|Team: NON-NBA College Team: Vanoli Soresina|
H: 5' 11"|
W: 176 lbs
(28 Years Old)
|Agent: SELF ||
Hometown: Spanga, Sweden
After a couple of excellent performances here at the Eurocamp, which very likely have helped out his stock, Rudy Mbemba slowed down to a certain extent in the last game against the U20 Russian National Team, partially due to a slight injury he might have suffered taking a hard spill to the ground.
Mbemba looked a lot more aggressive early on looking to show off his terrific slashing skills. He came up with two big dunks early on, utilizing his excellent ball-handling skills, particularly his lightning quick crossover, to make his way into the paint and either find the open man underneath the hoop or finish the play himself. He also made some very nice post-entry passes on the fly, again showing his improving knowledge of executing the pick and roll, but also had a couple of careless forces getting a bit wild with his dribble.
He slowed down a bit in the 2nd half, but that doesn’t take anything away from the excellent camp Mbemba had—probably making him the favorite for MVP honors.
The tiny Swedish point guard seems to be settling down as the camp advances. He still makes some questionable decisions, getting trapped from time to time on dead-end paths from where his size can’t help him get out alive, but it seems pretty obvious that yesterday he seriously tried to run the team's offense better and distribute the ball, for the most part taking only the necessary risks.
He particularly excelled in transition, almost always delivering the ball for easy baskets, but also did a nice job on the pick and roll or feeding cutters, actually completing some spectacular assists. He's a player that looks for the definitive pass, but was pretty effective doing it—finishing with an excellent 15 assists on the day, compared with just two turnovers. Mbemba keeps showing his nice deep touch, especially whenever he goes up for the pull-up jumper (actually he air-balled a fairly open three-pointer in catch-and-shoot fashion). Rudy was also pretty clutch, knocking down a couple of extremely important threes, even if he missed two free-throws that put the game in jeopardy. He also showcased his ability to finish near the rim with creative layups using his strong body to gain room and force fouls, and his quickness on the defensive end.
This was an up and down day for the Swedish waterbug, playing two games—one with his RBK Eurocamp team, and one as part of a contingency of all-stars matched up against an American team highlighted by Bill Walker, William Buford and Malcolm Lee.
On one hand Mbemba made some excellent passes igniting the fast break with terrific homerun style outlets or setting up his big man nicely with bounce passes off the pick and roll, also picking up some assists on the drive and dish. On the other hand, he also had a quite few pointless turnovers, dribbling into brick walls with little purpose or forcing tough passes that just weren’t there. His decision making is still way behind his terrific athletic ability, which allows him to beat his matchup almost whenever he pleases.
Those here who are calling him an undersized shooting guard are sorely mistaken, though…this guy is definitely a point guard through and through, although he is still a ways to go in terms of his polish and overall experience. He only knows how to play at one speed—and that is 100 miles an hour. He does have an incredible extra gear he can go to when needed to get himself into the lane, and will rise up and attempt to throw down a thunderous jam if given the opportunity to do so. Comparing him with American college point guards his age, he doesn’t seem to be quite that far off from a player like Ty Lawson for example.
Mbemba also played very strong defense thanks to his excellent combination of strength and lateral quickness, even though he gambles quite a bit for steals. He also scored on occasion with a strong drive or a smooth looking pull-up jumper, either from mid-range or from behind the arc. So far, he’s easily one of the most intriguing guys found here.
We still don't like Mbemba's style of play, but it's hard not to pay attention to the stuff he's capable of doing. He's the same tough, strong, ultra-quick and very athletic guy. He explodes towards the basket easily, dribbling past most opponents and having the strength, hops and creativity to finish against bigger guys. He also shows very quick legs and hands on defense to come up with steals and easy fastbreak points, and from time to time he also stands out with some very nice passes. This year he's even knocking down his off-the-dribble jumpers more consistently than he did in the past.
On the downside, he's the same awful decision maker on the court. You have to wonder if you want a guy like him running your team, even if there's always a certain possibility that he can mature and settle down his game. Anyway, usual stuff out of him--overdribbling, wild penetrations where he forgets about his teammates and doesn't come up with any kind of solution, or ill-advised shots taken very early in the possession with no other player than him touching the ball.
Let’s leave it clear from the beginning: it’s nothing personal, but Rudy Mbemba’s game doesn’t particularly fit with my vision of basketball. Still, even considering his notorious shortcomings, we can’t ignore his performances in the games played here.
Mbemba is a tiny point guard who hardly reaches six feet, despite what the official measurements might say. He is impressively quick, athletic and quite tough. He’s a wild guy who has found in this wild setting at the Eurocamp the perfect scenario to display his natural game and shine.
Mbemba is a player that loves the up-tempo game, playing in the open court, pushing the ball, dominating it, attacking his rivals relentlessly, being very hard to keep him under control, and enjoying exhibiting his leaping ability, although I would personally prefer that he focused more on distributing the ball and take better decisions.
Yesterday, he succeeded in numerous situations. He was brilliant delivering some assists off the dribble. He’s not a bad passer, but he’s not steady and looks for the flashy one. He also made a few shots, showing once again that he can put the ball in the net with nice range and some (but still improvable) consistency.
Mbemba has been really active on defense, staying close to his man (perhaps too much in certain situations), and successfully gambling for the steal on the defensive help, which has fuelled his transition vocation.
Still, we’re talking about a very undersized player who needs to mature (mentally, as physically he shows quite a strong and ripped body for a 1987 kid) and learn the ropes of playmaking.