Even though the NBA draft is less than four weeks away, top-ranked prospect Victor Wembanyama is still actively participating in meaningful and competitive basketball in France. Wembanyama’s French squad, Boulogne-Levallois Metropolitans 92, eliminated Cholet in Game 3 of the LNB Pro A quarterfinals. They will now meet Wembanyama’s former team, ASVEL, in the LNB Pro A semifinals in a best-of-five series.
With Minnesota Timberwolves center Rudy Gobert courtside, Wembanyama contributed in 33 minutes during an 81-69 playoff triumph against Cholet on their home court. Wembanyama scored 19 points, grabbed 9 boards, dished out 4 assists, and blocked 2 shots to lead his squad. DeVante’ Jones, a former Michigan player and now a club member, scored 15 points. Lahaou Konaté and TaShawn Thomas also scored 14 points.
Victor Wembanyama’s Dominant Presence Rescues Metropolitans 92 in LNB Pro A Playoffs
The 7-foot-4 all-around center was quiet in the first half, as the Mets 92 built a comfortable 18-point lead into the third quarter without even trying a single 3-point goal. He was unsure of himself from 3-point range in the second half, taking and missing on only a one-step-back effort. He was at his best in the midrange and showed great touch around the basket when the defense sagged.
Cholet was within ten points with seven minutes to go, but they could not come back thanks to free throws from Wembanyama and Jones.
Wembanyama and Coulibaly Make Waves as NBA Draft Prospects
The NBA Draft is scheduled on June 22, and Wembanyama and his colleague Bilal Coulibaly are two of the only draft candidates left in the league. Coulibaly is a 6’6″ shooting guard with a 7’1″ wingspan who has shown signs of life in these playoffs. He had a putback dunk and a challenging corner 3 with a defender in his face in the previous game.
With more games to examine the young (18-year-old) guard, his draft status has risen to the middle of the first round.
“There’s a correlation between youth and upside, historically speaking,” one NBA scout said to Yahoo Sports in March. Of course, at such a young age (19 or 20), discrepancies are to be expected, yet, the mix of youth and output is ideal. In general, being young is a positive sign.
The Mets 92 had a 23-11 record and were the No. 2 seed in the LNB Pro A playoffs. On Sunday, we face ASVEL in the first semifinal.
Before jumping to the NBA, Wembanyama is still working on his hopes of earning a title in Pro A. However, his series versus ASVEL will be challenging, given his current playoff stats of 20 points and 10.5 rebounds per game.
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