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Maybe the worst International stat lines in the history of stat lines!

International Regular Season Stats - Per Game

 
2017-18 Espoirs Monaco LNB Espoirs 17 5 21.6 1.71 6.00 .284 1.29 4.35 .297 0.94 1.29 .727 0.41 1.88 2.29 2.12 0.65 0.18 2.65 1.59 5.65
2018-19 Espoirs Monaco LNB Espoirs 9 9 27.7 1.67 9.22 .181 1.00 4.78 .209 1.78 2.56 .696 0.22 3.89 4.11 2.78 1.33 0.00 2.67 2.44 6.11

 

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Canadian Van Zyl chooses trailblazing path in dream of making NBA
REGENSBURG -  One thing you can say about Austin Van Zyl is that he does not fear taking risks. The 18-year-old Canadian has chosen a different path for what he hopes is his road to the NBA. And it has taken him from Canada via the United States to France - as a trailblazer who hopes one day to lead South Africa to big heights. Sure, there is a lot packed into that lede, but don't worry, it will all be cleared up in this column.

First off, let's introduce Austin Van Zyl - a 1999-born point guard from Oakville, Ontario, located west of Toronto. He made the jump to highly-regarded US high school/college prep school Huntington Prep in West Virginia. After playing his sophomore season there last year, Van Zyl decided to make an uncommon move. The 6ft 5in (1.96m) playmaker joined French club AS Monaco on a deal which keeps him eligible to attend college in the United States should he so choose.

"I was thinking about taking the best path to get to the goal that i want to reach, which is the NBA. I wanted to take a different path than most people would; which would also be the most amount of risk. But I thought this was the best decision for me to make it to the league," Van Zyl told Eye on the Future. Van Zyl has been doing quite a juggling act in the city along the Mediterranean Sea. He has practice in the morning with the Monaco U21 team, lifts during the day and has an evening practice. He also fits in school in that schedule - all the while trying to improve his French language skills. There were a couple of major advantages that Van Zyl saw in coming to France instead of staying in the United States. There is more time for practice, the competition level is higher and the season is longer - being ninth months instead of the four or five months in the US.

Van Zyl said his game plan coming in was to be vocal, be aggressive on defense and facilitate the ball. "That's what I do. I'm a facilitator. I wanted to get the main scorers on the team happy with me. Since I was new, everyone said who is this guy. I just wanted to make everyone like me and give the ball up," said Van Zyl, who is averaging 5.5 points, 1.5 rebounds, 1.5 assists and 1.0 steals in four games thus far.

You might wonder how Van Zyl got connected with Monaco. Well, it's thanks to his South African father. Austin was the starting point guard on Team Africa at the adidas Nation camp last August representing South Africa. He was seen by coaches and Monaco eventually asked Van Zyl if he wanted to come over."For me, so far it's a great decision. I've gotten a lot bigger, more experienced, getting used to the European game," he said. While there is a great support within the club, the response from others about Van Zyl's move has not all been positive. "Most people don't want to see me succeed. There are always haters when you come up from where I started from - a small high school from Oakville, a small city outside of Toronto and now I'm playing professionally two years later. You know, there are obviously a lot of haters." When asked what he says to those people, Van Zyl responded: "Thank you. For just giving me confidence. I love it when people are talking negative behind my back or to other people. It just fuels me, makes me angry. When I play angry that's when I play my best. I just say thank you to my haters."

Van Zyl, it would seem, should rather be praised for having the guts to try something different - something that is not easy and is not for everyone. "It's not an easy path. It's very difficult - being away from family on the other side of the planet," he said. "It's hard, but there will be more especially if they see that I am successful in taking this path."

Van Zyl says he is still considering returning to North America and go to college in the United States. But there is also a possibility he stays in Europe. His time with Monaco has been solely with the Espoirs U21 team but Van Zyl believes he will be working out with the senior team by the end of the season and could get a couple of appearances with the main team as well.

"(South Africa) would be a great team to play for. I could come in and make an impact right away, especially at my young age. South Africa are not really known for their basketball. I think I can contribute there right away."Austin Van Zyl his appearance at the adidas Nations and his time in Europe has also solidified Van Zyl's intentions of playing internationally for South Africa. "It would be a great team to play for. I could come in and make an impact right away, especially at my young age," said Van Zyl, whose mother is Canadian and her grandparents were born in Croatia. "South Africa are not really known for their basketball. I think I can contribute there right away." Van Zyl, who started playing football/soccer and switched to basketball about eight years ago, said down the road he would like to do his part to help improve the South African basketball program. "Not right now, but as I perform more and my name gets bigger and I get more experienced, I think they would definitely see me and make a push to get back into it. It was really bad news that South Africa dropped out of the (FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 African) Qualifiers," Van Zyl said.

Van Zyl has some big dreams and is willing to go out and take risks to get there. And for that, the young Canadian trailblazer deserves the proverbial hit of the hat.

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Interesting? Yes.

But, IMO not a player for our program at this time.  The kid is focused on the NBA, so he's going to expect starters minutes where ever he goes - do we want a very possible 1 and done taking the ball out of Rob P's hands only to bail on the team? We're still trying to establish a "culture" & "get older", pursuing players like this seems at odds with those goals.

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Interesting? Yes.
But, IMO not a player for our program at this time.  The kid is focused on the NBA, so he's going to expect starters minutes where ever he goes - do we want a very possible 1 and done taking the ball out of Rob P's hands only to bail on the team? We're still trying to establish a "culture" & "get older", pursuing players like this seems at odds with those goals.

Any decent player is focused on getting to the NBA. He doesn't look like he's going to be a 1 and done, but if he's good enough to be that, then yes we absolutely want him. A playmaking point guard is probably the most valuable position in college basketball. Rob could handle being the 1A/1B if it came to that.


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Must be about 20 years old. We have a three person class, all in-state. Getting a foreign exchange student in the mix won't affect the very strong in-state flavor of the last two classes.

 

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5 minutes ago, brumdog45 said:

We don't even know if he has an offer.  And CAM doesn't just throw out offers, so I think that we need to slow down on the Crean-like offer talk.

Archie didn’t throw out offers until the offseason. He’s done so lately 

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3 minutes ago, BtownBanner6 said:

Not much out there about this guy, at least I am struggling to find it 

This is what I found:

Canadian player who was ranked as the 11th best Canadian in the class of 2019 way back in 2016 before he left Canada.  Received an offer from Marshall in 2016.  Would have been either a freshman or incoming sophomore.  Transferred to Huntington Prep in West Virginia as a sophomore (MaxPreps ranked Huntington Prep as the top West Virginia team and 129th nationally ranked team in 2016-7).  I have not been able to find stats on that team.  He then moved to France and per his twitter page is a 'student-athlete playing Pro A ball in France while maintaining college eligibility'.  Has not shot the ball well there.  After playing in all 34 games in 2017-8, he missed 23 of 32 games with a wrist injury in 2018-9 and was limited when he was available due to the injury.  Listed at 6'4" and a point guard.

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