Jinqiu Hu, 6-11, PF/C, Xinjiang
The 6' 11 mobile big man had a lot of peaks and valleys during three games at Nike Global Challenge, highlighted by a 26-point, 14-rebound performance against USA South. For the tournament, Hu averaged 19.5 points, 13.4 rebounds, and 1.5 blocks per 40 minutes pace adjusted and shot 47.2% from the field.
The Xingjian native is an intriguing long-term prospect from a height and mobility standpoint. At 6' 11 he has excellent size for a power forward and is very fleet of foot, evident by his ability to run the floor, catch and pivot fluidly, and defend the perimeter in pick and roll/face-up situations. Hu possesses soft hands and good footwork, which resulted in a number of impressive dive and finishes out of pick and roll situations.
Hu's quick feet were most apparent on the defensive end, as he more than held his own defending the pick and roll, often switching onto guards, staying in a stance and forcing them to give up the ball.
Hu also had a couple of textbook closeouts versus guards where he not only ran them off of their spot but was able to slide and deter any shots in the paint.
Although he's not a monster rim protector due to average length and leaping ability (he did meet a US player at the rim and send the dunk attempt away with force), Hu can more than hold his own guarding perimeter oriented power forwards.
The 17-year-old big man does need to add quite a bit of strength to bang on the interior, however. Hu sports an average frame that should be able to fill out somewhat in time, though he will most likely never be a dominant physical force from a strength standpoint. Hu may not be a physical specimen, but he plays tougher than his appearance in spurts.
Though that toughness can come and go, he isn't immune to putting his body on an offensive rebounder or diving into the post after a switch. With that said, there's no question that Hu goes through bouts of passivity in which he doesn't call for the ball on a duck in opportunity or fails to go into the body of the defender. Hu had a handful of shots blocked by Pan-Africa big man Ike Obiagu, mostly because he went up soft, didn't use shot fakes, and never really tried to hammer one home. Hu's mean steak is inconsistent, but that should improve as he begins to add weight to his frame.
Hu also has room to expand his offensive game. He has nice overall touch around the rim and is willing to use both hands, but he came up empty handed on several short-range jumpers. His natural touch isn't bad, but he tends to torque his body and bit too much and hang onto the ball a tad too long on his jumper.
With that said, Hu should be able to develop a reliable mid-range game in time given his natural touch and mechanics at the free throw line. Hu also isn't much of a distributor at this stage of his development. He can do a better job reading the defense and finding cutters out of the post (0.5 assists and 3.6 turnovers per 40 minutes pace adjusted).
All in all, Hu is a very intriguing big man prospect thanks to his size, agility, touch on the interior, potential in the mid-range and flashes of toughness. Hu has been playing in the FIBA circuit since 2013 and should have many more opportunities to prove himself as he continues to develop physically.