By Hocine LOUKKAF on 1/8/2021
With Wembanyama, arguably the best 2004 prospect, out due to injury, the tournament was the opportunity for several guards to get more exposure and showcase their skills.
Killian Malwaya, 6-5 SG/SF, 2005, ASVEL
14pts 4.7rbds 1.7st
One of the youngest players o the tournament, Malwaya is a very athletic and smart kid who knows how to use his physical tools. He sticked to what he does best, attacking the rim, shooting 49% from the field and taking only two 3pt shots for the tournament. He’s already physical for his age, a good rebounder and defender and could end up a first round pick if he becomes more consistent from three.
Kymany Houinsou, 6-5 PG, 2004, ASVEL
13.3pts 7rbds 5.3as 0.8bl
An elite athlete at 6-5 playing the PG spot, Houinsou gets more and more used to lead his teammates as he ended up best passer of the competition. He’s still a bit wild as illustrated by his 3.3tos and needs to develop a decent 3pt shot (2/11 for the tournament). His physical tools should help him to be even more impactful on defense.
Michael Caicedo, 6-7 SF, 2003, Barcelona
14.5pts 5rbds 3.3as 2.3st 44% 3pt
The MVP of the competition, Caicedo seemed the most poised player as he shot 44% from three hit 15/15 FT while averaging a 2.5a/to ratio. What could hurt him is that he struggled finishing in the paint with a bad 39% 2pt. Definitely someone to follow in the years to come.
Jeremy Sochan, 6-8 SF, 2003, Ulm
15.5pts 12.8rbds 2.8as 1.5st 1.3bl
The Baylor commit did it all for Ulm despite his team’s struggles (four losses). Sochan is an athletic and versatile forward who can handle the ball and finish at the rim at will. He’s also a very good rebounder with nice defensive instincts. His poor 24% from three and 55% FT need improvement to reach the NBA one day.
Maxime Raynaud,, 7-0 C, 2003, Nanterre
14.5pts 11.5rbds 1.5bl
A late bloomer who was only playing u18 last year in an amateur club, Raynaud has displayed right away that he could be efficient against the bigs of his generation. A solid offensive player who could develop into a stretch five, Raynaud still needs to be tougher as averaged an awful 6.3tos per game.
Kenny Kasiama, 6-9 PF, 2003, ASVEL
12.8pts 7.3rbds 1bl
Another of the numerous interesting French prospects, Kasiama showcased his improvement as a versatile PF. His 3/10 3pt and 10/11 from the foul line are good signs of a stretch four potential and he also has the ability to drive and finish with both hands. Gaining weight will be the key to develop as a tougher player inside the paint.
Gael Bonilla, 6-8 SF, 2003, Barcelona
9pts 7rbds 3.7as 3st 2.7bl
A long swingman, Bonilla was as average offensively as he was spectacular on the defensive end. On offense, he mainly scores on off-ball movement/drives while lacking an explosive first step or efficient outside shot. Despite his lack of explosivity or vertical leap, his deceptive athleticism and IQ allows him to stick to his man on defense and blocking a lot of shots without fouling a lot. If he can develop a decent 3pt shot, his versatility could help him to be a nice “European” player (he’s Mexican on the paper) and maybe even get his chance in the NBA.
Marc-Antoine Loemba, 6-3 PG/SG, 2003, Nanterre
16pts 3.8bds 3.3as 3.8st 5tos
Due to Wembanyama’s injury, Loemba was the leader of a struggling team of Nanterre (four losses). The athletic guard has elite athleticism which allows him to finish at the rim at will (62% 2pt) and put a lot of defensive pressure on his opponents (3.8st). Like Houinsou, he will need to develop more consistency from outside (4/15 3pt) but above all learn the nuances of the game to cut down his turnovers (5tos per game for 3.3as).
Zacharie Risacher, 6-7 SF, 2005, ASVEL
9pts 5.3rbds 1.5st 0.8bl
The son of former French NT Stéphane Risacher, Zacharie displayed, like his father, potential as a shooting SF with size. Despite being one of the youngest players, he was decent from three (6/20) and active on defense (5.3rbds 1.5st 0.8bl in 24min per game). He struggled finishing in the paint but will gain strength in the years to come and emerge as one of the best 2005 at his position.
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