The Top Ten Performers at the 2016 FIBA U18 Americas Championship

The Top Ten Performers at the 2016 FIBA U18 Americas Championship
Jul 27, 2016, 11:50 am
This is a list of the top ten performers from the 2016 FIBA Americas U18 Championship held in Valdiva, Chile from July 19th through the 23rd. The rankings are based on the statistic EWA (estimated wins added). Although EWA does not definitively determine who the best individual players were, it does give you a sense of how productive and valuable they were to their respective teams. EWA is built off the same formula as PER, but it differs in the fact that it takes into account minutes played.

This article goes into further detail regarding EWA and how it relates to other advanced statistics.

Top Ten
#1 Markelle Fultz, USA
#2 Michael Porter, USA
#3 O'Shae Brissett, Canada
#4 Christian Negron, Puerto Rico
#5 P.J. Washington, USA
#6 Nickeil Alexander-Walker, Canada
#7 Ignacio Arroyo, Chile
#8 Felipe Haase, Chile
#9 L.J. Figueroa, Dominican Republic
#10 Matt Coleman, USA

#1) Markelle Fultz, 6'5, Point Guard, 18.1 years old, United States

EWA: 1.4
PER: 37.5
TS%: 62.5%
13.8 PTS, 4.0 REB, 5.2 AST, 3.2 STL, 6-18 3P%, 54.7 FG%,

Markelle Fultz, the highly recruited guard out of DeMatha High School in Maryland, took home MVP honors in Valdivia, and led the U.S. team to their fourth straight U18 FIBA Americas championship. Fultz's put an exclamation point on his impressive tournament, with a 23 point, 5 rebound, 5 assist performance in the championship game against Canada (in just 21 minutes). At 6'5, Fultz already has the size, feel, vision, and athletic ability to play both guard positions, but is most effective with the ball in his hands using his advanced ball handling skills, and footwork to get into the paint and make plays or finish at the rim.

At this point in his career, Fultz has proven he is a capable spot up shooter, something that will surely improve at the college level. As effective as he was on the offensive end of the floor, Fultz also impressed on the defensive end, leading the tournament in steals per game at 3.2, using his size and length to take opposing guards out of their rhythm. At just 18 years old the future is bright for the University of Washington commit, who very well may end up being a top pick in the 2017 NBA Draft.

#2) Michael Porter, 6'10, Forward, 18.0 years old, United States

EWA: 1.4
PER: 38.4
TS%: 61.8%
15.8 PTS, 5.6 REB, 2.4 AST, 1.8 STL, 1.0 BLK, 2.0 OREB, 6-20 3P%, 53.3 FG%

Michael Porter Jr. was another integral piece for the gold medal U.S. squad in Chile, posting per 40 averages of 30 points, 10.6 rebounds, and 4.6 assists. At 6'10, with a 7-foot wingspan Porter has unique physical tools for an 18-year-old that can be slotted into either forward position. Porter is a fluid and long athlete, who looks very comfortable running the floor in transition, getting out in space, and finishing above the rim, as demonstrated with some highlight reel finishes throughout the tournament. Porter can impact the game in the half court as well, knocking down shots from beyond the arc, as well as showing nice touch on one and two dribble pull ups and runners. Porter can make some plays off the bounce, but at this point is most effective on straight line drives, using his length and athleticism to get to the rim. Porter won't graduate until 2017, and is heading into his senior season at Nathan Hale High school in Seattle where he will be under the guidance of new head coach, Brandon Roy. He has already committed to the University of Washington, and looks to have the makings of a one and done lottery pick.

#3) O'Shae Brissett, 6'9, SF/PF, 18.0 years old, Canada

EWA: 1.3
PER: 30.0
TS%: 53.2%
16.4 PTS, 7.8 REB, 1.0 AST, 2.4 STL, .6 BLK, 4-16 3P%, 32-48 FT%, 41.1 FG%

O'Shae Brissett finished second in scoring and first in rebounds for a Canadian team that took home the silver medal, and pushed the United States to the brink in the gold medal game. Brissett was effective throughout the tournament and was unfortunately hampered by foul trouble in the championship game, where he was still impressive in his 23 minutes of action.

Brissett has excellent size and athletic ability for a forward, and is at his best filling the wings in transition and attacking the rim on physical drives. Brissett attacks the basket looking for contact, and he led the tournament in free throws attempted at 48, (in five games) 14 more than Nicolas Aguirre of Chile who finished in second.

Brissett impressed in the open court, but his skill-level in the half court is still somewhat limited. He'll need to improve his perimeter game and ball handling abilities, but he is a force on the offensive glass, often seeking tip dunks and follow up finishes. He has some solid instincts on the defensive end, and has real upside on that end of the floor given his length and athletic ability. Brissett is heading into his senior season at Findlay Prep, where he will have another full season against advanced competition. He has some promising physical tools, and a developing skill set that he will need to continue to develop in order to be a factor at the next level.

#4) Christian Negron, 6'9, Forward, 17.6 years old, Puerto Rico

EWA: 1.2
PER: 26.4
TS%: 44.9%
13.4 PTS, 13.6 REB, 1.4 AST, .6 STL, 2.4 BLK, 4.0 OREB, 15-31 FT%, 42.6 FG%

Christian Negron was the centerpiece for the Puerto Rican team which finished fourth overall in the competition, good enough for a berth at next year's U19 World Championship in Cairo. Negron starred for the Puerto Ricans, leading the tournament in rebounds per game, while also finishing second in offensive rebounds and blocks per game. At 6'9 with a 7'2 wingspan, Negron used his size, length, and athleticism to control the glass, posting double digit rebounds in every game, and an impressive 23 in their bronze medal game vs. Brazil. To complement his elite rebounding skills, Negron was also the anchor for the Puerto Rican defense, controlling the paint and showing great instincts on the defensive end of the floor, recognizing guard penetration and providing weak side help. Negron's offensive game remains a work in progress, finding most of his scoring on cuts, early seals, and offensive rebounds. Negron does have explosive vertical leaping ability, and looked impressive running the floor in transition and finishing above the rim on some straight line drives in the half court. Negron has two very solid skills with his rebounding and shot blocking ability that he will look to build on as he enters his senior season at Larkin High School in Illinois.

#5) P.J. Washington, 6'8, Power Forward, 17.9 years old, United States

EWA: .9
PER: 31.7
TS%: 61.6%
10.0 PTS, 4.0 REB, 1.6 AST, 1.8 STL, 1.0 BLK, 1.4 OREB, 8-15 FT% , 61.7 FG%

Washington, the 6'8 power forward out of Frisco Tex,as was another piece of the puzzle for the United States team that took home gold. Washington is somewhat undersized for the power forward position, but he uses his strong 232-pound frame and 7'2 wingspan to make up for whatever he is lacking in height. Washington is nimble and fluid for a guy his size, and while he is not the most explosive athlete he looks very comfortable finishing above the rim in space.

Still just 17 years old, he has already shown glimpses of a back to the basket game, in particular a right handed hook that he can get to with ease. Washington has good footwork, soft hands, and nice touch around the basket, and is capable of diving to the rim or finishing on dump offs in traffic. Washington uses his length and physicality well on the glass and on the defensive end, showing the ability protect the rim while also cover ground on the perimeter. He finished with impressive per 40 averages of 4.0 steals and 2.2 blocks. Washington will have one more season under his belt at Findlay Prep before he makes his college decision, where he has all the makings of an outstanding college player with plenty of room for continued development.

#6) Nickeil Alexander-Walker, 6'5, Point Guard, 17.8 years old, Canada

EWA: .9
PER: 23.0
TS%: 52.9%
17.4 PTS, 4.2 REB, 1.0 AST, 2.4 STL, 17-41 3P%, 42.1 FG%

Alexander-Walker, the 17-year old out of Canada was impressive in Valdivia, where he led the tournament in scoring at over 17 points per game. Alexander-Walker's tournament was highlighted by a 25-point performance in the championship game, where he shot 7 for 14 from beyond the arc from the United States. He has a versatile skill set, and although he is more of a combo guard than a true point at this stage, he has the ball-handling ability and vision to continue to develop in this area.

He has not always been known as a knockdown shooter, but he looked the part in the U18's, leading the tournament in 3-pointers made. He has a bit of a slow release that he'll have to work on as he gets to the college level, and has to deal with more length and athleticism. What really stands about Alexander Walker's game is his comfort level playing with either hand. He is not the quickest or most athletic player, but he has soft touch on his floaters and pull ups, and is crafty finishing around the rim with either hand.

Alexander-Walker has the length and quickness to be a factor on the defensive end, but will need fill out his 175-pound frame so he doesn't get pushed around at the college level. He is someone to monitor at the next level given his size and skill set, and it will be interesting to see what kind of impact he can have during his freshmen year at Virginia Tech under Buzz Williams.

#7) Ignacio Arroyo, 6'1, Point Guard, 16.5 years old, Chile

EWA: .9
PER: 20.3
TS%: 47.2%
14.4 PTS, 5.6 REB, 2.4 AST, 1.8 STL, 12-38 3P%, 38.1 FG%

Ignacio Arroyo was the leader of the home country Chilean team that finished sixth overall at the U18's. At just 6'1 and only 16 years old, Arroyo often looked overmatched physically throughout the tournament, but made up for it with crafty play. Arroyo operated at both guard positions, showing the ability to play both on and off the ball. Arroyo is not the the most athletic player, but he is a tricky ball handler and creative passer who showed he could get his team into sets, and also play out pick and roll situations, something not many 16-year olds can do. While he was not the most efficient scorer, Arroyo showed he could knock down the open 3, and create space and finish in some dribble drive situations. He is a pesky defender with some length who took advantage of some aggressive defense, and also rebounded the ball impressively from the guard spot. At just 16 years old, Arroyo has a great deal of room for development and will definitely benefit from adding some strength as well as a more consistent jump shot. We will likely see Arroyo as a key piece of the Chilean national team down the road.

#8) Felipe Haase, 6'7, Power Forward, 17.8 years old, Chile

EWA: .9
PER: 21.0
TS%: 52.5%
12.4 PTS, 6.8 REB, 2.8 AST, 1.0 STL, 1.0 BLK, 5-14 3P%, 25-32 FT%, 35.5 FG%

Haase was a consistent piece for the Chilean team, posting double digit scoring in all but one game. At 6'7, with a wide frame, Haase did the majority of his work from the block but also showed some potential as a stretch four. He is not the most athletic guy around, but he is methodical and physical in the post, looking to work his way to the rim and create contact. The Chilean team featured a heavy amount of ball screen actions, the majority of them with Haase as the screener, where he looked comfortable on hard rolls to the rim. While Haase found most of his action on the block, he also flashed a perimeter game, going 5-14 from deep. He has a very solid feel for the game, and has good vision for a big, finishing second on the team in assists at 2.8 per game. Haase has solid hands, and led the Chilean team in rebounds, using his size and frame to clear space around the rim. Haase will finish out his high school career at Cathedral High School in Los Angeles and has made a verbal commitment to Colorado State where he one day may be able to carve out a similar role to J.J. Avila.

#9) L.J. Figueroa, 6'5, Small Forward, 18.3 years old, Dominican Republic

EWA: .8
PER: 24.7
TS%: 60.9%
14.6 PTS, 5.2 REB, 1.8 AST, 1.6 STL, 3-19 3P%, 26-31 FT%, 33.3 FG%

Figueroa was a bright spot on the Dominican team that finished last at the U18's. He led the team in scoring at 14.6 points per game, and did it while posting a true shooting percentage of 61%. At 6'5, 180, Figueroa is at his best filling the lanes in transition or on straight line drives to the rim. His jump shot is very much still a work in progress as evidenced by his 3-19 performance in Valdivia. Figueroa played all over the floor for the Dominican team but projects as a wing at the next level. He is a solid athlete, and although he not an advanced ball handler, he uses his length to get into the paint and either seek contact at the rim or finish with crafty floaters and hooks in the paint. He has some potential to have an impact on the defensive end of the floor, but will need to learn how to utilize his physical tools. Figueroa will be a senior next season at Oldsmar Christian School in Florida and will have some high level Division 1 offers to weigh over the next year after a very strong performance at the Under Armour Association this spring and summer.

#10) Matt Coleman, 6'2, Point Guard, 18.5 years old, United States

EWA: .7
PER: 22.5
TS%: 74.5%
7.8 PTS, 4.6 REB, 4.4 AST, 1.6 STL, 5-12 3P%, 53.1 FG%

Coleman, the 6'2 guard out of Norfolk Virginia, put together an impressive all around performance in Valdivia, posting per 40 averages of 13.7 points, 8.1 rebounds, and 7.7 assists. Coleman's best skill his is speed, as he possesses tons of burst in the open court, getting into the paint at will once he has a head of steam. He is a creative and shifty ball handler, and although he is not yet a true point guard, he has the skills to be one down the line. To compliment his speed and ball handling abilities he is also already a capable spot up shooter, who knocked down 5 of his 12 attempts from deep throughout the competition. As dynamic as Coleman is with his speed, he can sometimes get out of control, barreling into the paint with his head down, and forcing tough shots or turnovers. Once Coleman learns to play with appropriate pace he has the vision and ball skills to be very effective point guard in the half court. Coleman was very effective in the FIBA setting, and he will continue to develop his all around game as he plays under the more confined settings of Oak Hill Academy.

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