By Hocine LOUKKAF on 1/4/2021
With more and more prospects playing in Europe and the US, the level tends to improve despite the lack of high IQ playmakers. Yet, some local players like Abdelatif or Mara were able to prove Africa could be the place to develop.
-Mohab Abdelatif, 6-4 SG/PG, 2002, Egypt
27.6pts 6rbds 4as 1.8st
Despite his average physical tools, Abdelatif was the best playmaker of the tournament, creating as well for himself as the best scorer as for his teammates as the third best passer. Shooting an improveable 33% from three, Abdelatif was at his best finishing over the athletic big men with 49% inside the 3pt line and attempting almost ten FTs per game with an excellent 77%. Whether he stays in Egypt, comes to Europe or leaves for the US, someone to follow in the years to come.
-Khalifa Diop, 6-11, PF/C 2002, Senegal
12.6pts 11.8rbds 3.4as 1.2bl
Paired with Barcelona center Badji, Diop had the opportunity to showcase how versatile he was, averaging more than 3as per game and displaying some mobility and flashes of outside shooting. Playing mainly with the pro team at Gran Canaria, Spain, he’s also more polished than Badji and an already solid center who rebounds and defends well. A potential first rounder this year or in the 2022 NBA draft.
-Mambourou Mara, 6-5 SG/SF, 2003, Guinea
19.3pts 6.5rbds 1.5bl 1.3st
An elite athlete, Mara used the tournament to make his presence felt and assault the rim. Still playing in poor-organized Guinea, Mara was active on defense and finished mainly at the rim with brutality. His shot and IQ needs major improvement as he averaged an awful 15% from three on almost 5 attempts and 6tos per game. he needs to ball his way out of Guinea ASAP to find real coaching and opposition.
-Ibou Badji, 7-1 C, 2002, Senegal
11pts 13rbds 2.6bl
Despite Senegal’s poor playmaking, we hoped Badj would dominate much more than he did. His elite physical tools at 7-1 with a 7-8 wingspan didn’t allow him to average more than 2.6bl while he should scare his opponents in the paint. On offense, he showcased better understanding of the game and an improved jumpshot, but that doesn’t make him the top 10 pick he’s supposed to be.
-Youba Konate, 6-6 SF, 2002, Mali
14.8pts 5rbds 35% 3pt 1.5st
The best player of the competition’s winning team, Konate struggled in the final against Senegal. Yet, in his three previous games, he was consistent finishing with honorable overall (44%) and 3pt (35%) percentages. He also has good defensive instincts and was the only player with Abdelatif to showcase immediate efficiency and a wide range of offensive tools. Someone who could reasonably enter a top college or European reserve team.
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