This little known Belgian player has made some noise this season in the Euroleague. Having signed with Real Madrid after the season already started, Axel Hervelle
has fit on to his team right away. He needed no time to adjust and made no excuses at all. He has contributed from day one, delivering maximum effort and always staying focused.
The buzz around Axel when he came suggested that he was a combo forward on his way to the small forward position. Soon it was clear that Hervelle had little to do with a small forward (at least for the moment). Hervelle contributed more from the paint initially this year for Real, using his quickness, strength, athleticism, intensity and a pretty good basketball sense. He has become quite a valuable player on defense (especially team defense) and rebounding, providing his team with more aggressiveness and a better transition game, as he's an excellent floor runner. On the other hand, his offensive skills looked very poor, with nothing more than garbage points to speak of.
But as the season has advanced, he has begun showing a better perimeter shot every day, to the point that he has scored half of his treys attempted, which became quite a lot by the end of the regular season (he has averaged 3.4 attempts in his last seven games). This consistency has given him more confidence on the offensive end, daring to try even more things with the ball. It has also been noticeable in his passing, which is somewhat improved.
The top-16 stage awaits him, and given the offensive progression he's showing, his role in Real Madrid might grow hand in hand with his statistical production. He seems to be quite a competitive player, and he surely won't shy away from this challenge.
However, Hervelle is still rather unpolished, not particularly skilled; a role player in a competition where he barely reaches the category of an average player. But he has written his name in the second round bubble thanks to his effort on the court and his willingness to improve.