2012 FIBA-Asia Cup Scouting Report: The Young Guns

Guo Ailun is one of the young guns we should look out for
in the 2012 FIBA-Asia Cup.
(image from sports.163.com)

The biggest continental tournament in this corner of the basketball world will unfold in about a week. This will determine the first three qualifiers in the 2013 FIBA-Asia Men’s Championships, which, in turn, will award the top three finishers with automatic berths in the 2014 FIBA World Championships.

Needless to say, this tournament is going to be big, so your friendly neighborhood Hoop Nut has taken it upon himself to detail some of the personalities to watch for. This is the first in a series of scouting reports aimed at unveiling some of the names we’ll have to remember as the FIBA-Asia Cup unfolds. Some of these names are staples of the FIBA-Asia scene, some are due to break out , while some are rising stars destined to carry their respective countries’ causes in the future.

In the first part of this series, we looked at the grizzled veterans, and in the second part, we discussed the guys poised to breakout big time. Now, we shall direct our attention to the generation who will eventually make the headlines and take leadership roles in their respective teams in the very near future. Most of these guys are the most recent stars of FIBA-Asia’s U18 and U16 tourneys. They may lack in experience at this level, but these are the guys who will be the future legends of Asian basketball. These are the Young Guns.

Matt Rosser might have a more active role for
Team Pilipinas in Tokyo.
(image from the Chicago Town News)
Matt Ganuela Rosser of the Philippines
Rosser is a 6’5” natural PG who was born in the Philippines back in 1990 to an American dad and a Filipina mom. He played high school and college ball in the US – for Temecula Valley HS and Cal Poly Pomona College. His first stint with the senior NT of the Philippines was in the recent 2012 Jones Cup, where he played as a third-string guard/forward. In three games, he averaged about 2.7ppg and 1.7rpg. Expect those numbers to go up as LA Tenorio has no primary back-up at the PG spot in Tokyo.

Guo Ailun is tagged as one of the best young
guards in the whole world.
(image from niubball.com)
Guo Ailun of China
Guo is a well-known 19-year old prodigy who stars for the Liaoning Dinosaurs (formerly Hunters) in the CBA. Rumors have circulated about Liaoning releasing him to play for Panathinaikos in the Euro League. He’s THAT good. He appeared for Team China in the 2012 London Olympics, playing four games with one start. He normed 8.1ppg and 3.2apg in about 21 minutes of play per contest for Liaoning this past CBA season. He’ll definitely be the main playmaker and penetration threat for the Chinese in Tokyo.

Wang Zhelin dunks against Team USA in
the Nike Hoops Summit early this year.
(image from niubball.com)
Wang Zhelin of China
Wang is the 18-year old 7-footer (one of MANY in China) who is touted, along with Zhou Qi, to succeed Wang Zhizhi and Yao Ming as the next great big man from the orient. He certainly turned a lot of heads when he led the World Team over Team USA in the 2012 Nike Hoops Summit, scoring 19 points and grabbing 8 rebounds. He was also named MVP of the recent 2012 FIBA-Asia U18 Championships in Mongolia, where he was even more dominant. In 9 games, Wang normed a double-double line of 22.3ppg and 10.3rpg – all in just 21 minutes of play per outing! He’ll be one of the key pieces of China’s young team in the FIBA-Asia Cup.

Li Muhao can form a potent twin towers combination
with Wang Zhelin for China.
(image from sports.sohu.com)
Li Muhao of China
Li is yet another of China’s young, tall guys who can dominate under and around the basket. The 20-year old Dongguan Leopard scored 16 points and collared 6 rebounds against Duke University in a 2011 exhibition game, easily holding his own against the Plumlee brothers. Though some people have compared his handles to Eric Montross’s (that is NOT a compliment by the way), he’s still touted to be one of the brightest young prospects for Chinese basketball.

Aleksandr Yahin tries to hoist one over
Iran's Hamed Haddadi.
(image from sports.163.com)

Aleksandr Yahin of Uzbekistan
The 23-year old Yahin has already played on two FIBA-Asia Men’s Tournaments and that collective experience should help him inherit the primary big man’s role for the Uzbeks. Overall he averaged 4.1ppg and 4.2apg in the past two FIBA-Asia meets, but he should see a rise in those stats in Tokyo. Since some of the veterans of Team Uzbekistan won’t be around in Japan, Yahin should have a more central role in the whole scheme of things for Coach Oleg Levin.

Amir Sedighi goes up strong against the Chinese defense.
(image from redsports.sg)
Amir Sedighi of Iran
At 6’8” and just 19 years of age, Sedighi is a prime prospect to inherit the starting swingman spot of Samad Nikkhah Bahrami. Sedighi starred for Iran in the 2010 Youth Olympic Games, norming 11.7ppg and 7.0rpg in the 3-on-3 competition. He also did well in the 2010 FIBA-Asia U18 tournament, averaging 9.1ppg in just 17 minutes of action per match. For Mahram, his Iranian Super League club, Amir plays about 18 minutes per outing, norming 8.5ppg and grabbing 3.3rpg while shooting 55.6% form the floor. He’ll be one of the primary bench scorers for Coach Memi Becirovic.

Behnam Yakhchali shoots over his Pinoy defender.
(image from FIBAAsia.net)

Behnam Yakhchali of Iran
Despite being just 17 years old, Behnam is already being hailed as a probable mainstay for the Iranian senior NT. His shooting accuracy is reminiscent of Iran’s current super SG, Hamed Afagh. He was Iran’s leading scorer in the 2012 FIBA-Asia U18 Tournament, scoring 17.0ppg in 9 games while also grabbing 4.4rpg, and stealing the ball about 2.2 times per contest. He also hit more than two threes per game. Needless to say, nobody can afford to leave this kid open.

Sajjad Mashayekhi splits the Bahraini defense.
(image from deteksibasketball.com)

Sajjad Mashayekhi of Iran
Sajjad was a teammate of Amir Sedighi in the 2010 Youth Olympic Games. He didn’t score much, but his hallmark was defense. He continued displaying his defensive prowess in the 2012 FIBA-Asia U18 Tournament, where he was second overall in steals per game with 3.7. He also shot 30% from beyond the arc while becoming Iran’s primary playmaker, averaging 13.2ppg, 6.2rpg, and 4.9apg – good for second overall. He might be the heir apparent to the aging Mehdi Kamrani.

Vishesh Bhriguvanshi drives past Park Chan-Hee of Korea.
(image from FIBAAsia.net)

Vishesh Bhriguvanshi of India
Vishesh is a 6’4” 21-year old combo guard who plays for NW Railways in India. He started playing for the senior NT in the 2010 Asian Games and continued in the 2011 FIBA-Asia Tournament. He’s the perfect partner for another young Indian up-and-coming player, Hareesh Koroth, as Vishesh is more of a penetrator and playmaker. He also has good size and should be a good match-up for many top-level Asian guards.

Satnam Singh Bhamara gets an easy bucket down low.
(image from FIBAAsia.net)

Satnam Singh Bhamara of India
Bhamara is the great big hope of Indian basketball. He is just 17 years old, but already he’s about 7’1”. That’s insane (unless you’re from China). He played sparingly in the 2011 FIBA-Asia Men’s Tournament, but he was India’s main weapon in the 2011 U16 meet, where he averaged 19.3ppg and 3.3bpg. He also shot 53.4% from the field, but the worrisome thing is he only managed to grab 1.8 rebounds per contest. That’s utterly unacceptable for a man his size. His footwork is the aspect of his game that needs the most improvement.

Palpreet Singh Brar shows his shooting touch.
(image from FIBAAsia.net)
Palpreet Singhr Brar of India
Palpreet learned basketball relatively late, but he became a natural at it and is now a leading young prospect in his native land. He was the brightest star in the U18 Indian team this year, averaging 20 points, more than 8 rebounds, and nearly 4 blocks per game during the 2012 FIBA-Asia U18 Tournament in Ulanbaatar. The 6’9” 18-year old who plays center for Punjab will certainly be one of the pillars of Indian basketball in the future, and the future can start in Tokyo.
Next Post »
0 Comment