Observing Zaccharie Risacher and Clement Frisch in a French Basketball Cup Game

June 18th, 2024

By Alan Lu

Today, I decided to take the time to watch JL Bourg’s forward, Zaccharie Risacher and Nancy Basket’s 6-7 forward Clement Frisch play against each other in a February 13th French Basketball Cup game, with thanks to YouTube via JL Bourg.  I watched this game to analyze Clement Frisch’s skills, but it was also another opportunity to assess Risacher and to see if he should be the top pick of the 2024 draft or not.  Risacher didn’t have his best game, but Frisch played very well in SLUC Nancy Basket’s win over JL Bourg.  Here are my thoughts on how Risacher and Frisch fared, as well as how well their games may translate to the NBA.

Zaccharie Risacher is widely expected to be a top 5 pick in the 2024 draft and could go as high as number one, but lately it seems that his play late in the season has made him a fairly divisive prospect. Despite the solid season he’s had this year, he was up and down for his team n the playoffs.
(Photo: Tuan Nguyen/Basket Europe)

Zaccharie Risacher had his ups and downs in his team’s loss to Nancy Basket.  He was maddeningly inconsistent as he really had trouble getting going or scoring in the first half, and it was only until he could score on some motion plays and on catch-and-shoot opportunities in the second half that allowed him to show some of his offensive skills.  He was solid defensively, but he didn’t seem to play anywhere close to the hype that has mounted upon him this season.

Risacher seemed to be at his best when he would look to score on plays where he would be in motion.  Risacher ran the floor to get the ball in the post, and he quickly utilized a pump fake to score on a sweeping, fadeaway jump hook.  While he didn’t shoot the ball well from the outside, Risacher would move off the ball to knock down quick, open corner threes off the catch. 

On the downside, he missed on a handful of spot-up threes, and he also missed badly after running off of a screen once, and he also missed awkwardly on a contested pull-up three another time.  Plus, he also missed weakly around the basket after getting the ball on a cut and spinning to get to rim.  He also tried to score on an aggressive drive in transition, but he drove into the teeth of the defense and missed wildly in traffic.  Risacher didn’t really look to score off the dribble very much in the half court, and it may be questionable if he can be an efficient shot creator if they ask him to shoulder a heavy volume on offense.

Also, Risacher showcased decent playmaking skills in this game.  He is an unselfish player that will make the extra pass, and he also would make quick passes off the dribble to create scoring chances for his teammates.  He also managed to set a solid screen to help prevent the other team’s big man from rotating to the ball handler or getting back to his man, which helped set up a score for his team.  On the downside, he also was called for catching a ball in the corner out of bounds, which led to a turnover. He didn’t grab many rebounds in this game, but Risacher was able to get a board on each end of the floor.  On one play though, he didn’t box out his man and then bit on a pump fake, which led his team to allow a put back score. 

He also defended well in this game.  Risacher would jump passes and on loose balls to get steals for his team, and he also managed to poke a ball away when defending an opposing ball handler in the backcourt and dive on the ground to get a steal another time.  He was active in playing passing lanes and pressuring ball handlers, and he also was able to use his length to contest a three to force a miss.  On the downside, sometimes he would play too aggressively, which would lead him to be out of position defensively.  Another time, he got outmuscled when defending in the post and got beat on a move to his left to allow a score.

Overall, Zaccharie Risacher is a talented prospect that will likely go in the top 5 of the 2024 draft due to his size, athleticism, versatile skill set, and potential, but the way he plays on offense combined with his at times very inconsistent play may make him potentially ill-suited to be the top pick of this year’s draft, which may sound a bit strange, because his pedigree and solid stats make him a solid contender to be the top pick this year. 

Some of the concerns are that he doesn’t really look to create his own shot in the half court very much off the dribble, and while his size and athleticism can allow him to score on hustle plays and in a fast-paced, up-tempo game, there is a concern that he might only project to be a very tall, spot-up shooter on offense.  Even more so, while he’s posting good shooting percentages in tough leagues overseas, he will need to be able to make different types of shots, such as by running off of screens and making shots off dribble-handoffs in the meantime. 

Right now, there does not seem to be a clear-cut number one pick this year, and even if Risacher does not go number one, that could end up being a good thing for him, as he could go into next season with a chip on his shoulder.  I feel like Risacher would be better suited to play for a team that has a motion offense, and Houston and San Antonio would be better fits for him than Atlanta or Washington, because the Hawks and Wizards both have ball-dominant guards in which his touches on offense could end up being fairly sporadic, and playing in a disjointed offense could end up hurting his efficiency.  Risacher is a very talented player that will need to be a more consistent in games, but if he goes to a team that has a solid coach and team system, he could project to be a solid complementary player in the NBA.

Clement Frisch is a skilled, versatile forward that may have the skillls and the basketball IQ to make it to the NBA someday. (Photo: Thierry Tonneaux/MaxPPP, via L’Est Républicain)

Clement Frisch had a strong showing in his team’s win over JL Bourg in this game.  He is an agile, skilled swingman that excelled at making plays on both ends of the floor to help his team get the victory. Frisch excelled at scoring on hustle plays.  In this game, he showed a knack for scoring off of cuts.  He was able to get a ball on a quick cut, which enabled him to score on a powerful dunk.  He also made a quick cut on one continuous motion another time to score later on.  Also, Frisch was able to grab an offensive rebound and use a pump fake to score on a put back.

He also showed the ability to score off the dribble as well as out of the post.  Frisch was able to use a quick drop step to score inside.  He also managed to use a quick ball fake to drive hard to draw free throws another time.  However, he missed on a contested, off-balanced jump hook early on.  He also drove in from the baseline but missed an open dunk another time.

While he didn’t take many threes in this game, Frisch also shot the ball well from the outside.  He was able to move off the ball to get it, which enabled him to make a quick open three-pointer.

Also, Frisch showcased satisfactory playmaking skills.  He is an unselfish player that operates well in a motion offense and as a facilitator off the dribble, and he would often use a crafty pump fake to fake a defender out in order to throw a nifty pass off the dribble to set up scoring chances for his teammates.  He generally passed the ball well, and he possesses solid court vision.  On the downside, he would sometimes force the issue too much on offense.  On one play, he handled the ball up the court, but spun into another defender and collided into him before losing the ball.  Another time, he tried passing from the ground after getting an offensive rebound, but his teammate dropped the pass and lost the ball out of bounds.

Also, Frisch did a good job of rebounding the basketball.  He would chase down balls to get multiple boards on both ends of the floor, and he has a good motor that would allow him to get tough boards impressively in this game.  He also played satisfactory defense in this game. He is an active help defender that was able to make some solid plays to help get stops for his team.  Frisch was able to quickly jump a pass to get a steal.  He also managed to rotate to block a three-point shot to a teammate.  He also would defend opposing ball handlers and cut off penetration to prevent them from getting easy driving lanes, and he also would contest outside shots to force misses.  On the downside, he would sometimes struggle to defend opponents off the dribble or on the move, which would lead him to be foul prone.  Sometimes he would go for steals and miss, and other times, he would struggle to defend quicker or stronger opponents on the defensive end.

Overall, Clement Frisch is a smart, skilled swingman that excelled at making shots and turned in a solid all-around performance to help get his team the win in this game.  He’ll need to continue to improve his outside shot to turn that into an elite skill.  If he can continue to hone and improve his overall game, he could end up be a solid rotation player in the NBA similar to New Orleans Pelicans’ forward, Naji Marshall in the league.

Other Notes:

Guillaume Grotzinger is a speedy playmaker that would use his speed and quickness to score and draw free throws on offense, and it also enabled him to chase down a defensive board, and rotate to poke a ball away to get a steal on the defensive end.  He is an athletic point guard that will need to improve his jump shot and get more consistent playing time in games, but he could be an intriguing prospect to keep tabs on in the future.

Yves Mballa is an athletic, energetic forward that was able to leap up to get an offensive board in traffic, and he was able to score on a difficult put back on offense.  He excelled as a finisher and rebounder, but was also foul prone in limited minutes for Nancy Basket.  He is an undersized combo forward that will have to extend his shooting range and expand upon his skill set offensively, but he could end up carving out a lengthy playing career in professional basketball.

All in all, those are my thoughts on how Risacher, Frisch, and other various prospects fared in this game.  Thanks for reading.

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