2024 Future Watch: Evaluating Elliot Cadeau in a FIBA U18 European Championship Basketball Game

August 23rd, 2023

By Alan Lu

I was reading various mock drafts online, and it came to my attention that North Carolina’s 6-1, Swedish freshman point guard Elliot Cadeau was projected to be a possible first round pick by multiple websites. In fact, The Ringer’s Kevin O’Connor was mentioned by Sports Illustrated as projecting him as a lottery pick for the 2024 draft. Therefore, I decided that I need to watch him play in a basketball game to be able to get an assessment of his skills.  Therefore, I decided to watch him play for Sweden in a July 29th, 2022 U18 European Championship, Division B basketball game against Austria, with thanks to YouTube via FIBA – The Basketball Channel.  He is a speedy playmaking guard that was a standout performer in his team’s blowout win over Austria.  Here are my thoughts on how he fared, as well as how his game may translate to the NBA.  Also, for those that are interested in the box score of this game, here is the link.

Elliot Cadeau is a speedy, skilled point guard that could be an impact player at North Carolina for the upcoming, 2023-24 college basketball season.
(Photo: Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images, via SB Nation’s Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician)

Elliot Cadeau is a fleet-footed point guard that turned in a strong, all-around performance to lead Sweden to a double-digit win over Austria.  He looked to be clearly the best prospect in this game as he dominated on both sides of the ball.  He is an aggressive, attack-minded guard that would go hard to the hoop to score, made good decisions with the ball and passed it well, and he is a ball-hawk that would frequently come away with steals.

Cadeau showed a solid ability to score off the dribble and on fast breaks.  He has very good foot speed that allows him to regularly get past his man to score around the basket.  He has an assortment of dribble moves that can allow him to do so, and he also can use quick, change of pace dribbles to get his shot off.  He has a quick first step and is especially adept at going to his left to score.  He also would contort his body and find clever ways to draw fouls upon his defenders to frequently get to the free throw line.  On the downside, he would sometimes be over-reliant on trying to draw free throws, so he would sometimes rush and miss shots when he wouldn’t get foul calls.

He also showed flashed the ability to knock down jumpers.  Cadeau was able to make a spot-up three after getting the ball off of an offensive rebound.  He also was able to dribble to his left and pull up to make a smooth, mid-range jumper.  However, he struggled to make outside shots consistently, and he would tend to struggle to knock down pull-up jumpers from intermediate to long range.  

Also, Cadeau displayed good playmaking skills in this game.  He is a speedy point guard that showed off good court vision, and he can quickly find his teammates on the move to set up scores for them.  He will make the extra pass to find the open man, and he would throw good touch passes to get the ball to his teammates on rolls to the rim and fast breaks.  He also was able to throw accurate bounce passes in traffic to find his teammates in stride.  On the downside, he would sometimes tend to do too much when handling the ball, which can lead to turnovers.  He can tend to over-dribble into traffic and he’ll try too hard to get foul calls at times, and he can sometimes struggle to protect the basketball as a result.

He also did an adequate job of rebounding the basketball.  Cadeau was active at crashing the glass on both ends of the floor, and he was able to chase down a defensive board and push the pace once.  He also played satisfactory defense in this game.  Cadeau is a rangy help defender that was able to rack up steals in this game.  He has good instincts that allow him to frequently pick off passes, and he can easily turn steals into fast break scoring opportunities to help his team.  He also would poke balls away to get steals and deflections, and he also would jump on loose balls to help his team on the defensive end.  On the downside, he would sometimes wander too far away from his man as he would guard an area rather than a player at times, which can lead him out of position on the defensive end.  On one play, he didn’t rotate or close out hard enough on a corner three-point shooter, which led his team to giving up the basket.  He also played too far off his man another time, and his team ended up giving up a backdoor cut, and even though the opponent missed, it later led to a put back score.  Still, Cadeau was able to make it very difficult for his opponents to pass or handle the ball, and he helped his team force a lot of turnovers in this game.

Overall, Elliot Cadeau played very well to help lead his team to a double-digit win over Austria.  He was clearly the definitive, standout performer of this game, and he was able to make a strong impact on both ends of the floor.  North Carolina was able to add another talented player to their roster.  Cadeau is an athletic, playmaking guard that could end up being a first round pick in the 2024 draft, most likely in the mid to late first round range, and he could end up being a solid role player in the NBA.

Other Notes:

I didn’t look to watch the other prospects as I was mostly focused on watching Cadeau play, but there were a couple of strong performers that played well in addition.

Sweden’s 6-8 forward and La Salle commit, Tunde Vahlberg Fasasi also played well in his team’s double-digit win over Austria.  He is an athletic, high-motor combo forward that made impactful plays on both ends of the floor.

He did a great job of scoring on fast breaks, and Fasasi was able to score on a powerful jam on the break.  He also shot the ball well, as he was able to dribble off of a screen to calmly make a pull-up three, and he also made a deep three-pointer effortlessly off the catch.

He also is an unselfish player that showed a solid ability to throw outlet passes to find open teammates on the break.  Also, Fasasi rebounded and defended well.  When defending an opposing ball handler once, he was a swat a three-point shot to a teammate to get a stop for his team.

Overall, Fasasi is an athletic, skilled forward that turned in a strong showing in this game, and he is a talented prospect that could project into a 3 and D role in the NBA.  He was a good get for La Salle, and he could be a prospect to watch in the future.

Sweden’s 6-3 guard, William Holmstrom shot the ball incredibly well, especially in the fourth quarter of this game.  He is an agile, sharpshooting guard that did a great job of making shots from deep.  He showed a knack for making quick, spot-up threes off the catch, and he was able to run quickly off ball screen to do so once.

He is a smooth, crafty scorer that also was able to find ways to score the basketball.  After running off a ball screen to get the basketball once, Holmstrom used a quick, change-of-pace, hesitation move to score on a nifty, one-legged runner off the dribble.  He also defended well, and he was able to jump a pass to get a steal.

Overall, Holmstrom played very well, and he did a great job of making shots and plays to help his team get the win.  At higher levels, he may need to show NBA teams that he can reliably run the point and defend upper-echelon opponents, but his shot-making ability is a strong suit of his.  While questions about his game could prevent his draft stock from going higher in the future, his shot making prowess could enable him to make it to the NBA someday, and even if he doesn’t, he could end up going on to have a very good, international playing career in the future.

Anyways, those are my thoughts on how Cadeau and other various prospects fared.  Thanks for reading.

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