If Elias Valtonen was in the United States, he’d be looked as a top 50 to 75 type prospect, at least based on our viewing at the FIBA u17 World Championships. A crafty scorer, Valtonen has good sized at 6-foot-5. He has a pretty stroke with range out to three and appears to be a high-level shot maker. But Valtonen is much more than just a shooter. He’s comfortable attacking off the dribble and scores it well from mid-range. Valtonen is currently averaging 17.3 points and shooting 42-percent from three in the World Championships. Valtonen has interest in playing college basketball and Arizona and Utah have already shown interest.
Heading into the event, Sam Froling, who plays for the Australian u17 team, was stamped as a must see. Froling is the younger brother of Harry Froling, who signed with SMU in the fall, and will be a freshman this coming season. He also has a pair of sisters that play college basketball in the United States. So it's pretty clear Froling, a 6-foot-9 power forward, is on the path of playing college basketball. Froling's offensive feel, high basketball IQ, passing and potential as a scorer were among the many things that stood out multiple viewings in Spain. Not only can he score from close range and around the basket, but Froling is confident in his catch and shoot jump shot out to there three-point stripe. Froling is average athletically and lacks the strength to play real physical in the paint, but there's quite a bit of value in his understanding of the game, especially on offense, as well as his all around skill level. He's tracking as a high major prospect and has already heard from Arizona and TCU.
Although playing for Mali in the FIBA u17 World Championships, Karim Coulibaly plays high school in the United States at Laurel (Md.) St. Vincent Pallotti. The 6-foot-8, possibly 6-9, power forward got off to a slow start scoring a total of 17 points in his first two games. Luckily, we were watching during his third game, where he had a 29-point outburst. Coulibaly, a long-armed southpaw, is mobile, runs the floor well and is a solid athlete. He was effective in the third game scoring the ball on the block, off face up drives and even hit multiple mid-range jump shots. He also did a good job on the glass in the two viewings. Through 3 games, Coulibaly is averaging 15.3 points and 9.3 rebounds.
Finnish guard Andre Gustavson showed an impressive shot making ability in the FIBA u17 World Championships. Gustavson is a confident shooter from deep. He has a quick trigger, good footwork and deep range on his shot. But he wasn't just a catch and shoot a guy, Gustavson shoots it well on the move, is comfortable decking the ball on occasions and even tossed in a couple floaters. Gustafson is a skilled player that handles the ball well and can pass. A 2018 prospect, Gustavson is tracking as a potential prospect to play college basketball.
French forward Jaylen Hoard will transfer to the United States for his junior season and if his play in Spain was any indication, Hoard will instantly be one of the most hotly recruited prospects at his position in the class. He's at least 6-foot-7 with long arms and a very good frame. He's a big time athlete with elite body control. Hoard has a frame that will allow him to gain plenty of strength moving forward. While most of Hoard's points come slashing, drawing fouls or scoring on the offensive glass, he's also capable of hitting jumpers, even if it's still an area he'll have to improve at. Not just an athletic slasher, Hoard is also a high level passer. He's an easy high major prospect. When interviewed the only school Hoard mentioned was Arizona, but his father told Scout that a number of schools have already reached out.
Yves Pons is an extremely athletic forward who doesn't have a true position, but if he heads to college as many schools are hopeful of, he'll have an impact as an effort and athleticism guy. He's about 6-foot-6 with extremely long arms and is a high level athlete. He's constantly competing for position and will post opponents up or get the ball in the high post and attack. He doesn't take a ton of jumpers but is capable of hitting them from midrange and three when left wide open. He's pretty maxed out physically but has extremely long arms that help him play bigger than he is. Even though he's more of an undersized four man on offense, he'll likely be able to defend threes and fours in college.
Australia has a versatile forward in Tom Fullarton who showed why he has early interest from St. Mary's and Hawaii with several other colleges monitoring him. Fullarton has good size at 6-foot-7 and is a tough kid who can probably pay multiple positions on offense and defense due to his size and motor. Fullarton is a competent outside shooter, while he can also put the ball on the ground and score at the rim. Due to his size and effort, Fullarton also rebounds well for the position.
Playing for France's u17 team, Olivier Sarr didn't get major minutes, but he still managed to draw the eye of a number of college coaches. It's up in the air how interested he is in playing college basketball, but if he opted to high major programs would be all over him. Sarr is impressive physically, as he has lengthy arms, to go with good mobility and athleticism. He's quick off his feet, will contest shots and rebounds his area. He didn't get many opportunities on offense, and appeared a tad raw on that that end, but he did flash a good set of mitts.