Born: 15 February 2000
Weight: 230 lbs
Primary position: Power forward
Secondary position: Center
NBA ceiling: 6 to 9 rotation player
Paul Herman Eboua is one of the impressive talents who raised in Stella Azzurra’s basketball system. Despite starting basketball at 14 years old, Eboua went to Stella Azurra four years ago. He improved his game skills in a very short time. He attended an NBA Global Camp in Los Angeles, Staples Center in the 2016–2017 season. After this experience, Eboua made his ANGT EuroLeague debut in Belgrade where he showed some impressive things but made his main impact three years ago, in Kaunas. He played four games and averaged 14.7 points, 11 rebounds and 1.5 turnovers. Actually, Eboua’s stats sheet has never been glamorous. But his very powerful physical tools, insane athleticism, and 3-point threat made him one of the notable basketball prospects.
Paul Eboua was born on 15 February 2000, in Douala, Cameroon. He started basketball just six years ago. One day, one of his best friends, Owen, was playing basketball at Makepe High School. He was very good. After seeing it, Eboua decided to try this sport and rest of history.
His mom and dad supported Eboua playing basketball. They also did their best to make Eboua play basketball in better conditions. They have a strong family bond.
One of Eboua’s breaking points in basketball has happened around Christmas. Eboua saw his neighbor doing some serious workouts near his home. Rocky’s serious work pace in both basketball and physical development impacted Eboua. Eboua started working with Rocky and in a very short time showed great physical development.
A few months later, he played at Luc Mbah Moute Camp in Yaounde and caught the attention of some of the coaches there. Douala University’s head coach introduced Eboua to some Italian managers and coaches. He then moved to Italy and started playing basketball at Stellazzurra.
Paul Eboua is one of the most friendly basketball prospects. Always hungry to learn and very disciplined to work. So he’s very cold-blooded about work for basketball. But his communication with the people in the off-court is excellent, his English is much better than in the past months. He worked for hours and hours in Italy with special trainers. And right now, he is in the USA to prepare for the NBA Draft.
Physical & Athleticism
Standing 6-foot-8 with a 7-foot-3 wingspan and 230-pound impressive frame, Paul Eboua has one of the best frames in his class in my opinion.
He has very wide shoulders with the perfect length to fill his arms thanks to this shoulder width and wide wingspan. The most impressive thing here is that Eboua’s arms strong. Wrists are thick, palms are wide. His chest wasn’t very strong until five or six months ago, but after his work on P3, Paul Eboua also strengthened his chest a lot. Core muscles have always been strong.
I think you can tell he’s a stud just by looking at his upper body. Every part of his upper body, including the back, is excellent in both length and strength.
His lower body is not as strong as his upper body. He has room to work on his legs. Laterally he has fast, great vertical pop and pretty hip turns. But sometimes his legs are bulky for overall body coordination. I think his lower body should be a little more agile.
The other important plus here is that Eboua knows how to use his physical tools. When he attacks the basket from the top of the key, he uses hip turns to pass the first defensive line, after a strong step, he uses his shoulders to shift his weight to the defender. So he can create his right-hand bucket angle. If he has to attack on chest to chest fight, and if his defender stronger than him, Eboua takes post-up position using his hips to reverse and find buckets. Also he knows how to use his long arms to make something.
From the athleticism window, this kid is very special. True specimen. He can put the ball on the floor, runs quickly all court and finishes with highlights dunk. Also, he showed some glorious dunks over two defenders. So, he is an aggressive and explosive athlete but just not that. He also has some smooth tools. For example, he can finish at the rim after Euro step moves. But not consistent. I think that he has not a HUGE room to get better in terms of physical tools and athleticism
However, when I look from the NBA window, there are some concerns. Paul Eboua is a unique athlete but sometimes he pushes positions too much. He tries to dunk in tight spaces where it is almost impossible to dunk but fails. So I think he should use his athleticism a little more balanced in the NBA.
Doing a bit of everything on the offensive end, Paul Eboua makes his best contributions in off the ball scoring, transition situations and put backs.
In my opinion, Paul Eboua has great BBIQ and awareness offensively as an off-ball scorer. Paul Eboua, who does excellent work in curl cut, flare cut, backdoor cut, shallow cut, and flash cuts, he can create his own space by breaking the defender’s defensive angle by using tricks such as burst/hesitation/spin/eye fake/body fake in off the ball motions. After getting the bounce pass, he can go to the basket and score.
In the cuts he makes under the rim from the top of the key, he puts his body to create a shield around the ball, and he can go to the basket with the combination of a strong/smooth first step and short second step and score points. Eboua is a clever and solid off the ball scorer.
An athletic but average finisher in my opinion. He is definitely strong with the ball under the basket, knows how to use his strength to finish but doesn’t have solid or soft touch, needs work here. Right hand a good deal better than left. One of the best things about his finishing ability is that Eboua can draw dozens of fouls, even against 7-foot-0 rim protector… Quick popping athlete, Eboua has to learn how to use the glass from baseline. Great dunker and good lob threat with excellent body control but sometimes he forces the game too much. So if you don’t have great touch, forcing the game is the worst thing. By the way, I said he is solid off the ball scorer but the biggest difference between general finishing and off the ball scoring is that he is an action finisher. He always runs in off the ball motions. When his back-to-the-back or face-up attack getting slow, Eboua’s some huge problems with finishing stand out.
He is not a self-creator but has slashing skills as a third ballhandler. Doesn’t have any pure ballhandling ability but over the years he has learned very well how to protect the ball both in top of the key and under the basket. His strong body and wide palm give him an advantage in this regard. I think Eboua is a good ballhandler compared to his physical tools. For example, when he attacks the basket from wings, he can protect the ball even if he uses change direction ability. And for me, that’s enough. I don’t look any pure skills on his ballhandling.
Running in the open floor quickly, smartly and with excellent timing, moves, Paul Eboua can finish in transition situations. Has give and go ability, Eboua’s pick-and-roll and pick-and-pop weapons have impressive potential but before it, want to talk about his shooting.
Paul Eboua can stretch the floor with his shooting threat and can play as a center in a small five also thanks to his amazing offensive rebound ability. However, shooting is the fifty/fifty situation right now.
I buy Paul Eboua’s shooting for a few reasons. Paul Eboua showed good things on spot up 3-pointers. He also showed that he can hit one-dribble pull up jumpers and that he can hit 3-pointers after using crossover and hesitation moves but inconsistently.
Eboua has potential. Buying potential isn’t always a good thing, but I think Eboua’s shot form can be fixed. His release looks neat, his eyes are focused in the right place, and his elbow points are fine. He also has a strong, fluid wrist movement and the ability to draw energy from his hips. But his shot pocket and foot position are very wrong. I mean, he starts his shot pocket too high and doesn’t get the momentum the shooting form needs. He looks like wood when shooting, as the distance between his feet is too wide. However, his shooting potential is not only in mind, also in action. So I buy.
Another reason to I buy his shot is his pick-and-pop and pick-and-roll threats. A versatile screen player, Eboua is not the perfect pop or roll man but can pop and expand the space. When he rolls, he can go to the basket using his athleticism. In other words, he has what modern era basketball wants from these aspets. But there is room to fill here as well: Shooting, finishing and choosing the positions. He runs a few possessions as the PnR ballhandler and showed some skills here, but this will likely not be his game.
I don’t have a lot of words on his post-up and passing abilities. He uses post-up to take momentum usually but he is not a good post-up scorer, needs work. As a passer, read and react, not a player who passes on the move well against a moving defense. Has prone to lazy passes and forcing into tight spaces. I would like to see him more balanced as a passer. It would be great if he can add drive-and-dish ability.
Last and best: offensive rebounding. Paul Eboua has unique offensive rebounding ability. He can grab the ball in all tight spaces, finish with impressive dunks, quick second jump, and balance in the air. And this ability makes him a good C in small ball five lineups, which is great for his NBA projection in my opinion.
Stuffing more things than his stat sheet and possessing versatility on the defensive end, Paul Eboua is good at guarding dribble situations, factor in the passing lanes, active as a rim protector, has a solid stance and active eye-hand coordination.
In my opinion, his best things on the defensive end are these, guarding multiple positions and stance on face-up situations. He is not a defensive playmaker but he knows how to slide around the perimeter quickly and smartly very well. He is not a player who gambles too much in passing lanes, at this point, I trust his athleticism and anticipation.
Against quicker guards, Eboua uses his strong upper body well. Eboua can use his body as a wall when his opponent makes shifty moves with a low stance and drives them against him. While doing this, he prevents his opponent from finding empty space with the crossover by holding one hand below and one hand up. He is generally ineffective against players who are physically better than him, but he showed that he can get his opponents out of their comfort zone thanks to his timing. He uses his solid stance against versatile strikers. He slides laterally to cut off the ballhandler and can absorb the contact, which is great. He also turns hips and sprints and back square very well.
General team defense, good BBIQ here. Rotates well along the perimeter from the interior. Always talks to others, covers the ground quickly and shows opponent’s offensive geometry to his teammates. But lack of off the ball defensive ability hurt him here.
I don’t trust his off the ball defense and have very simple reason, bad help. Off the ball, Paul Eboua very often struggled to defend the cuts made by his man. It’s great that he wants to get into the action and get the ball back to his team as soon as possible, but I think he has to learn to control his own man while doing so.
Impressive rim protection, just not in terms of blocking shots, also forcing the attackers. He does a good job jumping with his hands straight up, avoiding fouls with great body control, second jump, and length. Occasionally, Eboua does not give a good reaction on pump fakes but it can be fixed, he is just 20 years old.
My biggest concern about his defensive performance is post-up. Eboua showed that he can use his strong body, solid stance, good eye-hand coordination against post attackers. He keeps his hands straight up and does nice moves. However, he got pushed around really easily in the post last year. He contests shot but when guarding a 6-foot-10 big man in the post-up, no, nothing works here for him. He needs to add more technique and has to be more balanced.
In my opinion, Eboua does a good job closing out: High-low hand, hip turns, quick linearly, good timing, and knows how to close angles. However, sometimes stay too lazy. I think he knows how to do intense defense on the shooters, showed some advanced reads, hand positions, and good timing on his vertical pop, but, as you guess, sometimes reacted bad and made wrong choices on pump fakes and opponent’ footwork. Turning in several strong performances on the glass, I think that he is also an excellent rebounder on the defensive end.
I think Paul Eboua could be a good rotation player for any team in the NBA. I have very simple reasons for this: 6-foot-8 freakish athlete, great strength, shooting potential, impressive rebounding, and has good BBIQ on off the ball motions. On the defensive end, he has room to get better but at the end of the day, he is not the weakest player in the team’s defensive line. So, Eboua can stretch the floor, has BBIQ, athletic and good defender in the team system. Of course, his shooting curve, finishing skills, and translation of his athleticism to the NBA are huge question marks. However, I buy his potential.