2019 NBA Draft Profile: Mfiondu Kabengele
Mfiondu Kabengele is a long, late-blooming big man with a strong frame, good athleticism, and a budding skill set. A lightly regarded prep prospect who grew significantly after opting to spend a prep year at the Bosco Institute, Kabengele redshirted his first year at Florida State before carving out a key role for Leonard Hamilton’s team off the bench in his second season with the program. Averaging 7.2 points and 4.6 rebounds per game, the Burlington, Ontario native provided some flashes of intrigue during the Seminoles Elite Eight run. Stepping into a larger role off the bench as a sophomore, Kabengele did not start a single game this season, but posted gaudy per-minute numbers averaging 13.2 points, 5.9 rebounds, and 1.5 blocks per game to earn All-ACC Honorable mention honors as Florida State once again made it past the first weekend of the NCAA Tournament.
Uncle, Dikembe Mutombo, was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2015 following his storied 18-year NBA career.
- Possesses very good size and terrific length for a center measuring 6’10.25 in shoes with a 7’3 wingspan and a chiseled 256-pound frame. Good athlete with a nice combination of explosiveness, mobility, and intensity.
- Did not play an especially big role for Florida State in terms of overall volume but factored prominently into what they wanted to do whenever he was on the floor. Did much of his scoring as a finisher and using his length and energy inside, but flashed potential as a floor spacer, the ability to make some impressive moved in the post, and a knack for drawing fouls.
- Scored at a very strong rate around the rim last season. Got 51% of his possessions in catch and finish situations off a mix or Cuts, Rolls, and Put Backs. Can be very imposing inside with his activity level and frame. Scored an excellent 1.381 points per shot around the rim in the half court [90th percentile] playing above the rim effortlessly, but also proving adept at carving out scoring angles to finish layups under the glass powering right through defenders. Drew fouls at a tremendous rate initiating and absorbing contact.
- Served as the Seminoles’ main reference in the post. 27% of his possession were Post Ups which he converted for 0.805 points per possession [49st percentile]. Did not shoot an especially strong percentage inside last season, but still provided value with his ability to draw fouls in bunches and flashed impressive touch and range on his fadeaway jumper in spots. Shows good footwork at times but is still learning how to slow down in traffic and pick and choose his spots when facing up. Attempted very few hook shots.
- Did not take an especially high volume of jumpers last season, but showed promise from three-point range and intriguing pick and pop ability. Scored 1.019 points per jump shot in the half court [70th percentile] shooting the ball with nice form for a guy still rounding out his game. Mechanics helped him at the foul line—a plus with the way he created contact.
- Did not create a lot of opportunities for others as his feel for the game is a work in progress, but showed potential as a shot-maker from all three levels.
- Ranked 4th in the ACC in Put Back scoring (2.3 ppg)
- Ranked 5th in the ACC in Roll Man scoring (2.0 ppg)
- Struggles with fouls defensively and lacks a degree of experience on the perimeter, but can be impactful defending inside with his size, strength, and mobility. Recorded several impressive blocks rotating aggressively over from the weakside and showing a quicker second jump than one would expect from a player his size last season. Has good feet defending away from the rim against switches.
- Allowed only 0.605 points per Post Up possession [86th percentile] as his tools and physicality made him formidable inside. Shows a bit of versatility and plays with a sense of urgency that could serve him well as his game matures.