Evaluating Hugo Besson

July 4th, 2021

By Alan Lu

Saint-Quentin’s 6-3 point guard Hugo Besson has been gaining some draft buzz, as he is a second round prospect that is currently rated on ESPN’s top 100 prospects list for this draft.  He plays in a second division French league, and he’s an offensive-minded point guard that has put up strong numbers at that level.  I decided to watch him play in a May 25th, LNB Pro B game against Antibes, as I managed to see this with thanks to YouTube via Phenom Sports Services.  Here are my thoughts on how he fared, as well as how his game may translate to the NBA.

Saint-Quentin’s Hugo Besson is an offensively, skilled combo guard that is currently a second round prospect for the 2021 NBA Draft.
Ketty Beyondas/JSL, via Le JSL)

Hugo Besson is an agile, skilled playmaker that primarily excelled as a shooter and scorer in this game, but he also showed off fairly solid all-around skills to help his team get the win over Antibes. Besson shot the ball very well, especially from downtown.  He is a skilled ball handler that can pull up to effortless score on three-pointers off the dribble, and he also would make quick, spot-up threes off the catch.  He tended to take a lot of outside shots, and sometimes he would take quick, rushed shots that would lead to misses.

He also excelled at attacking the hoop to score the basketball.  Besson showed a good ability to score off the dribble.  He would tend to prefer going to his left to score, but he can ably finish plays using either hand.  He can change speeds to throw off the timing of his defenders, and he has very good body control to consistently score at the rim.  He can use hesitation moves to accelerate past his defenders, and he would also score on tough, crafty layups off the glass.  Plus, he also can absorb the contact to draw fouls upon his defenders to get to the free throw line. He also would often score in transition.  He would drive in to score on strong layups in transition, he also scored on a dunk another time, and he also ran the floor to score other times at fast breaks.  Sometimes though, he would settle for taking tough, off-balanced shots, as he wouldn’t always convert on those plays.

He also displayed adequate playmaking skills.  Though he looks to score quite often, Besson showed that he can capably run the point when called upon to do so.  Besson will look to push the ball up the court, and he can make quick drive and kick passes to set up scores for his teammates.  He can throw timely passes to find the open man, and he also can throw accurate interior passes.  He also was able to throw a sharp, no-look interior pass to a roll man early on due to making a good read and find that time.  However, he also can be careless with the ball, which can lead him to commit turnovers.  He threw a telegraphed, hasty entry pass that got intercepted once.  He also dropped a catchable pass as he tried to catch it with one hand out of bounds that led to a team turnover. Also, Besson did a good job of rebounding the basketball.  He would often chase down defensive boards, and he would sometimes push the ball up the court afterwards.

He also played adequate defense in this game.  Besson did a good job of actively challenging outside shots using his length and footwork to force misses.  He also managed to successfully poke a ball away from an opposing ball handler to get a steal.  He also would run hard back on defense and fight through screens to stay with his man, and he would help force ball-handling turnovers due to solid positioning.  He also aggressively played a passing lane and fought through a screen quickly to make the catch difficult for his opponent.  On the other hand, he lacks elite lateral quickness, and he would tend to get beat off the dribble too easily at times, which would lead his team to commit fouls and allow scores.  He also struggled to defend screens, as he would sometimes not fight hard enough through them, and he also would go too far over the screen, which would sometimes put his team in scramble situations.

Overall, Hugo Besson is a talented, score-first combo guard that can shoot and score the basketball, and he also can run the point if necessary.  He did seem to have a penchant for taking quick, contested shots, which can be problematic if they’re not going in. 

Right now, he is a second round prospect in this draft, but if he decides to withdraw and enter next year’s draft, he could move up to the first round in 2022, especially if he gets a chance to get regular playing time in France’s top league by then.  Besson is a skilled combo guard that may have a similar game to Memphis Grizzlies’ guard, Grayson Allen. Besson is a skilled guard that can shoot, score, and distribute the basketball, and he could end up being a solid role player in the NBA.

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