6'5 French guard and potential lottery pick Frank Ntilikina turned in an impressive six-game performance at the 2016 FIBA U18 European Championships in December, leading France to a title despite battling an illness early on in the tournament. After scoring only 7.3 points per game through the first three contests, Ntilikina finished the tournament averaging 22.7 points, 6.7 assists, 3.2 steals, 1.7 blocks and 5.0 turnovers per 40 minutes on 42.4% from two-point range and 58.6% from three-point range.
Ntilkinas 31-point outburst against Lithuania in the finals reminded NBA scouts why the Belgian-born Strasbourg product is considered a lottery-level prospect in the 2017 Draft. The long-armed, versatile guard was tremendous defensively and answered a lot of questions about his outside shot, scoring a ridiculous 1.727 points per possession (22 attempts) on pull up jumpers, far and away the best mark in the tournament. Heres a closer look at the strengths Ntilikina displayed throughout the tournament:
Ntilikina didnt play a flawless tournament, however, as his struggles finishing around the rim (1-of-5 in the half court), creating high percentage offense (42.4 2P%), and running the show versus pressure (22.8 turnover percentage) were apparent, especially early on. Heres an in-depth breakdown of some areas where Ntilikina has room to improve moving forward:
Fresh off of a season-best 15-point outing versus Aris in the Champions League, Ntilikina is one of the more steady guard prospects in this draft class as he defends multiple positions, can play on or off the ball, has a strong feel for the game and a mature professional approach, and has greatly improved as a shooter. Ntilikina may not be at the same level talent-wise as the top-tier American guards in the draft, but hes still a very intriguing long-term two-way prospect because of the aforementioned qualities.