Joel Ayayi, 6' 3.5, Combo Guard, INSEP, 2000
-Good size (6' 3.5) and length (6' 7.5) for a lead guard. Fairly wide shoulders, should fill out nicely up top.
-Quick twitch athlete who appears to have untapped athletic potential only 16 with a very thin base. Dynamic in transition. Good straight-line speed and quickness.
-Greatly improved shooter based on what we saw in Kaunas 6-of-13 from three with several of them coming off the bounce, some of the step-back variety. Has added more ways to get to his jumper off the dribble and showed a lot of confidence pulling up from well beyond the international line versus pick and roll switches.
-Raw handle but has the burst to get into the teeth of the defense to finish or kick to a shooter or drop it off to a big around the rim.
-Makes an effort to finish with either hand around the rim. Not a freak leaper but good extension thanks to his length.
-More of a combo at this stage, but has a really nice feel for the game. Plays within himself for the most part.
-Instinctual defender with quick feet. Active off the ball. Competitive on that end. Has the frame and lateral quickness to get over the top of screens when he digs in.
-Elite rebounder for his position. Will stick his nose in on the defensive glass. Quick to the ball. Loves to grab and go. 12.2 rebounds per 40 minutes.
-Good teammate who doesn't get too high or too low. Maintains a confident, steady face throughout. Speaks perfect English.
-Body hasn't changed all that much. Still very thin in the lower body. Around 160 pounds.
-Handle is very raw both in the half court and in transition. Forced to settle for deep jumpers after pick and roll switches because of a lack of creativity and shot creation off the bounce. Basic handle limits his ability to handle ball pressure when he's playing at the one.
-Still learning how to change speeds and directions with consistency.
-Shot it well in Kaunas but sports a fairly low release point that needs time and space to get off. Not a very dynamic shooter best when set, doesn't get much rise.
-Still more of a combo at this stage. Gets a lot of his assists off of miscellaneous plays. Not a traditional pick and roll or setup point guard. Played off the ball quite a bit next to Theo Maledon. Has the passing instincts to run the show just needs more experience and to tighten his handle.
-Shies away from physicality around the rim at times. Didn't get to the free throw line once in 73 minutes. Doesn't make up for lack of physicality with elite explosiveness. More quick than explosive vertically from an NBA perspective. Could benefit from adding more craft to his finishing game.
-Can be a tougher on ball defender. Lives more off of instincts and quickness than digging in, fighting over screens and using his body to keep the ball contained.
Ayayi had a strange start to the tournament, coming off the bench for three of the four games and playing quite a limited role for the most part, at least relative to what we've seen in the past. Ayayi did go off for 19 points in 26 minutes in the final and was quite productive when called upon, but the somewhat decreased role as one of the team's best prospects was a bit mystifying. Overall it was encouraging to see Ayayi's progress as a shooter as well as his usual impact as a defender and rebounder for his position. His handle and pure point skills are still a work in progress, but the 16-year-old proved to be one of the more enticing long-term prospects in attendance.