Fournier doesnt look like much on first glance, as hes a skinny young guy who initially does not appear to have great athleticism. The more you watch him, the more he grows on you, though, as hes an extremely smooth all-around player who is a lot more explosive than you would first think.
Extremely versatile for his age, Fournier does many different things well, which leaves a lot of room for optimism regarding his future development. He is a shifty player in the open court who can create his own shot elegantly going left or right, and is extremely smooth finishing around the basket with either hand. He also has a nice mid-range game, coming up with a couple of very smooth pull-up jumpers off the dribble.
He typically takes what the defense gives him, and plays the game at a very nice pace, which is not a quality you typically associate with a player who is only 16 years old. Fournier has a very nice feel for the game, something that shows up in his passing ability, as well as the way he executes plays in the half-court and gets everyone around him involved.
On the downside, Fournier needs to get much tougher and stronger once he takes his game to the next level of competition, as may be a bit on the soft side. Defensively he struggled quite a bit from what we saw, not always putting the greatest effort in, and also being pushed around somewhat by the older players he went up against. His 3-point shot is also not as consistent as you might hope, although that doesnt appear to be a major issue, as he has nice form and already shows the ability to make shots from that range.
While still extremely young, Fournier has to be considered an intriguing prospect thanks to the excellent size and scoring instincts he brings to the table, as well as the ability to create both for himself and others. Obviously he still has a long ways to go, but there is a lot to work with already.
Cory Joseph, 6-3, PG/SG, Findlay College Prep, 2010, Team Canada
Josephs physical attributes arent great, as his body is just OK and his athleticism not much more than average. He makes up for that though with his ability to play at different speeds, an excellent basketball IQ, and a fearless attitude. Joseph has a great demeanor on the floor and a real winners mentality. Hes a calm, steady, competitive guy who tends to dominate the ball, but can absolutely score with the best of them.
Offensively, Josephs best attribute is clearly his jump-shot. He is terrific with his feet set and almost just as dangerous pulling up off the dribble, which he likes to do quite a bit after creating space for himself in the mid-range area. He lacks the explosiveness to get into the paint and finish at a high level, but is very crafty using his body around the rim and has a very nice floater he likes to utilize.
Defensively, Joseph is limited by his average lateral quickness, but he does put a good effort in, showing nice intensity and a good feel for staying in front of his man.
As a point guard, Joseph is mostly a mixed bag at this stage, as he clearly needs to dominate the ball to be most effective, but is far more comfortable looking for his own shot than he is running a team. His shot-selection leaves something to be desired at times, but its possible that with better teammates around him, he could show more in this area than we were able to see. He doesnt appear to be a selfish player, and seems to have a very good demeanor on the floor.
Joseph has skyrocketed up the recruiting rankings since we last saw him in November of last year, even moving up into the top-10 on some peoples boards (Rivals.com for instance). While he may not share the upside of some of his counterparts in that part of the rankings, he has been incredibly productive in every setting hes been in as of late, most notably the FIBA U-19 World Championships. He has a chance to emerge as a Stephen Curry type scorer at the college level if he continues to improve his all-around game.
Dwight Powell, 6-10, PF/C, IMG Academy, 2010
Powell has good size for either frontcourt position, at 6-10 with a good frame that should put on weight in time, but is very underdeveloped at the moment. He runs the floor well and overall is a pretty mobile big man, fluid, although not terribly explosive, and probably a little fatigued by the end of this event.
Powells main asset is likely his excellent basketball IQ, which shows up in almost everything he does. He understands how to operate in the half-court, and is a very unselfish passer who has no problem facing up from the high post, where he can also make mid-range jumpers with decent accuracy, or put the ball on the floor in a straight line. His footwork is fairly raw inside, and he doesnt have the strength to really do much down in the paint, but he is capable of finishing with either hand and shows nice touch around the basket. Powell isnt the toughest guy youll find, and this shows up primarily on the defensive end, where he can get pushed around.
Powell recently trimmed his list down to Georgia Tech, Stanford and Harvard, which should tell you quite a bit about where his priorities lie (it appears that Stanford are in the lead right now). Hes a guy that will need to spend a few years in college adding strength and improving his all-around game, but is clearly someone to keep an eye on down the road.
Cristian Cortes, 6-1, Point Guard, Argentina, 1990
Cortes is as pure a point guard as youll find, playing the game at an outstanding pace. He sees the entire floor at all times and shows great court vision and creativity getting his teammates involved, often in the form of nifty lobs and bounce passes. His physical attributes are not ideal, as he has average size and underwhelming athleticism, possessing a poor first step and very little explosiveness.
He makes up for it though with great toughness and an extremely high basketball IQ. Cortes is your prototypical feisty Argentinean, a real fighter who is has no problem whatsoever being a little bit dirty if it means helping out his team. He takes charges, grabs at his opponents jersey when the referee isnt looking, and will flop immediately upon contact if he has a chance to take a charge. He managed to annoy the opposition to no avail with the intensity he brought to the table, particularly Marquis Teague, who was completely rattled by him.
As a scorer, Cortes is somewhat limited. He has some ability to change speeds and get to the basket, but his average first step makes things difficult on him, and he struggles to finish around the rim. Cortes knocked down some shots from time to time here, but he appears to be a fairly streaky shooter, although his nice mechanics leave room for optimism in this regard. Defensively, Cortes doesnt have much lateral quickness, but he is an absolute pest on the ball, showing a very high intensity level, and good timing trying to stay in front of his man.
Cortes currently plays for Obras Sanitarias in Buenos Aires, where he has been a pro for a number of years now. Hes probably a name well hear more of in the coming years, particularly on the international level.