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Prospect Analysis: ANGT Varese

French Federation Basketball Academy hoists the championship trophy. Credit: Euroleague

In the latest edition of ‘P.I. Pulse’, Pro Insight’s Jason Filippi compiles his scouting notes after spending multiple days evaluating the top prospects playing in ANGT Varese:

I recently made the short trip from my hometown of Bologna to Varese, Italy for yet another leg of the Adidas Next Generation Tournament, a top-notch event filled with talented young prospects from all over the world (note: in case you missed our ANGT Belgrade article, check it out here; for my breakdown of the top prospects from ANGT Patras, click here). This trip provided the opportunity to get updated in-person evaluations on aspiring college and pro players and write up detailed reports for the Pro Insight database. I’ve included a distilled version of those reports below for the purposes of this article. I’ve also included C-RAM scores for each prospect, courtesy of our stats partner Cerebro Sports (for 10% off your Cerebro subscription, use code PROINSIGHT22). For more detailed scouting reports — and intel — on these players, as well as reports on some of the other younger prospects I saw in Varese, subscribe to our database, here. With any questions or comments, shoot us an email:

With that, here are my scouting takeaways after spending some time evaluating the top prospects from ANGT Varese:

Rayan Rupert (FRA) | 6-6 Guard | INSEP

C-RAM: 10.6 (Gold Badge - #2 overall in event)

Rayan Rupert was very impressive here in Varese and in my opinion, he was the best player in the tournament. I wasn’t very high on him last summer after a pretty average performance at Euro U18 Challengers in Tel Aviv, but he looked like a completely different player in this tournament, showing improvements in virtually every aspect of his game! Rupert has nice size with very long arms. I would not consider him to be an elite athlete, but he can make athletic plays nonetheless. He can play at both guard spots and showed improvements in his playmaking – he also looked more confident and was much more assertive than in previous viewings. Rupert is a good passer and a very unselfish player. He is more of a slasher than a shooter and can score one-on-one. He can post up smaller guards and did a nice job in general at taking advantage of favorable mismatches throughout the event. His one glaring weakness is his three-point shooting, which is very unreliable. Rupert showed nice versatility on both sides of the court: he can defend positions 1-2-3 at a high level, already. In particular, he did a nice job at pressuring the ball and was also able to switch onto much bigger players. Thanks to his length, he can be very disruptive and deflects a lot of passes. I really like his potential as a combo guard and I think that his game will translate nicely to the pro level. If his jump shot improves, too, then he is a legit NBA prospect.

Melvin Ajinca (FRA) | 6-7 Wing | INSEP

C-RAM: 9.4 (Silver Badge)

Melvin Ajinca was one of the most consistent performers in the tournament and looked like a very improved player, in general. Ajinca has nice size/length as well as a strong build and he is also a decent athlete/leaper. He is a lefty, swiss-army-knife type of wing who can do a bit of everything without necessarily excelling at anything. He can score in iso situations and is also a good finisher off cuts to the basket who can make tough, contested shots. He’s a good open court player who is an athletic finisher in transition. He’s shown tangible improvements in his perimeter shot and can knock down the corner three with consistency. He’s also added a nice step back move to his repertoire. Ajinca is a plus-rebounder for size and is very active on the offensive glass. He’s quite versatile on the defensive end, too. He plays hard and is a physical player. Ajinca is capable of helping pressure the ball as well as guarding a much bigger player. He looks like a tough kid in general. I like his potential as a 3-and-D wing and think he could be an impactful glue guy at pro level, too.

Noah Penda (FRA) | 6-7 Forward | INSEP

C-RAM: 9.0 (Silver Badge)

Noah Penda was one of the most intriguing prospects in this leg of ANGT. He was a bit inconsistent, but he was still voted to the All-Tournament team in part due to his impressive performance in the championship game. Penda is an extremely versatile combo forward who’s a total mismatch nightmare for opponents. Despite having pretty average size, he is very strong for his age and has an impressive wingspan which helps him play bigger. He showed nice ball skills and is an effective one-on-one player: he overpowers smaller wings and uses his quickness to drive by bigger slower guys (he can score with contact). He has a polished mid-range game but needs to work on his jumper (he doesn’t show much of a pull-up game and his three-point shot looks shaky). Penda is a good open court player who can handle the ball in transition. He is also a good rebounder on both sides of the court and scores a lot via put-backs. Penda showed impressive versatility on the defensive end here, too. He may be a bit undersized at the 4-spot, but his length helps him play bigger (as well as stay in front of smaller, quicker wings). He is not as polished as teammates R. Rupert and M. Ajinca, but he may have more long term upside than both.

(from L to R): Noah Penda, Melvin Ajinca, Zacharie Perrin, Ruben Prey, Jordi Rodriguez. Credit: Euroleague

Ilane Fibleuil (FRA) | 6-5 Guard | INSEP

C-RAM: 3.8

Ilane Fibleuil is an underrated prospect who played much better than his (admittedly) unimpressive stats would suggest. His game is still very raw but I think it will translate well to higher levels of competition. Fibleuil has decent size/length and is a good athlete, also. He can function at both guard spots and shows some potential as a combo guard for the pro level. He was probably better as a default playmaker because his offensive game is still a work in progress, but on the positive side, he doesn’t need to score to be effective. He is very unselfish – perhaps too much – as he needs to become more assertive. He is a capable pick-and-roll player and he can also drive-and-kick well, too. He is a good slasher, but he needs a lot of work on his jump shot mechanics: his shot is quite flat with very little backspin and he doesn’t always extend his arm and follow through correctly. He is very good in the open court both as a passer and as a finisher, but he needs to improve his half-court game. On the defensive end is where Fibleuil shines and it’s what keeps him on the floor when his shot is not falling. He can defend both guard spots at a high level, already: he has quick hands, pressures the ball well and deflects a lot of passes, too. He still needs a lot of work, but he has nice potential for higher levels of competition. I think he would benefit from coming to the USA to play college ball.

Mael Hamon-Crespin (FRA) | 6-9 Big | INSEP

C-RAM: 6.8

Mael Hamon-Crespin was one of the most polished (and consistent) players in the tournament. He needs to work on his body – he has a strong build but needs to tone his body more (and perhaps slim down a bit). He is not much of an athlete, but he is more mobile than he looks. Harmon-Crespin is a very skilled big man who has an advanced feel for the game. In the low post he showed a versatile repertoire: he can score with turnaround shots as well as put the ball on the deck to score one-on-one. He does a nice job at creating separation, but he plays below the rim and will need to prove that he can score as effectively at higher levels of competition. He can also play in the high post and shows some legit potential as a stretch big man for the pro level. He’s a good passer from both the high/low post (good outlet passer, too) and he has good hands in general. Hamon-Crespin can play both the 4 and 5 spots on offense but he is not as versatile on the defensive end. He can defend the low post well enough, but he will struggle to defend more athletic players in open space and is not much of a rim protector, even at this level. He may not have much upside left but, in my opinion, he is a good D1 college prospect who should develop into a nice pro player in Europe.

Zacharie Perrin (FRA) | 6-10 Big | Antibes

C-RAM: 10.8 (Gold Badge - #1 overall in event)

Zacharie Perrin was a pleasant surprise in Varese. I wasn’t thrilled with him last summer at Euro U18 Challengers in Tel Aviv, but he looked like a very improved player this time around. Above all, he played with a lot more confidence and was a factor on both sides of the court. Perrin has decent size with a strong build (wide mid-section) and he is quite mobile, too…he really runs the court well. He plays mostly inside but he showed the ability to shoot it from the high post area, as well (his shot is very flat and is not very fluid, however). He’s a good pick-and-roll player who is a good finisher in general, and can score off lobs. In the low post, he’s able to score effectively with his lefty turnaround. He puts the ball on the deck with mixed results – he tends to force a lot of plays and needs to learn to be more patient. Perrin is a good rebounder on both sides of the floor. He is active on the offensive glass and does a nice job of following his own misses. It’s worth noting that he outplayed fellow big man prospect Ruben Prey when they went head-to-head in the semifinals. Perrin has the tools to be a major factor on the defensive end and he doesn’t mind physical play, but he has an inconsistent motor which worries me (despite being a very capable rim runner he often gets beat down court by opposing big men who would simply run harder). He has the mobility to switch on to smaller players. Overall, he looks the part of a good prospect for both the college and pro levels.