Game Report | Yannick Nzosa: BAXI Manresa@Unijaca Malaga 10/03/2020

I’m Kuzey, 19. I’ve been writing about basketball since I was 9. I have been working in Eurosport Turkey for the last 1,5 years. I have written on various sites and magazines before. I’ve been working as a freelance scout for three years. I worked as a consultant. I have interviewed dozens of prospects such as Theo Maledon, Deni Avdija, Henri Drell, Aleksej Pokusevski, Arturs Kurucs, Yves Pons, and dozens of notable basketball people such as Luis Scola, Xavi Pascual, Jonathan Givony, Dimitris Itoudis, Sasa Obradovic, Joan Plaza, Sarunas Jasikevicius, Derrick Williams. I write an article every day. I live in Turkey, I go to all the Euroleague and Youth League games. My main areas are all of age group in Africa and from U12 to U20 European and NCAA. MY BIGGEST GOAL IS SCOUTING! Anyway, don’t forget to follow me on Twitter and feel free to DM!

AFRICAN PROJECT

Yannick Nzosa — Unijaca Malaga — #33–16.11 YO — Democratic Republic of the Congo — 7'0 — Center

11 minutes

10 points: 4/4 FG, 2/2 FT

Two rebounds

Two blocks

Two steals

One turnover

First in: 07:13, second-quarter, 25–30 (BAXI)

Last out: 00:18, last-quarter, 84–90 (BAXI)

Offensive outlook

This game is, in my opinion, the best game in his career. I have a very simple reason for this. When Yannick Nzosa entered the game in the third minute of the fourth quarter, Unijaca Malaga was behind by 16 points in the game. Nzosa’s energy on the offensive end and on the defensive end has greatly increased Malaga’s momentum. By the way, Manresa won this game.

As you know, Nzosa is a great prospect because he has a monster effect on the defensive end but in this game, he showed a lot of great offensive flashes in my opinion.

Scored 10 points in 11 minutes and more importantly, his scoring ability in pick-and-roll situations was great. Yes, a lot of bigs in Europe have this skill-set but Nzosa is different from them. Because although Nzosa is only 16 years old, he knows how to use hip mobility, elbows, body coordination and timing to create his own rolling space. Also, his strides are very wide.

In this game, he played against 6-foot-11, 24 years old Spanish big Yankuba Sima and 6-foot-9, 28 years old American big Scott Eatherton. Sima is not a great player but to be clear, Eatherton’s defensive effort and BAXI Manresa’s head coach Pedro Martinez’s dazzling defensive mind (hedge out defense especially) are great. However, his energy and Malaga’s spacing movement allowed him four points in pick-and-roll situations and two points in post-up plays.

Very, very critical last two notes on the offensive end. Nzosa hit 2/2FTs in clutch time. While BAXI leading the game with 87–81, Nzosa hit two free-throws successively. Other note is that he played like a pro on the offensive end. I’m serious. For example, when 25 seconds to end of the game, Nzosa grabbed the ball under the basket, three defenders were around him but he didn’t force the game and gave a clear pass.

Clips

Great game awareness, timing on his jump and last touch.

Huge distance to the basket but his length, balance and last touch works.

Great screens on off the ball motions, nice burst fake and finish.

Defensive outlook

Okay, Nzosa’s defensive performance continues to dazzle day by day.

This kid’s protect the rim ability is very different from the others. You already know this, but I want to tell you anyway.

Think about the monster of the rim protection. Like Rudy Gobert, Ekpe Udoh. What are they doing? They wait under the basket, their opponents dribble the ball to downhill and use floater/layup with soft-touch, using the glass, good first step. And most of the rim protectors jump and block with perfect timing and coordination.

But if we’re talking about Nzosa’s rim protection ability, things are changing.

For example, in this game, Unijaca Malaga tried full-court press and ICE defenses in the last six minutes. Nzosa lowered his stance to avoid foul while defending his own man closely and aggressively in these defenses. When BAXI’s attack came under the basket, Nzosa protected the rim using his explosive athleticism, perfect length and high BBIQ. So he is not just a shot blocker, he is a rim protector in every sense.

Of course, he is not a just rim protector … He covered dozens of pick-and-roll situations in this game with using his long strike, quick moves, great eye-hand coordination, defensive awareness and high-level motor. He always pushed his opponents to force the game.

Clips

He lost his balance but still defend all sequance.

No words content.

Covering three things here.

A lot of energy on the defensive end.