By Hocine LOUKKAF on 9/16/2019
As the US remained unbeaten the whole tournament thanks to a solid group of prospects including Iowa State’s Haliburton, many other international players were able to showcase their talents to the numerous scouts in attendance.
Tyrese Haliburton, 6-5 PG, 2000, USA
7.9pts 6.9as (1.1to) 2.3st 55% 3pt
A former unheralded recruit, the Iowa State lead guard has proved why he was a potential lottery pick. At 6-5, he averaged a stunning 7 a/to ratio while shooting 68% FG (including 55% 3pt). He was also a force on defense thanks to his length and activity on the passing lanes. Not the most spectacular player but an efficient one for sure.
Oumar Ballo, 6-9 C, 2002, Mali
17.6pts 11.8rbds 3.8bl
The Malian big man was a load to handle for each of his opponents. At 260 with a reported 7-6 wingspan, The 2002-born Ballo was dominant in the paint despite the double teams, trying to dunk everything and protecting the rim as well as he could. He was also good from the FT line with a nice 71% which could be a good sign concerning his ability to develop a reliable outside shot. He will be in the perfect place with coach Few at Gonzaga to improve his stamina, footspeed and explosivity, his main flaws as of now.
Cade Cunningham, 6-7 PG, 2001, USA
11.7pts 5.9as 4.7rbds
It’s not hard to see why Cunningham is a potential top five pick for the 2021 NBA draft. At 6-7 with very good athleticism, Cunningham is a true PG who is as efficient creating for his teammates as he is creating for himself. His physical tools also allow him to put pressure on his opponent on defense and be active on the passing lanes (1.4st 0.9bl). His main goal will be to work on his 3pt shot which was just off the whole tournament (1/14 from three).
Joel Ayayi, 6-5 SG, 2000, France
20.9pts 5.6rbds 3.4as 2.1st
After a frustrating freshman year at Gonzaga, the smooth Frenchman used the U19 World Cup to prove he was more than a bench warmer. Ayayi used his blazing speed to score easy baskets on the fast breaks (62% 2pt), many thanks to his ability to read the passing lanes (2.1st). He was also a versatile contributor in the rebounding and passing sections (5.6rbds 3.4as). If he wants to be dominant at the college level, he really needs to be more consistent from three (30% on five attempts per game), limit his turnovers while improving his strength and explosivity.
Filip Petrusev, 6-11 PF/C, 2000, Serbia
19.3pts 10.6rbds 2bl
We could have talked about Petrusev’s teammate in the paint, Pecarski, but our third Gonzaga Bulldog has much more upside than his fellow countryman. At 6-11, Petrusev is mostly efficient around the rim as he used his toughness, mobility and spin move to score constantly. On defense, he was ok during the competition but he may lack some length and verticality to be an elite player at the five spot. To be able to play some minutes at the PF position, he needs to work on his footspeed and outside shooting as he took only one three-pointer for the whole tournament.
AJ Lawson, 6-5 SG, 2000, Canada
16.7pts 3.4as 39% 3pt
The Canadian guard averages over the tournament at almost 17pts a game on 39% 3pt are impressive but don’t reveal Lawson’s main weakness, his inconsistency. He had three games with a 20+ rating while in three others, he had 5 and two with a 0 rating in which he averaged 28min. The Gamecock has the tools with a nice looking J, decent athleticism and passing to be an NBA player but he must be more reliable behind the 3pt line and work on his finishes around the rim.
Biram Faye, 6-10 PF/C, 2000, Senegal
19.4pts 10rbds 1.9bl
Less hyped than his teammate Sylla, Faye was able to show his efficiency in the paint (67% 2pt) but also his ability to shoot from outside (1.9/6 per game) despite the fact that he forced some shots. His big body and length also allowed him to rebound a lot and alter shots. On offense, he is in the perfect situation in LEB plata (Spanish 2nd division) to work on his shot selection and post moves. On defense, improving his explosivity/footspeed to guard more athletic PF could make him a potential first rounder.
Reginald Perry, 6-10 PF, 2000, USA
The tournament’s MVP is the kind of bruiser whos attacks the rim relentlessly while not giving an inch on defense to his opponent’s. His good mobility and athleticism at 6-10 could make him a first rounder soon. His lack of an elite strength may limit his upside as he would have to improve drastically his offense, above all his outside shooting (2/8 for the tournament) to reach the lottery while developing the ability to switch on defense as he’s mainly a big-man defender..
Scottie Barnes, 6-8 PF/SF, 2001, USA
9.7pts 4.9rbds 2.7as (only 0.9to)
The do-it-all forward was USA’s glue guy during the competition. His length, ability to switch on D and creativity with the ball remind me of a more athletic Kyle Anderson. Unfortunately, like Anderson, Barnes’ shooting is almost non existent for now. he will have one more year in HS to take those shots without consequence before
Amar Sylla, 6-9 PF, 2001, Senegal
12.6pts 8.7rbs 1.1bl
The smooth and much hyped product from Real Madrid, newly signed to Belgian team of Ostende, was not as productive as expected. On defense, Sylla used his very good mobility and length to disturb his opponents (1.3st 1.1bl). Yet, on offense, he shot a very poor 2/20 from three, something he definitely needs to work on to be a reliable stretch four.
The sleepers :
Fousseyni Drame, 6-7 SF, 2000, Mali
12pts 9rbds 2.3as 2.3st
A two-star recruit before the tournament, Drame has become an NBA prospect by the end of the tournament. At 6-7 with long arms and athleticism, he has the tools to be a swiss knife on defense, a much-rated resource. His offense is still a work in progress as he shot below 30% from three and need to be more careful with the ball. He will have playing time at St Peters to grow as a player.
Ibou Badji, 7-1 C, 2002, Senegal
6.9pts 5.1rbds 3.1bl
The FC Barcelona product is as raw as you can find. Yet, it’s rare to have such a combination of length and athleticism. Born in 2002, Badji runs the court like a guard and is a terror protecting the paint despite being inconsistent. On offense, he has to work on everything from his IQ to his shot and moves in the low post. He’s in the good place to improve and was one of the youngest players of the competition.
Uros Trifunovic, 6-6 SG/PG, 2000, Serbia
14pts 3.1as 38% 3pt
A tall combo guard, Trifunovic can either create for himself or his teammates. Despite not going much to the FT line (9/9 over the tournament), he averaged a good 52% 2pt while shooting 38% from three. His lack of athleticism and poor defensive numbers could limit his NBA chances but he was for sure one of the most talented guards in Greece.