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INSEP, under the radar
By Valentin Le Clezio
Autumn has arrived and INSEP's prospects are back to class. Gathering the top French players from the 1996 and 1997 generation, the "Centre Fédéral" (who has seen through the years the likes of Boris Diaw, Tony Parker, Ronny Turiaf or Evan Fournier) participates each and every year to the third division championship (NM1) of French Basketball. Playing against grown men is an extremely challenging and enriching experience for 16 or 17 years old kids, their mental toughness will be tested as losses keep coming weekend after weekend. Even though this crop of players is far from being one of the most talented of French prospects rich history, a few intriguing players, some with major upside, need to be kept an eye on.

Stephane Gombauld ('97):
He has started his transition to become more of a 3/4 than a 4/5. He hurt his hand in the second quarter and didn't play at all  in the second half but spent all his minutes throughout the first half at the 3. He has shown some improvement in his ball-handling skills and will need to continue to work on it, especially on his right hand (uses his left hand 90% of the time when dribbling). Needs to add to his frame and bulk up even though he is spending much less time inside. Very mobile, can run the floor all game long. Quick first step. Amazing length and wingspan that enables him to be a constant danger on the defensive end.

Luc Loubaki ('97):
Very impressive to watch in person. Incredible quickness, especially on his first step, and his leaping ability is off-the-charts. Pure athleticism, you won't find a better athlete at the Point Guard position. Unfortunately, his coach uses him a ton at the 2 position. Loubaki is tall enough and has incredible length to play at both guard positions however, he needs to have the ball in his hands to weigh on a game. I don't see him developing fast enough if he plays at the shooting guard spot. He needs to improve his decision-making process and keep his composure, become less nervous on the court. he still has a very slow and mechanical stroke. Not even an average shooter at this point and the major weakness in his game. His length and speed enables him to be a great on-the ball defender, always harassing his opponent. Amazing potential on that end off the ball. Always a threat when defending an off-the-ball player as well. Never hesitates to sacrifice his body : took a couple of charges.

Etienne Ory ('96):
Out indefinitely. Back spasm, (discal hernia ?)

Cyrille Eliezer-Vanerot ('96):
One of the oldest players on the court for INSEP but a really nice prospect (ProA type of potential). He has very good-size for a 2-3 andgreat length but needs to get stronger. Good shooting mechanics, he should end up being an above average long-range threat. Need to improve his ball-handling.

Ywen Smock ('96):
Physical specimen, plays the 5 but is a little bit undersized and will have to develop an outside shot to move to the power forward spot at the next level. Good rim protector, very mobile, runs the floor. Can post-up from time to time, has a pretty good right handed hook shot. Good passer when posting-up as well. Not a great finisher around the rim.
Twitter of the author: @BBfromLA
Photo: FIBA Europe / Ciamillo - Castoria (Stephane Gombauld)


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