By Hocine LOUKKAF on 6/16/2022
While Wembanyama could have potentially be a part of the ASVEL team due to his age, he’s already in the pro world, allowing other prospects to shine in Belgrade.
Bassala Bagayoko, 6-10 PF/C 2006 Mali, Mega Mozzart Belgrade (Fuenlabrada)
Stats : 17.3pts 12.3rbds 2.7as 2.3st 1.7bl 68% FG
The Fuenlabrada-based big man was “loaned” to Mega Mozzart Belgrade and used the NGT stage as well as he could. The Malian sensation displayed his athleticism, motor and, even if he’s still very raw, some poise and skill for someone that strong and that young. We can not erase questions surrounding his age so his long-term success with the pros (where there won’t be any age excuse) will tell us if Bagayoko is for real.
Zaccharie Risacher, 6-8 SF 2005 France, ASVEL
Stats : 14.3pts 5rbds 2bl 43% 3pt
The smooth French forward may not be the most specacular but with 43% from three and some rare versatility illustrated by his 6bl during the competition. With more muscle and more experience with the pros, he may be called early in the 2024 NBA Draft.
Nikola Djurisic, 6-7 SG/SF 2004 Serbia, Mega Mozzart Belgrade
Stats : 20pts 5as 4.3rbds 1.3s
The MVP of the event is as talented as he’s tried to do too much. A nice creator for his teammates (5as per game), he needs to stay focused and remain within the concept of team (6tos per game). He also needs to find his spot from three as his 21% 3pt doesn’t reflect his nice 22/26 FT combined.
Noah Penda, 6-7 SF 2005 France, PFBB
Stats : 12.6pts 4.3rbds 3.6as 3st
An impressive physical specimen, Penda looks more like an elite glue guy than a potential star. He’s been very active on defense and in the passing lanes but his 2/15 3pt and 12/26 FT don’t scream consistent shooting.
Killian Malwaya, 6-6 SG 2005 France, ASVEL
Stats : 13.3pts 6reb, 1as 1.3st 53% FG
The French explosive guard keeps improving but as good a she is attacking the rim, shooting is still work in progress. That may be the only thing missing for him to become a surefire top pick, if he can get playing tile with ASVEL or be loaned to another pro team.
Eli N’Diaye, 6-9 PF 2004 Senegal, Real Madrid
N’Diaye dominated his opponents physically but still had a lot of flaws in hig game in term of shooting, rim protecting or bball IQ. Like Bagayoko, questions can be asked about his age and thus, real upside. He will need to prove at the pro level and probably be loaned by Real Madrid.
Kymani Houinsou, 6-6 PG/SG 2004 France, ASVEL
Playing most of the year in French Pro B (2nd div) with St Quentin, we kind of forget Houinsou was still an u18 this year. He displayed the same versatility and weaknesses as usual, averaging 7rbds 5.7as and 2.7st while shooting 20% 3pt and recording 3.3tos per contest. We’ll see if Houinsou can be more than an energetic combo guard at the next level.
Rayan Rupert, 6-7 PG/SG 2004 France, PFBB
Stats : 19.6pts 4rbds 4st 2.3as
The fresh NZ Breaker has displayed his length as a combo guard averagingst per game in the process. A bit like Ousmane Dieng, Rupert’s upside is tantalizing but he needs to improve his shooting and strength to become an efficient player.
Henri Veesaar, 6-11 PF 2004 Estonia, Real Madrid
Stats :10pts 4rbds 2.3as 2bl 43% 3pt
A versatile big, the Arizona commit may be one of the best long term prospects of the event with his combination of length, shooting and athleticism. He now needs to get bigger and no doubt that Arizona could use their experience to turn him into a new Lauri Markannen.
Zacharie Perrin, 6-9 PF 2004 France, Next Gen (Antibes, France)
Stats : 10pts 5.8rbds
The French late bloomer has benefited from the NG Team to make himself a name on the European scene. Another versatile big, he needs to develop a consistent outside shot and become more of a rim protector on defense.
Pacome Dadiet, 6-8 SG/SF 2005 France, Next gen (Paris Basket)
Stats : 13.5pts 5.5rbds
The oversized swingman may have been the player with the most upside at the NGT Finals. The versatile Frenchman can handle the ball, shoot or take his defender to the post. His impressive 93% FT are a good indication he can be better than his 25% 3pt suggests. He should have soon playing time with the pros at Paris Basket.
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