YANNICK NZOSA

BIRTHDATE: 11/15/03

POSITION: Center

HEIGHT: 6'11"

WEIGHT: 175 lbs

SCHOOL/ TEAM: Unicaja (Spain)

CLASS: International 

STRENGTHS

  • Very fluid and coordinated athlete 

  • Long wingspan

  • High energy and active 

  • Can put the ball on the floor and attack defenders

  • Left handed

  • Good touch around him 

  • Runs the floor hard in transition

  • Makes hustle plays 

  • Always moving 

  • Upside as short roll finisher 

  • High percentage finisher 

  • Good touch on low sky hook

  • Upside as a short roll decision maker 

  • Knack for getting open 

  • Quick touch finishes

  • Sprints out of screens 

  • Very good P&R finisher 

  • Good free throw shooter

AREAS TO IMPROVE

  • Super skinny 

  • Finishing through contact 

  • Outside shooting 

  • Slow shot may need to change form

  • Needs to add right hand 

  • Tendency to finish out instead of up 

  • A lot of screen turnovers 

  • Occasionally plays out of control

  • Not overly explosive 

  • More fluid than explosive 

  • Still raw

  • Feel for the game

I believe Yannick Nzosa will be a top 5 pick in the 2022 NBA Draft and after reading this scouting report you may join me on the Nzosa bandwagon.

 

I had a hard time figuring out which skill I wanted to highlight first because there’s a lot to like, but I guess start with breaking down Nzosa as a finisher and roll man. 

 

I love how he’s not afraid to throw his skinny 175 pound frame around to set screens. A lot of people seem to think being a screen and roll man is easy, it’s actually a little more complex than what it looks. Nzosa already has an advanced feel finding the gaps in defense and knowing when to roll hard to rim, short roll and even rescreen. I love his energy and motor, he always seems to be moving and looking to make himself available for easy buckets around the rim. 

 

To be honest, it seems all his attempts are easy buckets around the rim. He’s a crazy efficient finisher, converting 70% from the floor as a roll man.. 35% of his possessions were out of pick & roll and he scored 1.397 point per possession. Which only ranked in the top 94% percentile in Europe last season… I’m being sarcastic when I say only..

 

This is nuts considering he’s only 17 years old and was scoring with this type of efficiency in Spain’s ACB, which is in my opinion the best domestic league in Europe. 

 

 

Touch around the rim 

 

Next I want to touch on his touch around the rim..   While Nzosa is still very raw and his skill set is developing.. I’ve been impressed with his touch around the basket. He’s shown he’s capable of making soft touch finishes, although only with his left hand. He’ll need to add right hand finishes around the rim, but he’s only 17 so he has plenty of time become an ambidextrous finisher. I really like how he’s already developed a soft touch floater when he’s the roll man. 

 

 

Running the floor 

 

I love watching Nzosa running the floor and filling the lanes in transition. Actually, I don’t even know if “runs” is the correct term. He literally sprints to the basket, often outrunning everyone on the court. Seeing Nzosa fly down the lane is another example of his energy and motor and also his exceptional quickness for a 7 footer…

 

A little under 10% of his possessions came in transition where he made over 71% of his attempts and averaged 1.375 points per possession which ranked in the top 86 percentile in European competitions. 

 

 

Attacking the rim

 

Let me remind you Yannick Nzosa just started playing basketball around 4 years ago. So he’s still pretty raw, but if there’s a such thing as being raw and polished at the same time. Yannick Nsoza is the poster child. 

 

I know it’s a limited sample size, but I see a flashes and a lot of promise of Nzosa becoming a threat off the dribble and being able to create mismatches in space with his speed and quickness. 

 

I also believe he’ll develop into an effective scorer on off the ball motion plays in half court sets..

 

 

Last but definitely not least. 

 

Nzosa impact on the defensive end might be his most valuable skill set. At 17, he’s already a terrific shot blocker that makes defenders think twice about challenging him at the rim.

 

I’m not big on Per 36 numbers, but I’ll use them to support my case. In his first professional season in Spain he averaged nearly 2.5 blocks per game in ACB and EuroCup play. 

 

As far as areas of improvement I’d like to see him work on his right hand and a face up game.  He’ll also need to improve as a shooter which shouldn’t be a problem since he already has good touch and is respectable at the foul line. 

 

A lot of it is related to his inexperience but he’ll need improve his feel for the game and become a better decision maker and passer. 

 

However the fact he’s already a contributor in the best domestic league outside of the NBA just 4 years after picking up a basketball, tells me the sky is the limit for Yannick Nzosa

Rafael Barlowe - August 6, 2021