Evaluating Amar Sylla in a Basketball Champions League Game

January 2nd, 2020

by Alan Lu

I decided to take the time to watch BC Oostende’s 6-9 forward, Amar Sylla play against Dinamo Sassari in a game that took place on October 30th, as I was able to see this with thanks to YouTube via Basketball Champions League. I wanted to see how well he has been playing this season, and this provided a chance to take a look at his skills once again. Here are my thoughts on how he fared, as well as how his game may translate to the NBA.

BC Oostende's 6-9 forward, Amar Sylla had an adequate showing in his team's loss to Dinamo Sassari. (Photo: Basketball Champions League.)
BC Oostende’s 6-9 forward, Amar Sylla had an adequate showing in his team’s loss to Dinamo Sassari. (Photo: Basketball Champions League.)

Amar Sylla had an adequate showing in his team’s loss to Dinamo Sassari. He is a very athletic big man that can score on hustle plays, and he also possesses solid rebounding and defensive skills. He made numerous highlight-reel worthy plays, but he will need to expand his skill set offensively and be a more focused defender on a consistent basis.

Sylla excelled at scoring on hustle plays. He showed a knack for scoring on tip ins after leaping up to get offensive rebounds, and he also managed to score on a powerful tip slam while taking on the contact early in this contest. He also managed to score on a thunderous jam off of a quick cut from the baseline. Plus, he also ran the floor and caught a lob pass to score on a high-flying, alley-oop dunk on the break. He has good hands to catch interior passes, but sometimes he would miss easy shots around the basket, as he can tend to rush his shots, and he doesn’t really seem to use dribble moves when opponents step up to defend him in the paint.

However, Sylla had trouble scoring in the post, off the dribble, and he also missed both of his three-point shots that he hoisted up from beyond the arc. Sylla tended to set up too far away when posting up, and he struggled with his shooting touch when he would look to score from further out. He drove hard left, but he ended up missing a floater too hard off the glass. He has a tendency to shoot the basketball too hard, which would lead him to miss shots.

He also displayed fairly average playmaking skills. Sylla would sometimes swing balls to open shooters to set up scoring chances for them, and he also showed off some ball handling skills, as he was able to push a ball up the court after getting a steal late in this contest. He also would set off-ball screens, though sometimes he would not always set firm screens, which would occasionally lead defenders to quickly get around him. On the bright side, though Sylla did not record an assist in this game, he also did not turn the ball over on offense.

He also showed a fairly good ability to rebound the basketball. Sylla was active at crashing the glass, and he would aggressively leap up to get boards on both ends of the floor. He also would tip balls to try to get extra rebounds, though sometimes he would not always be able to direct them to his teammates to help his team retain possession of the basketball.

Sylla also played decent defense. He did an excellent job of rotating to the post to block shots, as he possesses very good length, athleticism, and timing to do so. He also managed to catch an errant pass that was thrown right to him to collect a steal. He also possesses good agility to defend out on the perimeter, as well as the strength to defend in the post, and he also did a good job of not biting on a pump fake when defending on the block early on, which prompted his opponent to pass the ball off later on.

However, he did have some lapses defensively, and he didn’t seem to defend quite as hard late in the game. Late in this contest, he had a tendency to not step up or rotate to defend drives, as he would not help his team cut off penetration, which would lead his team to allow scores. He also didn’t get back on defense on one play, as an opponent was able to score in transition. Sylla also can sometimes be late on his rotations, and he did not always look to actively contest shots when he was on the floor.

In general, Amar Sylla is a talented prospect that can score on off-ball motion plays, and he is a tremendous shot blocker that showed promise as a defender for the next level. On the other hand, he will need to improve his jump shot and ability to create his own shot, and he will need to play more energetically on a consistent basis. Right now, he is a player that could go in the late first to the second round range, as he could project to be a defensive specialist in the NBA.

Other Notes:

BC Oostende’s 6-2, 2001-born point guard, Keye Van Der Vuurst De Vries is a smart, skilled playmaker that was born from the Netherlands, and he played fairly well in his team’s loss to Dinamo Sassari. He made crafty floaters off the dribble, and he can split double teams. He also tended to make timely passes, as he will probe the defenses before finding open shooters and roll men on the move to set up scores for them, and he is a good ball handler that can dribble off of screens to rack up assists.

However, he also struggled to knock down jumpers, and he would sometimes be reckless in handling the basketball, which would lead him to commit careless turnovers. Keye did a good job of rebounding the basketball, as he would leap up to get defensive boards, and he would sometimes push the ball up the floor afterwards.

He also played adequate defense. He was able to run in to get a loose ball to get a steal, and he may have poked the ball away just before his opponent was about to pass it. Plus, Keye also rotated to contest a shot from a cutter to force a miss, and he also can quickly fight through screens to stay with opposing ball handlers. On the other hand, he lacks elite lateral quickness, and on one play, he struggled to guard an opponent in transition, which lead him to commit a reach-in foul.

Overall, Keye Van Der Vuurst De Vries is a cerebral playmaker that will look to make gritty plays when he is on the floor, and he showed a knack for making good decisions on the offensive end. He will need to make jump shots consistently on offense, and show that he can guard upper echelon opponents, but Keye is an intriguing prospect that could be a player to watch in the future.