European Prospects

News about Young European Basketball Prospects

Rudy Mbemba is finally in the Draft

June 3rd, 2009 · No Comments

The Swedish guard Rudy Mbemba is in the NBA Draft, finally. After multiple seasons in different European teams, the 1m83 tall player is currently playing the Italian LegaDue Finals in order to earn a Lega spot for his team of Vanoli. I had the possibility to see several of his last games with the Italian team and check though if the multiple Reebok Eurocamp participant has a chance to hear his name called in the MSG soon.

Mbemba still impresses with a great physical built which is clearly above average for European standards. In a recent interview with a our friends at Svensk Basket Television, he admitted that he even gained 12kg of muscles in order to be ready for the NBA challenge.

Next to his short size (1m83), the main question on Mbemba is of course his understanding of the game and the possibility to play the Point Guard position. His shooting percentages have developed into a very good territory right now from what they have been the previous seasons; he turns currently at a correct 55.9% from 2FG and a good 37.5% from behind the arc. However, his FT shooting is dramatic with only 46.2%.

A first thing that you see is that Mbemba has improved his shooting selection, at least in the games I saw. And the improved percentages show that he only takes shots that he feels comfortable in. His three point shot in catch and shoot fashion looks correct right now and you don’t see him too often to go for these out-of-dribble shots anymore. The association with Troy Bell, who is another typical scoring guard forces Mbemba to play a pass first guard and you see during the games that Mbemba tries to force himself into a role that is not his inborn type of playing basketball.

And sometimes, his out-of-control style of play comes back again. Mbemba has no problem to beat his man of the dribble, but what comes out of these situations is often not a positive thing for the team. He sees his cutters pretty well, the problem is though that he tries to go for difficult passes for himself or for the cutter to catch. Several times, he tried to find back door alley-oop passes in traffic for his wings. These attempts ended more often out of bounds than in a high light real.

Out of his penetrations, Mbemba barely tries to go for the score as he has no real move to score of the drive. You never see him go for a running floater or tear drops, nor for a controlled jump shot. This lack in his offensive play limits him badly as he can not really play as a scoring guard because of these difficulties. With the gained muscular mass, he looks also a bit slower than he was before but still this is not really a handicap right now.

Finally, Mbemba probably needs to develop into a defensive stopper if he wants to become a better player than he is right now. He has all the tools to do so but he looks not all that focused on that side of the court. Being caught in pick-and-roll situations on LegaDue level shows that he really needs to improve in this area but it may be the specialty that he needs to develop to raise his level. The positive thing is that you see him progress, step by step. The control of the game is however still the part that he needs to develop the most if he wants to become a PG on a higher level.

With the LegaDue Finals going on to at least a fourth game to be played on Sunday 7th June, Mbemba’s presence at this year’s Reebok Eurocamp is excluded so that he can not use his year-long showcase to impress the NBA scouts. However, the NBA teams interested in him and present in Europe because of the camp will certainly take the opportunity to make the trip inside Italy to go scout Mbemba in a competitive setting.

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