All-Europe Boys Basketball: Guards grab big share of spotlight
Two dominant senior guards who led their teams to repeat European titles top the guard-dominated All-Europe boys basketball team.
After a season in which each averaged 25 points per game or better, Jamal Tuck of Aviano and Dillon Wadsack of Ramstein became the only 2009 first-team All-Europeans to be voted first-teamers again by a panel of coaches chaired by DODDS-Europe athletic director Karen Seadore.
Tuck, who combined with teammate and fellow first-teamer Sean Outing to lift Aviano to its second straight European Division II crown, and Wadsack, joined on this year’s All-Europe first team by Ramstein senior teammate Michael Wallace after a successful run to a second consecutive Division I crown, are two of the 15 guards voted onto this year’s Top 20.
Nine guards landed on the first team, but according to their coaches, Tuck and Wadsack, both selected for this year’s U.S. team in the Albert Schweitzer International youth tournament, were the best of them.
“Dillon was our team leader and orchestrated the offense,” Andrew O’Connor wrote of his 6-foot-2 playmaker who drove the lane as time expired to sink the winning basket in the D-I championship game. “He is very good at reading the defense and taking what they give him….”
“Jamal is a coach on the floor,” wrote Aviano coach Kenny McNeely of the player who has the knack for getting to the rim off the drive. “He understands the game and helps his teammates in understanding it.”
Hohenfels’ 6-4 junior forward-center Jordan Gaddy had to average 18 points and three blocks per game to become the lone non-guard selected to the first team. But there’s a reason for the positional imbalance. The nine first-team guards averaged a combined 19.2 points per game, and one of them, 6-2 International School of Brussels senior Nathan Siegel, shot an astounding 93 percent from the free-throw line and converted 52 percent of his three-point tries.
No one, however, matched the totals achieved by Rota sophomore guard Tre’von Owens, who moved from the 2009 second team to the top tier this year after averaging 27.5 points and 12.7 rebounds for the European Division III champions. According to his coach, Ben Anderson, the 6-5 Owens, who ripped a well-regarded Spanish team for 45 points and 18 rebounds, became “a complete player” this season.
“Tre’von has a very high basketball IQ,” Anderson wrote in nominating his star, whom he ranks with Wadsack and Tuck as the top three in Europe. “What separates him from the other players is his ability to shoot, dribble and pass at his size.”
Owens was one of just two players from last season’s All-Europe second team to move to the first team this year. The other was Ramstein’s Wallace, a natural leader whose value to his team far exceeds his statistics, according to his coach.
“He should be recognized for doing all the little things,” wrote O’Connor, who has won European titles in each of his two seasons at Ramstein. “Without him, we really struggled to get turnovers and get easy baskets.”
Seven seniors filled the Top 10 slots on the All-Europe team. Heidelberg junior Eugene Jones, an 80 percent free-throw shooter who converted 42 percent of his three-point tries in the tournament, joins Gaddy and Owens as the underclassmen on the team. However, for all his offense, according to Heidelberg coach Brad Shahan, Jones made his biggest impact on defense. In the D-I tournament, Shahan pointed out, Jones held All-Europe first-teamers Justin Phelps of Patch to four points in three quarters and Siegel of ISB to just eight points. For the season, Phelps and Siegel each averaged just under 20 points per game.
So stiff was the competition for first-team slots that two players who averaged double-doubles this season, seniors Shaheed Seaton of Aviano and Gino Cullotta of ISB, were relegated to the second 10, along with four guards — Kenny Conlan of Mannheim, Lorenzo Mannozzi of the American Overseas School of Rome, Larry Stevenson of Sigonella and Jamie Tompkins of Hohenfels — who averaged 20 points per game or better.
2010 boys’ All-Europe basketball teamFirst team
Player school Yr. Pos. Ht. Stats/coach’s commentJordan Gaddy Hohenfels Jr F/C 6-4 18 pts, 6 rbs, 3 blks per gameDevin Jackson Heidelberg Sr G 6-2 14.2 pts, 6.5 rbs, 3.8 assts per gameEugene Jones Heidelberg Jr G 6-0 14.6 pts, 3.6 rbs/game, 42% 3-pt pct.Sean Outing Aviano Sr G 6-0 15.6 pts, 5.3 rbs, 3.8 asts, 3.4 stl/gmTre’von Owens Rota-y So G 6-5 27.5 pts, 12.7 rbs, 2.3 stls per gameJustin Phelps Patch Sr G 6-0 19.6 pts, 2.3 stls/gm, 45.6% FG pct.Nathan Siegel Int’l. Sch. of Brussels Sr G 6-2 19.7 pts, 6.5 rbs, 93% FTs, 52% 3-ptsJamal Tuck Aviano-x Sr G 6-2 25.8 pts, 7.3 rbs, 6.2 asts, 5.3 stlsDillon Wadsack Ramstein-x Sr G 6-2 25 pts, 4 stls per game, 85% FTsMichael Wallace Ramstein-y Sr G 5-10 11 pts, 7 rbs, 3 assts, 3 stls/gameSecond teamThomas Amrine Ramstein Jr G 5-10 12 ppg season, 16 ppg D-I tourneyCaleb Arnold Rota Sr G 5-7 7.3 pts, 6.4 assts, 4.1 rbs per gameBernard Burwell Kaiserslautern Jr F 6-3 15.5 ppg; “multiple” 20-rb gamesKenneth Conlan Mannheim Sr G 5-11 23 pts, 4.9 stls/gm; 55% from floorGino Cullotta Int’l. Sch. of Brussels Sr F 6-3 14.7 pts, 15.3 rbs, 2.4 blks per gameJulius Johnson-Rich Patch Sr F 6-3 12.4 pts, 7.5 rbs; 54.3% from floorLorenzo Mannozzi AOSR So G/F 6-2 25 pts, 8.3 rbs/gm, 80% FT pct.Shaheed Seaton Aviano Sr F 6-0 10.8 pts, 12.6 rbs, 2.2 stls per gameLarry Stevenson Sigonella Jr G 5-10 20.7 pts, 4 stls/gm; 73% FT pct.Jamie Tompkins Hohenfels Jr G 5-10 20 pts, 6 assts, 4 stls per gamex-All-Europe 1st team 2009; y-All-Europe 2nd team 2009; Coach quoted—Brant Tryon, Kaiserslautern;
Selection panel—Karen Seadore, DODDS-Europe athletic director; Ben Anderson, Rota; Jimmy Calhoun, Hohenfels; Rawn Jones, AFNORTH; Bill Lassetter, Patch; Kenneth McNeely, Aviano; Andrew O’Connor, Ramstein; Brant Tryon, Kaiserslautern