European Prospects

News about Young European Basketball Prospects

The (nearly) perfect game of Jordan Aboudou

October 31st, 2011 · No Comments

This Friday, the French team of Chalon traveled to Dijon for the Burgundy derby in the LNB ProA. Chalon is known for their good youth program, they will participate for the first time to a Nike International Junior Tournament this season, featuring players like Nicolas Lang or Joffrey Lauvergne. But it was the 20 years-old Jordan Aboudou who stole the show this weekend with a nearly perfect basketball game.

Having had a career high of only 5 points before, the 1m98 tall forward from Colombes exploded with 14pts, 4rebs, 2stls and 1 assist. He scored 5 out of 5 shots with 4 out of 4 made from behind the three-point line. Aboudou was a key player in the short success of the favorite Chalon in the gym of Dijon. But how did this happen?

With the injuries of Jean-Baptiste-Adolphe Michel and Ilian Evtimov, Greg Beugnot, the head coach of Chalon, had to make a choice. His decision was, let Aboudou start the game on the Power Forward position. And what a success it was. Aboudou scored 11 points in the first 6 minutes of the game and had to join the bench only because of his second foul. At that moment, he had already made 3 shots from the behind the arc together with a great stick back after a massive offensive rebound. Aboudou, who got compared to Ron Artest for his physical presence by Jacques Monclar, the former French coach and now TV commentator, showed an incredible effort on both ends of the floor. While he did not force anything on offense, just taking his open shots and making them, he was a big presence on defense as well.

His jump shot looks very fluid and he takes it without hesitation in catch and shoot situations. Aboudou, who is nicknamed Baloo because of his enormous hands, can make the long distance shot from the wing and the corner and is not afraid to take in the crucial moments of the game. Next to his shot, he likes to attack the rim out of the dribble. He needs to work on his footwork though as he got caught twice on a travelling call on his first step when going for the crossover start. His first step is excellent and he nearly beat his opponent on every attack where he did not get called. He likes to go to the basket where he tries to finish against the big guys but we could not see him stop for the mid-range jump shot or the dish off in the last moment for the big guy. When coming from the left side, he prefers to finish with his right hand though but his long arms are a good help for him in these situations. He moves very smoothly on the court but he can explode when he starts to speed up in a nice way.

Even if Aboudou had a great performance on the offensive end, he was even more impressive on the defensive end. He got only 2 steals on the stat sheet but he was the initiator of at least five interceptions.The forward has excellent readings of the passing lanes and can flash up from behind to steal the ball in the low post. He gives very good help on the drive and he normally does not go for the stupid shot blocking fouls that you see often with young players. His hedging on Pick and Roll situations is great as he can put a lot of pressure with his wingspan and finds his man back with ease afterwards. We could not analyze his lateral speed that much as he was never really attacked face-to-face by his opponent. He had to guard stronger and taller players in the low post where he had of course some problems but he showed an interesting presence there as well.

Jordan Aboudou’s highlight tape from LNB Prospects

So far, Aboudou has not seen a lot of minutes on the professional level which explained though his stupid foul when he tried to block a shot in the final minute of the game (even if the TV replay might have shown that he did not touch the opponent). But his overall understanding of the game looks good and he should have a real good future on the Small Forward position which is his natural spot. During the game, he played also a fantastic pass out of the drive where he found his big man in the paint through the traffic which underlines his potential on the wing. With this game, Beugnot has probably no other choice than to give his youngster more minutes in the next games, especially when you hear how high he praised him after the game:

He worked a lot, he hung in there and today (on Friday) he got the best possible reward. He can dream of an enormous career. I do not know any other player with such a versatility and such a physical volume. By the way, somebody has to explain me why he has not been selected to play for the French U20 National Team this summer…

Aboudou has clearly the physical potential to develop into an NBA prospect. He showed in the game this weekend that he also has the basketball potential to be considered as a NBA prospect. So far, he is totally flying under the radar (neither Draftexpress nor Eurohopes lists him in their 1991 born Rankings), but Jordan Aboudou can become one of the hotter names in the NBA Draft process rapidly if he can confirm all the good things that he showed on Friday over a longer period. With this one game, he found his way into the very subjective list of our favorite prospects. We are looking forward to see more from him in the next weeks and we recommend every NBA scout to do the same.

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