponents in college, European pro leagues, and especially the NBA.
Others to Monitor
There were numerous other good prospects who should be on college radars.
Class of 2023
Class of 2024