We continue to offer you articles away from the cut-and-paste so typical of our days. Those of you who follow us know that we always try to bring you a vision of the players who have not set foot in the FEB Leagues: some of a high level, others less, others raise more doubts… But in the upper-middle class there are good reinforcements that will have to be seen in which direction they go. Today it’s time to talk about Kevin Allen, Tanner McGrew and Marvin Ogunsipe.
1994 / 211cm
UEMC Real Valladolid Basketball
One of the earliest teams was Real Valladolid. Very clear ideas from Paco García after his spectacular end of the year after his return: very important renovations, leading signings like Mike Torres, quality secondaries like Kabasele or Mazaira, and everything seemed to revolve around the big ‘five’, where Kavion Pippen ended up giving long to end up in Mexico next to an Iván Déniz who never forgets Spain.
But the pucelano rectors were prepared for this contingency and a few days later they presented Kevin Allen, with no experience in FEB Leagues and with a career overseas very disparate. Without great numbers in his university training between JUCO, DI (Boise State) and his last year at DII (Emporia State, 15/16: 8.2 pt, 5.1 re), his size made him have professional opportunities, living his first experiences in leagues like Thailand or Nicaragua. He would arrive in Romania on 18/19, standing out statistically in a team from the lower zone (Târgu Jiu: 30.1 pt, 16.8 re) before ending up in Albania, where he would continue the following year. He returned to the 20/21 Târgu of the Romanian league, a competition that grows every season, but divides them into different phases by level, making it easy to get good averages and even more so being a prop (19.6 pt, 11.1 re). He played a game in the American TBL and returned to Târgu last year, but already in a league of all against all, where the team could not qualify for the playoffs but in a squad with interesting players like Sly, Troupe, Morgan, Ashmed, Nicoara or Glogovac. In 18 games he averaged 15.8 points, 12.0 rebounds and 1.3 blocks. After obtaining 14 double-doubles, in February he terminated the contract and went to Taiwan for a few months.
If we look at their game the first thing to do is forget the idea of Pippen, even though they are both big fives. Kevin Allen is a player who has evolved from his first season in Romania to the present moment, experiencing physical and resource improvement. If he stands out for something, it is because of his rebounding ability, taking up a lot of space and knowing how to cover his box out on the rebound, especially on defense. In attack I see several virtues in this left-handed player. Despite not being an excessively fast player in transitions, he has a very mechanized game of roller and here he could do a lot of damage with the good blanquivioletas point guards (Pantzar and Torres). In addition, he feels comfortable with his back to the rim, sticking his ass against physically inferior opponents and making space for himself to score; he also likes to gain position to receive and score. He has movement in the low post and a good reverse (his speed of execution is surprising for his size), but he is far from virtuoso; when he lowers the ball it is difficult for him to raise it again and acceptable defenders with his kilos and height can stop him well in 1 × 1. He takes advantage of cuts and putbacks, although sometimes it has silly bugs; and watch out for his losses (more than 4 per game), without being a post generator player or one of the most used in attack. Other seasons, I even saw an acceptable shot from 3-5 meters that this past 21/22 I barely saw (because of the generators of his team). In defense, he is a good rim protector and blocks because of his size (good wardrobe), although he can look inferior against quality players and his size like the ones he will find in LEB Oro. Able to help in his zone of action, he suffers in the lateral movement.
In short, a bulky center, a very good rebounder and with some resource in attack, but less explosive and talented than Pippen. He will live the first season of demand from him in a team destined to be in the upper-middle zone and, obviously, his adaptation seems decisive in this competition of great ‘five’.
1993 / 203cm
Of the three names that we analyze today, the one that makes me fall in love the most. I think it must be one of the reinforcements of the summer; not in numerical terms, but in terms of what it can bring together in Palencia. Not in vain, we must remember that McGrew is quite an American international in one of those calls in which the NBA did not enter. Diverse trajectory that of the power forward, who lived the conversion from 5 low to 4 powerful with great naturalness. Progressive career in NCAA-DII with an outstanding senior year at West Virginia Wesleyan (15/16: 22.6 pt, 12.4 d). He made his professional debut in a modest Danish team like SISU, where he came out on top (16.6 pt, 10.5 re), with experience in the summer, before and after Denmark, in the Australian State League. His good campaign meant that 17/18 went to the French ProB (Saint-Chamond: 9.2 pt, 5.1 re). After that, he found accommodation on 18/19 in the camps of the G League, first in Memphis Hustle and then, starting in January, in Salt Lake City, where he put up great numbers (22 pa, 10.7 pt, 5.3 re, 2 ace), which led him to the summer leagues of NBA with Utah Jazz.
The 19/20 arrived for the first time in the Iberian Peninsula, signing for the Portuguese Porto; he started well, but an injury to the tibia and fibula left him in dry dock shortly after. 20/21 repeated the experience in Porto with the season already started and picked up the pace (8.1 pt, 4.3 re). After this experience, he went to the Romanian Sibiu, where he was an assistant Miguel Angel Hoyo. In a complex season in which Hoyo ended up as head coach and qualifying the team for the playoffs, McGrew was one of the pillars of the Romanian team (31 pa, 31 mi, 10.9 pt, 7.7 re, 3.3 ace, 1.0 ro).
In a recent interview granted to Basketball with P, Hoyo pointed out that McGrew “makes his teammates better.” It seems to me a good summary of someone who knows him very well, bringing him to Europe in his year rookie. McGrew, unlike other players, stands out for his understanding of the game. A good 4 that is around two meters, with very broad shoulders, without much jumping or explosiveness, but with the virtue of understanding the game and carrying out varied actions without problems. He knows how to play off the ball, he can generate from the high post, help get the ball up in transition, play in the post with his back to the rim to look for the basket or, above all, bend the ball. Another of his virtues is his three-point shot, which he has been strengthening, being very comfortable receiving and shooting both from the front and from 45º, with the danger that this entails (39% T3).
Defensively, he is a player who knows how to use his body to rebound (also offensively) and who endures 1×1 with his strength, although he is not a typical defensive specialist, nor is he a jumper, nor does he have a high speed of movement. As weakest points, it must be said that he does not face much and that his lack of explosiveness weighs him down; older, sometimes in the post, despite the good reading of him, he does not get a basket due to his lack of height.
In short, McGrew is a very good signing. Yes, it is true that with the two current ‘five’ (Chema González and Bourama Sidibe) perhaps pressure to score will fall on him, which is not his strong suit. He is an altruistic player, with good decision-making both in the high and low post (59% T2), capable of threatening threes and who is very comfortable giving one more pass both in cuts from his teammates and in plays from hand offsomething that elite perimeter shooters and centers can greatly benefit from.
1996 / 206cm
CB Almansa with Afanion
Almansa surprised with the signing of the Austrian international Marvin Ogunsipe, a player who has practically linked his entire career to German Bayern Munich. He stood out as a youngster with the Austrian national teams in different events, which meant that he was recruited in 14/15 by Bayern. In the Munich subsidiary he developed for several years, standing out in 17/18 (ProB: 12.5 pt, 9.4 re), with some appearance in the first team, which made him a full member of the first team the following season , reaching the Euroleague on 18/19 but without opportunities (25 pa, 7 mi, 1.8 pt in the BBL). That lack of opportunities made him go out on loan on 19/20, his best season in the BBL (Hamburg: 20 pa, 16 mi, 5.0 pt, 3.5 re); he would finish the campaign in Crailsheim (5 pa, 4.0 pt, 6.0 re). He would repeat on loan in Hamburg on 20/21 but his minutes fell (9 min, 2.4 pt), returning to Bayern last season, where he was once again a residual player (17 pa, 5 min, 0.6 pt). But beware, because Ogunsipe with his national team has had minutes and has performed at a good level; in fact, in the last FIBA windows he played a good role (4 pa, 21 mi, 7.8 pt, 6.3 re).
In my opinion, Ogunsipe is a player who should have left his “comfort zone” earlier, although many times this does not depend on oneself. His past in a league with more potential than Gold as the German BBL serves as an endorsement; however, it remains to be seen how he develops in this new role. I think he is a player who is really a 4.5 and instead of going to 4, where he could do more damage with a progression, he has gone to 5, where he has played a good part of his sports career and feels comfortable. . For me, those 206 centimeters are on the rise, but he has a good upper body, accompanied by a good physique. He seems very good to me roller (although his completions can be improved), he controls cuts well in the game without the ball and knows how to charge the rebound. Perhaps he has not clearly evolved towards 4 because he has lacked being more consistent in his outside shot (he needs his time) and in his fundamentals when facing, but he is a player who is not uncommon to see do those actions if occasion arises. Back, he doesn’t mind the contact and protects the rebound, sometimes committing unnecessary fouls and suffering against big players in the ‘five’ or fast in the ‘four’.
Accustomed to other names in the Almansa painting, and with a more modest project (seen in most of the signings), the Almanseña area, a priori, is orphaned of a star and it will be necessary to see if Ogunsipe assumes that role after several years of second unit on the BBL. The idea of the team has become clear, with Edu Martínez and Jaime Fernández opening the court and two pivots who are physical in nature but who can adapt to a fast pace like Idehen and Ogunsipe himself. With many heavyweights in the competition this year, it remains to be seen if the Austrian can hurt them by speed or looking to open up the track, as he experiences his first experience as a professional outside of Germany.
We would love to say thanks to the author of this short article for this outstanding material
Pedigree for the LEB Gold: Allen, McGrew and Ogunsipe arrive