A breakout sophomore campaign has catapulted Florida State big man Mfiondu Kabengele to take the next step and enter this year’s NBA Draft.
Every year, the NBA Draft is littered with prospects that are only scratching the surface in their developments, whether due to having a reserve role in college and/or coming to the game later in childhood than most.
Florida State big man Mfiondu Kabengele checks both boxes and after an incredibly productive sophomore season with the Seminoles, he’s ready to take the next step in his basketball career.
A three-star recruit coming out of high school, the uber-athletic Canadian only received one scholarship offer heading into his senior season in high school, which came from Binghamton University.
Bypassing the offer, Kabengele subsequently moved to the States in the hopes of catching a look from more high-profile basketball schools.
That gamble, thanks to his game and physical profile literally blossoming to new heights, proved to pay off as Florida State eventually offered Kabengele a scholarship and while other schools eventually followed in line, he chose to play for the Seminoles.
But Kabengele’s commitment to the Seminoles was initially tested after the program elected to redshirt upon his arrival to Tallahassee. In talking to Eric Storms of the Daily Orange, Kabengele reflected on the start to his collegiate career and why he ultimately came to support the decision to redshirt his freshman year:
But Florida State was the first Power five school to give him a chance. So he chose to play for the Seminoles. When he arrived, the freshman didn’t expect to be a redshirt. But after some convincing, he “took it with open arms.”
“I knew, when they recruited me, they were the first school to trust me,” Kabengele said, “so I must go with their word because they have trust in me, and I have trust in them.”
Kabengele’s trust in the Seminoles, namely head coach Leonard Hamilton, eventually paid off as he became a fully-fledged prospect in this year’s draft, especially after the productive redshirt sophomore year he experienced this season. With all 37 of his appearances coming off the bench, Kabengele averaged 24.5 points on .534/.369/.761 shooting splits, 11 rebounds and 2.8 blocks all on a per-40 minutes basis.
So without further ado, let’s explore the game of Mfiondu Kabengele by looking at his current strong suits, areas where he needs to make strides in, where he’s currently rated by draft experts and his potential fit with the Milwaukee Bucks.
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