With the 2019 Blue Coats season just ahead of us, Chris at The Painted Lines has been doing player profiles of all of the players this season. However, there was one that stood out to me that I wanted to take the reins on, myself. That is 7-foot-3, 270lb Christ Koumadje out of Florida State University. Christ is a very interesting prospect on the Blue Coats and the NBA in general with his massive frame that he has. So, let’s take a deeper dive into the mammoth that is Christ Koumadje.
Christ was at FSU all 4 years, but he was a minor player his first two years, averaging 6 and 10 minutes per game respectively. By his junior year he began to be a solid role player for the Seminoles, averaging 6.5 points, 4.1 rebounds, and 1.5 blocks per game in 16 minutes in 2017/2018. His senior year he put up nearly identical stats in the same timespan, but his rebounds went up to 5.6 per game.
Koumadje was someone you never wanted to drive inside on due to his massive height, and he was not a string bean either, as he has a solid frame to him as well. He was a high upside prospect heading into the NBA, and that is what the 76ers saw when they picked him up. Florida State has a history of recruiting a lot of high upside big men like Christ. That was seen again this summer when they brought in three big men over 7 feet tall.
Summer League 2019:
Summer League was an interesting time for the Sixers as a good number of former players mixed with new faces in Las Vegas to play for the 76ers this July. While you had old faces such as Shake Milton and Norvel Pelle, Christ was one of the new faces. Immediately, he was a force on the court as a guy who was hard to cover underneath, but there was a glaring problem with his game. He had a very high volume of fouls in each game. In 13.7 minutes per game, he put up an average of 4.7 fouls. That is extremely concerning, but that may be due to the different style of summer league basketball.
In that same timespan, he put up 6 points, 5.8 rebounds, and 2.4 blocks per game, which is very good for his style of play and the time allotted. It’ll be a very different roster in Delaware than he played with in Vegas. Only a few of the same players will play for the Blue Coats as played for the Sixers during Summer League. Maybe a change of roster will help with some of the woes Koumadje had this summer and lead to a more productive G League season.
Training Camp Preview:
Christ is likely a lock to make the Blue Coats’ roster. He will also likely start at center unless they decide to put Pelle there. These two together on the court is a monster defense under the rim. It does, however, cause some concern about the Coats’ ability to defend outside the paint. Christ is a center out of his time, as was stated in his breakdown on the most recent Blue Route podcast. His size is crucial, but he doesn’t have the closeout speed and overall agility that is being seen by several NBA big men of recent. Christ can overcome that, however, if his interior defense proves to be elite. The team around him can cover up for him in the perimeter portion of the game.
On the offensive side of the ball, I wouldn’t expect much outside of put-back points and layups under the basket. His ability to grab offensive rebounds will be crucial for this team as his size advantage will be magnified against many G League teams. Tacko Fall is likely the only potential G Leaguer Koumadje could go up against that can match up to his size. Christ will have to use his strength to make sure he can get positioning. Otherwise, he could get himself into foul trouble with potential over-the-back calls. He will also have to be careful to make sure he stands straight up and doesn’t get physical with players driving into the paint. He shouldn’t have an issue trying to contend shots if he stays smart with it.
2019 Season Outlook:
With Christ being seen as a work in progress, it will be exciting to see him on the court at the Fieldhouse this winter. His build and flashes of potential show that he has the ability to transform into a serviceable NBA player. He needs to work out some major flaws, however, like lowering his number of fouls he commits. He also needs to develop his interior defense and ability to score in the post. If he can get better underneath the basket, he will be exciting to see this season.
When he and Norvel are on the court on the same time, there shouldn’t be anyone that will be able to score inside on them, given Christ’s size and Norvel’s elite shot blocking ability. I would expect Marial Shayok to be shooting the ball a good amount this season, so this will help Christ work to get offensive boards and turn them into second chance points. This can be a major part of his game going forward.