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A stats and highlight analysis of Evan Fournier

March 29th, 2011 · No Comments

The French prospect Evan Fournier is currently all around the news after he got selected for the Nike Hoop Summit 2011 and was a main factor for his team PB86 Poitiers in the ProA in the recent games. We took this opportunity to go a bit through his stats and highlights as we have not seen him play during a full game this season so far.

Fournier, who is born in October 1992 and is 1m98 tall did a bit of a different choice in his career path than most of the French players. In fact, the Saint-Maurice native quit the Centre Fédéral-INSEP structure one year early before the official ending of his days there to sign professionally with the ProB team of JSF Nanterre. Nanterre is known for giving lots of minutes to young local players as they did for example with Edwin Jackson during the season 2008-2009. So when Jackson left the team from the Paris suburbs, it was Fournier who came in for a one year stint. During that season, Fournier struggled in the beginning as he only saw about 5 minutes per game over the first 10 game-days of the season. Afterwards, his experience of the professional level increased and two consistent games in a row helped him to definitely crack the rotation. He managed to score 7 times in double figures while he was still only 17 years old during his first professional season.

But even before he broke the news on the professional level, Fournier played an excellent U18 European Championship in 2009. He reached the Final with the French National Team at home scoring 12.4ppg, won the Silver medal and overall great job as we noticed back then in our report. His coach attested him a quality that we recognized in the above mentioned season with Nanterre and that we will see coming up as well during the current season. Fournier is able to adapt himself quickly to a new situation and to understand his role. After a missed U18 European Championship in 2010 because of an injury, Fournier had signed a deal with Poitiers in the ProA to earn his minutes on the highest French level. After he needed three games to get into the rhythm, it was on the 30th October that he scored his first basket on the level and it was really a nice one.

This play was probably the moment that pushed Fournier forward as he continued with several games where he could score and even had his first 10pt game in December. But his real breakout came with the game against SLUC Nancy in the beginning of February 2011. During that game, that his team won against one of the regular French powerhouses, he scored 21pts in 21 minutes and became the youngest player ever to score 20+ points in a French League game topping the current NBA players Boris Diaw and Tony Parker.

Fournier continued to play very well and even got named MVP of the match against Limoges (the team he scored his first bucket against) one week later on national TV.

These two games marked the start of the best phase Fournier had so far in his professional career and that is still ongoing. Despite a  zero point game against Gravelines, the French forward averages 11.8ppg in 17.2mpg since the beginning of February while he only had 3.3ppg in 12.8mpg before. As you can see, his minutes did not grow dramatically but Fournier managed to increase his scoring by being more aggressive and getting to the free-throw line a lot. In fact, he went for 28 FT attempts in these 7 games after he had only 2 FT attempts in his 16 first games. A 82% accuracy from the charity stripe gave him a lot of extra points and helped him to become a very important solution for his head coach Rudy Nelhomme.

Another important number that you can find out if you analyze the stats of Fournier is that he has 8.1ppg in wins of his team while he only scores 4.7ppg when Poitiers loses. This shows his positive impact on the game of his team and that he is a real winning factor for them. With the victory over Pau-Lacq-Orthez this last weekend, they got a better situation in the standings as currently they are 2 wins ahead of the first relegation spot. However, Poitiers has a real tough final schedule and Fournier will miss the road trip to Le Havre because of the Nike Hoop Summit. This had been mentioned in his contract when he signed with the ProA team so that the club had no choice than let him go to the United States during this highly important period for their own survival in the highest French League.

Out of the stats and the highlights displayed above, you can see that Fournier is mainly scoring as a slasher by using a great first step and the possibility to find the gaps on the defense to get the close scores. Additionally, he is doing a great job in the open court and on the fast break. On the other hand, his three-point shot is far from being consistent this season (6/35 3FGs and 2/14 in his recent scoring run). Next to his scoring, the impact of Fournier is not really important right now. His rebounding and assist numbers show nothing special while his turnovers are quite low for a player like him. In fact, he only averages 0.7 TOs per game which is a great figure and puts him at 1.8 per 40 minutes which is an excellent value.

Now, Fournier will travel to the United States for the Nike Hoop Summit and will try to improve his NBA Draft stock. He will most likely not declare this year but a good performance in Portland may change his decision. In that case, it is good to know that he recently extended his contract with Poitiers until 2013 but no buyout figures have been mentioned.

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