Evan Fournier competed today after working out in a one-on-zero setting for the scouts in attendance yesterday, and helped himself considerably more in turn. In 29 minutes of action, Fournier scored 12 points, looking smooth creating his own shot on the perimeter and making plays being aggressive in transition while showing good court vision finding the open man. The top 2012 draft prospect at this event, Fournier shot well today, going 2-4 from three in the first game and 2-3 in the second game, which was extremely important considering that this is the area he struggled in most this season. Had he shot a better percentage from beyond the arc with Poiters this season, its reasonable to wonder if he would be considered a legit top-20 prospect in this deep draft.
He will leave tomorrow for the United State for workouts with Indiana, Memphis, and Dallas. We caught up with Fournier, who emphasized his desire to play in the NBA this coming season, after he led the French U20 team to a victory over Russia's U20 squad.
After a solid rookie year, averaging 6.4 points in 14.4 minutes, Evan Fournier has stepped up his game in a major way in his second pro season in the French first division, leading his team in scoring at 14 points per-game in 26 minutes, at the tender age of 19.
Named Pro A player of the month in March, Fournier is the undisputed go-to guy of Poitiers, a pretty rare feat in Europe considering his age and the level of competition he's playing at, even if his team ranks towards the bottom of the league with a 8-18 record this season.
Even when adjusting for his increased playing time, Fournier has improved his production significantly in virtually every category this season, increasing his free throw attempts substantially, improving his 3-point percentage, dishing out far more assists, and getting in the passing lanes at a better rate. He ranks as one of the top five per-minute scorers in the league, as well as top five in steals and top ten in free throw attempts.
Enjoying a great deal of freedom in Poitiers' offense, Fournier gets the majority of his touches in pick and roll, transition and isolation situations, all of which he's fairly effective in.
He possesses ideal physical attributes for a NBA wing at 6-7 with a strong frame, and has the ability to create his own shot very effectively thanks to his excellent size, strength, and ball-handling skills. Despite his height, he's able to get very low with his dribble, showing terrific footwork and body control driving into the lane, often using crafty change of speed moves, spins and hesitations.
Patient and mature with his drives, he reads the secondary line of defense extremely well, frequently making intelligent passes off the dribble to cutting teammates as help-side defenders rotate towards him.
Fournier is capable of playing above the rim, even if he doesn't always feel compelled to, as he finishes extremely well around the basket, converting 63% of his attempts around the rim on the season according to Synergy Sports Technology, and a very efficient 55% of his 2-pointers overall.
Where Fournier continues to struggle is as a jump-shooter, both in catch and shoot and off the dribble situations this season. He's capable of making 3-pointers (he converts more than one per game), he just hasn't been able to do so efficiently, hitting only 26% of his attempts.
The biggest issue at the moment appears to be his shot-selection, as he just isn't as judicious as he needs to be considering his paltry percentages. When on-balanced and shooting in rhythm, Fournier appears to be a very capable shooter. The problem is that's rarely the case. When rushed, his mechanics tend to fall apart, as his release point is not consistent.
Defensively, Fournier has the ability to be very effective when he's dialed in and using his excellent size and anticipation skills to his advantage. Unfortunately, he's very inconsistent in his effort, looking quick to relax in his stance and not doing a great job bending his knees and being physical fighting through screens. This, coupled with his short (6-7 ˝) wingspan and average lateral quickness, makes him fairly ineffective trying to stay in front of quicker guards on the perimeter, which is somewhat of a concern looking to the NBA.
Despite his (highly improvable) weaknesses as a perimeter shooter and defender, Fournier is a very intriguing NBA prospect thanks to his extremely intriguing combination of size, ball-handling ability, scoring instincts and productivity. Considering his age (he's younger than many collegiate freshmen, such as Austin Rivers and Cody Zeller), and the improvement he's shown over the past 18 months, Fournier obviously has plenty of room to continue to grow as a prospect over the next few years.
Fournier has already declared his intentions to enter the draft and is likely to stay in barring unforeseen circumstances. He missed out on some of the exposure a strong showing at the Nike Hoop Summit would have provided him, but will likely participate in the adidas EuroCamp this June in one form or another, something that could give his draft stock another boost. [Read Full Article]
Nike Hoop Summit Scouting Reports: International Guards/Wings
April 13, 2011
French swingman Evan Fournier came into the 2011 Nike Hoop Summit with some recognition after stringing together some very intriguing performances for Poiters in Pro A France over the past few months.
He stood out immediately in the practice sessions with his excellent size, mature frame, high skill level and terrific scoring instincts on the wing. He plays at a very nice pace and has a smoothness and craftiness to his game that enables him to get into the paint off the dribble, utilizing his deceptive athleticism and very aggressive mentality.
He uses jab-steps nicely and has strong footwork and ball-handling skills, showing especially nice timing on his drives, where he can use spin moves and finish elegently. He also displayed a very good feel for the game, often throwing nice passes to set up his teammates off his penetration. In France he's at times the one who's asked to bring the ball up the floor for his team, demonstrating his intriguing versatility.
He showed the ability to finish in transition and in the paint against the other World Team members, but he struggled in the game, shooting 2-8 from the floor, and looking somewhat nervous and clearly being bothered by the length of Team USA at the rim.
In the practices and from the game-film we watched it seems like he does an excellent job of using his strong body around the rim to shield opponents and finish through contact, though, so it's possible he may have just been pressing in the actual game.
A big key will be his growth as a jump-shooter, as he's only shooting 19% (7-36) from behind the 3-point line this season for Poiters. From what we observed in practice, this looks to be correctable as he has nice form in his upper body and release, but has some trouble with his lower body and footwork, with his momentum carrying him too far forward.
Defensively, Fournier has good size at 6-7, but average length (6-7 ˝ wingspan). He played hard all week in the practices and scrimmages, showing solid toughness, but may lack a degree of lateral quickness to guard some of the more explosive players he'll eventually match up with in the NBA.
Ultimately, his performance on Saturday night was a bit of a disappointment after such solid showings in practice, but Fournier shows great promise and clearly has NBA potential down the line if he improves his perimeter shot and continues to produce at a high rate in Europe. [Read Full Article]
Despite being one of the youngest players at this camp at just 16 years old, French swingman Evan Fournier regardless managed to emerge as one of the top scorers here, all while leading his team to a competitive fourth place finish.
Fournier doesn’t look like much on first glance, as he’s a skinny young guy who initially does not appear to have great athleticism. The more you watch him, the more he grows on you, though, as he’s an extremely smooth all-around player who is a lot more explosive than you would first think.
Extremely versatile for his age, Fournier does many different things well, which leaves a lot of room for optimism regarding his future development. He is a shifty player in the open court who can create his own shot elegantly going left or right, and is extremely smooth finishing around the basket with either hand. He also has a nice mid-range game, coming up with a couple of very smooth pull-up jumpers off the dribble.
He typically takes what the defense gives him, and plays the game at a very nice pace, which is not a quality you typically associate with a player who is only 16 years old. Fournier has a very nice feel for the game, something that shows up in his passing ability, as well as the way he executes plays in the half-court and gets everyone around him involved.
On the downside, Fournier needs to get much tougher and stronger once he takes his game to the next level of competition, as may be a bit on the soft side. Defensively he struggled quite a bit from what we saw, not always putting the greatest effort in, and also being pushed around somewhat by the older players he went up against. His 3-point shot is also not as consistent as you might hope, although that doesn’t appear to be a major issue, as he has nice form and already shows the ability to make shots from that range.
While still extremely young, Fournier has to be considered an intriguing prospect thanks to the excellent size and scoring instincts he brings to the table, as well as the ability to create both for himself and others. Obviously he still has a long ways to go, but there is a lot to work with already.