France U20s Show Promise At Eurocamp

14. Mouhammadou Jaiteh (France)
Mouhammadou Jaiteh produced a masterclass performance for France U20 in a four-team tournament at the Adidas Eurocamp

France have tipped off preparations for July's U20 European Championship in highly promising fashion, claiming three wins in as many warm-up games at the Adidas Eurocamp in Treviso.

Les Bleus were victorious against the USA U18 national team, the Canadian University of Carleton and a team of European All-Stars at the prestigious three-day event in Italy, which serves mainly as an opportunity for young players to showcase their skills ahead of the NBA Draft.

France head coach Jean-Aimé Toupane used a deep rotation in all three games in an effort to afford plenty of time on the court to every player on his 12-man squad and try out a variety of plays and schemes.

Even in these conditions though, center Mouhammadou Jaiteh has managed to confirm his status as the leader of this French side and certainly as one of the players to watch at the U20 European Championship on Crete.

The big man, who gained valuable experience this season with Nanterre in both the Euroleague and the French Pro A League, averaged 12.7 points and 9.7 rebounds over the three days in Treviso and was the only player on his team to score in double digits in every game.

Even Jaiteh however was not without fault when it came to France's main weakness, at least as it was manifested during this early stage of preparations.

Toupane will definitely be concerned by the fact his players turned the ball over an average of 19.7 times per game in Treviso, although such frequency of turnovers is not uncommon in youth basketball.

On Saturday, France used a 15-7 run late in the third quarter to overturn a 36-33 half-time deficit and ultimately pick up a 77-67 win over U18 Team USA.

Jaiteh paved the way with 18 points and 11 rebounds and Benjamn Sene finished with 11 points, three rebounds and three assists for the winners.

On Day 2 of the event, France edged out Carleton University 72-67 in overtime, following a clash that was too close for comfort throughout its 45 minutes.

Timothe Luwawu emerged as France's top scorer with 11 points while Jaiteh, Kevin Harley, Axel Bouteille and Alex Chassang all chipped in with 10 points apiece.

On Monday, France started pulling away from the All-Star Team late in the first quarter and clinched a 72-58 win behind 14 points from Luwawu and 13 points from Harley.

Young Russian international Dmitry Kulagin had 18 points for the All-Stars, 22-year-old French power forward Louis Labeyrie added nine points, while Swedish international Viktor Gaddefors and U20 Greek team point guard Lefteris Bochoridis chipped in with eight points each in losing efforts each.

Serbian winger Nemanja Dangubic, who turned 21 in March, was named MVP of this edition of the Eurocamp.

France were drawn in first round Group D of the U20 European Championship, together with Russia, Bulgaria, Israel and Poland.

The showcase event of European youth basketball tips off on 8 July in Greece.


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19.07.2014 - U20 MEN

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