Victor Wembanyama remembers the good memories of NBA scouts
Bursting full force on the international scene during the under-19 world championship last summer, with a very fine silver medal at the end of the day, Victor Wembanyama (2m20, 18 years old) has so far experienced a rather frustrating first season for his official arrival at the highest European level.
Moved from his training club Nanterre to the next level with Asvel during the off-season, the interior tricolor was slowed down by injuries, and quite simply by the difference in levels at the start of the season.
But for the past few weeks, he has found his rhythm and he has even started to show the end of his nose in the French championship, with a very good match in Dijon (in an 82-75 defeat) two weeks ago: 14 points, 8 rebounds and 5 blocks (19 rating).
And last night, Victor Wembanyama confirmed his current form with his best European copy in his career, for his 11th Euroleague match, with 14 points (to a very good 6/7 on shots, including none from 3-pointers ), 5 rebounds, 5 blocks, 2 assists and 2 steals for 23 evaluation in 28 minutes of play in the beautiful victory of Villeurbanne in the Baltic lands, in Kaunas.
“I know this is just the beginning. I am very confident. I am aware that this season has not been perfect, there are many things that we could not control, both collectively and individually, but I know that it is the natural cycle of things. It will get better as it goes. »
An end to the season to finally let go
Finally calm in terms of physical glitches, Victor Wembanyama was able to chain a fourth consecutive match at 20 minutes or more in the Euroleague, enough to find his cruising speed. Faced with Joffrey Lauvergne or Tyler Cavanaugh last night in the Lithuanian painting, he made his incredible deterrent potential speak with no less than 5 blocks and a number of attempts considerably hampered with his immense wingspan.
“He’s a kid who already listens. He wants to progress. » appreciates his coach, TJ Parker. “It’s not easy for him given that he has this type of body. He needs to get bigger, and he works extremely hard every day for that. He deserves his playing time and if he continues to listen like he does, he will play more and more. He is also someone I trust to finish games, he is important for us. »
Having tended to force a little too much behind the 3-point line during this difficult transition season, Victor Wembanyama has refocused on the inside game. It clearly paid off last night, with this very promising left-handed basket for the future, after having managed to win in power against Tyler Cavanaugh (2m06, 108kg) and a small handful of easy dunks well served under the circle.
Expected very, very high in the 2023 Draft, Victor Wembanyama can take advantage of this end of the season to gain experience and build up confidence by playing on both sides, European and national.
» [La NBA] is still a long time away, he has a year and a half ahead of him,” concludes TJ Parker. “For both of us, the most important thing is that he stays healthy. He had physical difficulties at the start of the season, he couldn’t find his rhythm, he couldn’t train. There, he can do it for a month or two and that’s how he keeps improving. Last season, he played in Espoirs and a little pro with Nanterre: it is not easy to adjust directly to the Euroleague level but he wanted to take up the challenge. Tonight, he showed he could play at the highest level at his age. »
Photo credit: Euroleague