Perhaps Diot didnt deliver the most impressive performance in this tournament, especially considering his imperial showing last year in the U-16 stage, but we should never forget that he has been, not simply the starting point guard of France, but also the heart and soul, the true floor general of the champion. As Janavicius, we should also take into account that the guy is a first-year junior. The only game he didnt play resulted in an embarrassing loss against
Iceland. Enough said.Antoine Diot
is mostly about physical gifts and mental toughness. He enjoys a terrific -also rather mature- body for a point guard. He has very nice size and strength, but still keeps a long frame, not being that much of a bulky guy despite his rather developed body. Hes also quite athletic, a quick guy who loves to run the court. That combination of quickness and strength has been really hard to stop in the tournament.
Run, keep running, and after that, run again. With an athletic and deep roster, that has been the credo for France in these championships, and its been perfectly executed by Diot. Hes a playmaker who feels more comfortable in transition play, pushing the ball tempo, looking for easy baskets with the defense still not properly set. It comes extremely natural for him; whenever the ball comes to him, he decides in a blink of an eye whether to start running or to throw a long pass to some teammate already at the other end of the court. In motion, Diot is extremely hard to stop, because of his excellent ball-handling with his right hand (improvable with his left), quickness, body control and his own strength. He shows nice decision making here; he usually can finish himself easily given his physical gifts, but he can also dish the ball effectively.
Things change in the set offense. Diot is not the best distributor around, although he does a decent job trying to create good scoring options for his team. He can penetrate, usually going right, using a good first step and quickness in the drive, to dish the ball or finish himself. Again, hes a decent passer in these situations, but not great, as hes not automatic finding the best open man at the exact moment, but he usually comes up with a nice solution. He can finish near the rim with his right hand, while he doesnt feel comfortable at all using his left. He sometimes relies on running shots or elevated layups against opposition, but he usually tries to take advantage of his explosiveness to get the job done.
Shooting is an area where Diot shows some remarkable skills, but where theres room for improvement too. It especially deserves mentioning how he can release his jumper against opposition, in off-the-dribble fashion, with surprising accuracy (considering how complicated this play is) behind the arc. However, his reliability doesnt grow as much as desired when hes fully open. He tends to get unbalanced while executing his jumper in the air, somehow as he does in the aforementioned off-the-dribble shots.
Diot does an excellent job on the defensive glass, smart smelling where the rebounding opportunity might be, but also alert and active to actually get them. If Diot gets the rebound, it usually means an easier release of the fastbreak. Stealing balls was usually another great way for him to help his team to run, but in these championships he was surprisingly less prolific. Of course, hes facing now older and better competition, but he has looked perhaps a bit less active on the defensive end.
We can say that, unlike Janavicius, Diot has suffered the change of categories coming from the U-16 championships last summer. He doesnt have the same physical superiority and sometimes has struggled in certain areas. But his leadership and impressive winning character has been always there (and likely will always be there).