Observing Amine Noua
October 19, 2018
by Alan Lu
I had the opportunity to watch ASVEL’s 6-8 forward, Amine Noua play in a September 23rd, French Jeep Elite game against AS Monaco, with thanks to YouTube via AB- Basket. Noua had playing fairly well in France’s top league, so I decided to watch him play online to see how well he has progressed as an overall player.
Amine Noua is a fairly good athlete that excels at scoring on hustle plays. He can tend to get his scores using off-ball movement, as he can do so off of rolls, cuts, and he also can finish numerous plays around the basket. After cutting to the hoop once, he received the basketball and promptly took a power dribble before scoring on a powerful two-handed dunk. However, sometimes he may not always play under control, which can lead him to miss shots around the basket on occasion.
He also can post up smaller players, as he was able to draw a non-shooting foul upon the catch. Plus, he also runs the floor hard, as he will put himself in opportunities where he could get the ball to score in transition. However, he may not project to be much of a shot creator at the next level. On his lone drive to the basket, Noua used a spin move and an overhead ball fake, only to get his shot blocked as he struggled to get all the way to the rim off the dribble.
Also, he struggled to consistently knock down jumpers. Noua can occasionally make threes if he takes his time to shoot, but he struggled to make spot-up threes in this contest. Sometimes, his feet may not be set, but mostly he will need to improve his ability to make outside shots on a more routine basis in games. Plus, he also displayed adequate playmaking skills. He is an unselfish player that will look to find the open man, and he can kick it out to shooters after driving hard to the hoop to set up scoring chances for his teammates. There was one play where he received a low bounce pass where he dropped it out of bounds in traffic, but generally Noua did a good job of passing and handling the basketball when he was on the floor.
Though he may be an adequate rebounder on average, Noua did not grab a board in this game. He did manage to tip a ball to a teammate to help his team get a defensive rebound on one possession, but there was another where he got beat to a ball where an opponent chased down an offensive board. He also exhibited decent defensive skills. Noua is a good low post defender that has adequate strength to hold position on the block, and he can contest shots to force misses. He also is an active help defender, as he rotated on a drive to block a shot from the weak side to a teammate due to possessing good timing and instincts that time. Also, Noua also tipped an interior pass to a teammate as he effectively broke up a lob pass to help his team get a steal on a separate play as well.
However, Noua can struggle to guard quicker players. Sometimes, he will shade too far to his left, as there were a couple of instances where he ended up getting beat off the dribble to his right, which led him to commit a foul once, and to allow a score another time. Also, sometimes he won’t contest shots even despite making proper rotations, which can lead his team to allow scores.
In general, Amine Noua is an interesting prospect, as he could project to be a 3 and D type of role player in the NBA. He is a combo forward that possesses above average athletic gifts, and he is an energetic player that will compete hard on both ends of the floor. He does a good job of moving without the ball to get points on offense, and he also is a fairly good help defender. He will need to improve his jump shot, but his skill set could perhaps allow him to be a second round pick in the 2019 NBA Draft.
ASVEL’s 6-9, 1999-born center Khadim Sow from Senegal showed off some interesting skills in his team’s narrow win over AS Monaco. Sow is an athletic big man that possesses a very good motor, and he will run the floor hard down the court. He is an adequate defensive player, as he moves his feet well out on the perimeter, and he does a good job of defending screens as he can hedge out on them to get back to his man or switch on them. Sow is also an active help defender, as he caught a dropped ball from an opponent to get a steal, and he also aggressively tipped a ball off the cylinder after defending in the post to force a miss. The note about the latter play is that tipping a ball off the cylinder is allowed in FIBA, but not in the NBA.
Also, he will look to grab some rebounds. On one possession, Sow managed to leap up to quickly get a defensive board. Plus, he also throws good, crisp outlet passes, and he also managed to set an off-ball screen. However, Sow still needs to improve his position defense. He’s still learning the game, and he will need to improve his fundamentals on that side of the ball. On one play, Sow aimlessly rotated from man to man as he didn’t know who to pick up, and the other team used ball movement to find the open man to set up a score on a high post drive. On a different play, while Sow managed to hedge out very hard onto a ball handler when defending a screen, he ended up committing a reach-in foul due to over-aggressiveness.
In limited minutes, Khadim Sow shows promise as he could project into being a high motor, defensive specialist in the NBA someday. He is a very competitive player that has both solid athleticism and motor, and he may have enough upside to project into being a late second round pick as he could be a stash candidate for an NBA team. If he can refine his overall skill set, he could perhaps end up finding his way into the association some day in the future.
I also took the time to watch ASVEL’s 6-3, 2001-born, starting point guard, Theo Maledon, to gauge his skill level and upside, and to see if he could be a potential first round pick in the 2020 draft. Maledon has been getting plenty of minutes in France’s top league, the French Jeep Elite, and he has shown the ability to make shots and distribute the basketball at that level.
In this game, he didn’t look to score very often, but Maledon was able to score on an aggressive, left-handed drive off the glass. He is a quick, agile guard that possesses a fairly good first step, and he has good speed to get past opponents. He also dribbled around and then to the left to take a pull-up three, but he missed his only three-point attempt from beyond the arc.
He did display good playmaking skills. Maledon is a patient playmaker that will probe the defenses to find the open man, and he was able to use a hesitation move off the dribble to find a roll man to set up a score. There was one play where he drove wildly into traffic in transition and fell down, but he did manage to get the ball to a teammate as he successfully passed the basketball from the ground.
Also, Maledon will crash the glass to help his team on the boards. A couple of times, he was able to get defensive rebounds, and he will bring the ball up off of them. He also showcased adequate defensive skills. Maledon possesses good footwork when defending out on the perimeter, and he will quickly fight through screens to stay with his man. He has good feet to defend his opponents, and he will contest jumpers and shots on drives to force misses. But sometimes he can get beat on plays whether if its off cuts or drives, and he can tend to commit reach-in fouls due to being out of position.
In general, Maledon seems to be a steady, reliable player in the French Jeep Elite, as he could project into a backup point guard role at the NBA level. Maledon is a smart game manager that will compete relentlessly, and he is an unselfish player that can rack up assists, as his game may be similar to Denver Nuggets’ point guard, Monte Morris.
Maledon will need to be more assertive on offense though, as he tended to not look for his own shot enough, but he did show a good motor, as he will dive on the ground to get steals, and he will aggressively defend his opponents. Overall, Theo Maledon is a patient player that will look to find the open man, and his basketball IQ and skill level could allow him to thrive as an effective role player in the association someday.