European Prospects

News about Young European Basketball Prospects

Petr Cornelie on the rise

March 31st, 2015 · No Comments

The French prospect Petr Cornelie is having an excellent season so far for Le Mans. The 2m11 tall inside player has taken over an important role for the ProA team after the injury of Dounia Issa as he is averaging 17 minutes per game where he scores 3.5 points and grabs 5.2 rebounds while rejecting 0.7 shots. But what’s behind these numbers that nobody expected to come before the season?

After never really being dominant in previous international tournaments, Cornelie however always showed some promising things that could lead him to become a special prospect. Born into a real basketball family, his father Martial played in ProB while his mother Pavla Sigmundova is a former basketball player too and his sister Jodie is currently a Junior for the Dayton Flyers, Cornelie has advanced with big steps over the last months to become an intriguing NBA prospect that is followed heavily by the scouts of the different franchises.

Currently mainly used as a defensive presence because of his excellent mobility and length, Cornelie might still be raw but he can compensate his lack of experience with great feet and a dissuasive presence in the paint. He is also an excellent rebounder with a great energy level and long coordinated arms. The 1995 born is also quite good in a typical European move of cleaning the rim after a shot in order to tip the ball away which is not allowed in the NBA though. With his leaping abilities, he can change shoot trajectories and is also present as a shot blocker. Being capable of going for close-outs up to the three-point line, Cornelie looks to have the potential to be able to stop PF in the future which makes him a very versatile asset for any defensive situation as his lateral speed is excellent for a player of his size.  The video below shows a lot of interesting defensive situations where the potential of Cornelie is visible.

On offense, Cornelie is also developing a game of a versatile big man. Capable of shooting from behind the arc (he is at 10/32 so far combined in ProA and Eurochallenge games), he has an interesting shooting touch especially in catch-and-shoot situations. With more confidence and a more stable execution of the mechanics, Cornelie can certainly improve his percentages over the next years. He is not yet a confident ball handler so that you rarely see him attacking the basket on the dribble so far. Cornelie is a good example of the so called stretch-five that is appearing here and there over the last years.

Next to that, he likes to post up his defender even if he still lacks the strength to overpower his opponents. He can score on the basic jump hook but he is not yet a regular scorer from the block. His game lacks still the necessary aggressiveness as he is very rarely drawing fouls so far (only 8 fouls drawn this season compared to 39 fouls committed). In fact, he has not yet attempted one free-throw this season in 282 minutes in the ProA which must be a negative record. Cornelie has a good second jump that allows him to score easy baskets on put backs. However, he does not yet have a high level jump off two feet and often prefers to score on the layup instead of a dunk. This is something where he can develop by adding strength over the next years.

Cornelie is currently projected to enter the Draft in 2016. However, as a clear candidate for winning the best young player award in the ProA, it would not be a surprise if he enters his name this year already to test the waters and get an invite to the Adidas Eurocamp. With his combination of size, speed, work ethics and shooting touch, Cornelie is certainly one of the most promising big guys in Europe. When he can stabilize his game through the rest of the season, he will certainly increase his impact and experience with Le Mans in 2015/16 and he might in the end hear his name called by Adam Silver earlier than most people expect.