View Full Version : 7'0" Alexis Ajinca of France

04-14-2008, 09:01 AM
The skilled big man from France was just at the Nike Summit in Portland. I believe he was, or is, at INSEP, the same sports institute Ronny was at. His performance in Portland was something like 13 points/10 rebounds against high school seniors from America. This tells me Alexis is in no way ready to go pro yet.

Gonzaga has strong ties with INSEP in particular and France in general. I just wonder if Ajinca might be in the Zags' plans.

Hmmm. Just a thought on a Monday morn.

04-14-2008, 09:05 AM
BZ, I like your additude. The cup is always half full. When we lose one, there is always another one on the horizon.

And this year, we do not look like we need major help, but it would be nice to have some ready for the year after.:) :) :)

04-14-2008, 09:09 AM
We need to give Ronny a call and have him put in a good word for the Zags...

04-14-2008, 09:12 AM

I have heard some distant rumblings that the Zags are in on an overseas big -- much like the rumblings before "The Croatian" -- Mario Kasun arrived on campus.

Mario leaving for the NBA after a year of school (and no basketball at GU) of course opened the door for a late arrival -- Ronny Turiaf.

Gonzaga also came so close to getting Johan Petro and Ian Mahinmi (also of France). If this is the guy -- then three cheers for the coaching staff.

04-14-2008, 09:13 AM
Alexis is well known with the NBA folks. He's going at #12 on draftexpress.com's 2009 mock list:


His profile:


He's a late 1st rounder in 2009 at nbadraft.net

Sounds like he needs bulk and his offense needs work, but he's supposed to be outrageously athletic for a 7-1 big man.

04-14-2008, 09:18 AM
"At this point in time, Ajinca appears to be more comfortable playing while facing the basket. He would much rather shoot the three pointer than bang inside, and his hook-shot remains more of a face-up type move since he lacks the footwork to use it in the post. When asked what position hed like to play in the NBA, Ajinca mentioned that he sees himself as a 3 or 4. If he develops his body, he could become a match-up nightmare at the 5 if you allow him face the basket against slower centers. In regards to playing the 3, there is currently no player in the NBA who plays the small forward position at 7 feet tall or larger, as that just isnt feasible from a defensive standpoint. "


04-14-2008, 09:20 AM
Nbadraft.net summary:

Surprisingly he got a second invitation to a once in a lifetime chance that he blew last year. Ajinca still has intrigue galore as players with his size, athletism and reach don't come along every year. The missing piece for him is his body which is still thin, but said to be improving rapidly. He has that one special skill he really excels in and that is weakside shot blocking. The way he can jump, combined with his 7-6 reach and size is unmatched in this department and he is a force around the basket. But on the other hand his strength is so weak, that he can be bulled off balance, neutralizing his shot blocking. Considering his NBA draft chances he will probably get picked first round whenever he declares because of his physical tools and because of the fact the team picking him will think that they can do a better job on his body than all the others have done before. A risky thought and history has proved this is seldom done, just think about Manute Bol, Shawn Bradley, Jonathan Bender.

04-14-2008, 09:23 AM
Alexis is 19 YOA...I would assume that he could attend a college in America for the 2008/09 season.

04-14-2008, 09:23 AM
Interesting. I thein GU would be a great place for him based on those observations - Few and Co have experience with guys from France (Ronny), bigs who like the perimiter (Josh), and guys who have lots of potential but need to develop their bodies (Austin, Micah, Josh, heck even Ronny was fairly thin when he got here). Sounds like a nice piece - hope the staff is after him.

04-14-2008, 09:33 AM
He has a little bit of that LaMarcus Aldridge look about him:


04-14-2008, 09:37 AM
And thus ineligible to play in college?

04-14-2008, 09:47 AM
in his nbadraft.com profile they mentioned he is expected to turn pro in france before declaring for the nba instead of playing college ball. So also take that for what its worth.

04-14-2008, 09:49 AM
Has he even expressed interest in attending an American college?

04-14-2008, 09:56 AM
It wouldn't surprise me if he did go pro. French kids, and most Euros, jump at pro offers asap, whereas Aussies still value college basketball. It doesn't mean the staff won't get a kid from overseas, but times have changed since Ronny.

04-14-2008, 10:10 AM
Tell him Winter is just like in Paris.

04-14-2008, 10:17 AM
now, let's......get......JEFF!!!

t'ain't over 'til it's over


04-14-2008, 10:18 AM
With the value of the Euro increasing and the steady improvement of Euro leagues I would be very surprised to see real impact European players coming to the U.S. to play college ball.

In his interest, he probably wouldn't develop as much in the WCC as he would as a full time player on a decent Euroleague team. He would be playing against much better athletes and grown men full time.You hit the nail on the head Bob, it is a very different time from when Ronny joined us.

04-14-2008, 10:34 AM
I just watched the game last night. As someone stated previously he's a LaMarcus Aldridge clone, from body to they way they shoot (AA's better on defense though). I didn't think he was eligible for college though, thought he played pro ball in France. By Bob's comments it looks like he just looked at the boxscore because AA was very good in the game, especially on "d", blocking shot's left and right. If we were able to get him, all would be forgotten in regards to JT and TK. He would possibly be the biggest (no pun intended) recruit that we've ever had from overseas.