It’s four weeks from the NBA Draft and the projected No. 1 pick, Victor Vembanyama, is still playing meaningful and competitive basketball in France. Wembanyama led his French team, Boulogne-Levallois Metropolitans 92, to a 3-0 win over Cholet in elimination game 3 to advance to the LNB Pro A semifinals, where Wembayanyama would face his old team, ASVEL, in a best-of-five series.
Wembanayama was impressive, sitting in playoff action playing 33 minutes in an 81–69 win on their home court alongside Minnesota Timberwolves center Rudy Gobert. Vembanayama led his team in scoring with 19 points and added 9 rebounds, 4 assists and 2 blocks. His teammate and former Michigan guard, Davante’ Jones, added 15 points, while Lahou Konate and Tashon Thomas each finished with 14 points.
The 7-foot-4 do-it-all center had a quiet first half and didn’t attempt a single shot from 3-point range as the Mets 92 pulled out to a comfortable 18-point lead to start the third quarter. In the second half, he seemed hesitant from behind the arc and only attempted a stepback 3-pointer, which he missed. The midrange game is where he shone and had incredible touch around the rim when the defense would collapse.
Cholet cut it to single digits with seven minutes left in the game, but could not make his way through with Wembanyama and Jones converting free throws down the stretch.
Vembanayama and his teammate, Bilal Coulibaly, are the only two draft prospects still outside the NBA Draft on June 22. Coulibaly, a 6-6 shooting guard with a 7-1 wingspan, is starting to come alive in the playoffs and put together some nice plays last game including a putback dunk and a tough corner 3 with a defender in his face. .
The extra games are giving NBA scouts extra time to evaluate the young guard (just 18 years old), as his draft stock continues to rise through the middle of the first round.
“Historically speaking, there is a correlation between youth and upside,” an NBA scout told Yahoo Sports in March. “You expect discrepancies at 19 or 20, but a combination of youth and production is the best-case scenario. Youth, in general, suggests the opposite.”
The Mets 92 entered the LNB Pro A playoffs with a 23–11 record and as the No. 2 seed in the playoffs. The semi-finals will begin on Sunday against ASVEL.
Vembanayama continues to keep alive his dreams of winning a Pro A championship before he hits the NBA. He is currently averaging 20 points and 10.5 rebounds in the post season and will have a tough series against ASVEL.
LNB Pro A Playoffs
WHO: Boulogne-Levallois Metropolitans 92 vs ASVEL
Game 1: May 28th, 9:15AM ET
Game 2: May 30th, 2:30PM ET
Game 3: June 2, noon ET
Game 4: June 4th, TBD (if needed)
Game 5: June 7th, TBD (if needed)
Final: June 11-20