Credit: FSU Athletics

Mfiondu Kabengele Draft Profile

Breaking down the NBA potential of Mfiondu Kabengele

 RS Soph. 6’10” 250 Center Florida St. DOB: 8/14/97
13.2 ppg 5.9 rpg 1.5 bpg FG: 50.2% 3 PT: 36.9%

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Recruiting Profile

Wingspan: 7’3″ 

NBA Comparison: Serge Ibaka

Strengths: Outside Shooting, Versatility, Length, High Motor

Weaknesses: Lateral Quickness, Lack of Minutes

Kabengele did not arrive on campus with much hype, and redshirted during his first year at Florida State. As a redshirt freshman only playing 14.8 minutes per game, he averaged 7.2 points to go with 5.6 rebounds per game which were solid numbers when you consider the lack of minutes. He took a big jump in his second year on the floor going to 13.2 points and 5.9 rebounds per game in 21.6 minutes. Again, when you take a look at his numbers they are impressive given the number of minutes he was given, somewhat due to a loaded Florida State front court. His per 40 minute statistics are a good sign of his abilities with his sophomore season being 24.5 points and 11 rebounds. Kabengele plays with high intensity and a passion for the game that directly correlates to his high potential as a rebounder at the next level. As a player that has had late growth spurts, he has always been able to shoot the ball from the outside, a trait that is more valuable with his current 6’10” frame. He became more confident as a sophomore shooting it from deep, showing off a skill that set that should allow him to fit in well in the NBA as a stretch power forward/center. Kabengele is able to block shots well using his length averaging 1.5 per game as a sophomore, and his defensive abilities for the most part transfer well to the league. 

On the defensive side of the ball he played well in college, however at the NBA level he could struggle with quicker players, especially in pick and roll situations. This is not an uncommon thing for a big man to have to work on, but it is worth noting that this could be an area where he struggles as he gets acclimated to the professional game. It is always a concern when not only does a player not earn more minutes, but that also directly effects the amount of film you have on that particular player. While Florida State had plenty of talent on the roster that limited Kabengele’s playing time, there is also an argument that he will struggle to adjust to more usage. With that said, the tape that is available on Kabengele makes him a very intriguing prospect, bringing a versatile skill set to the table. He can run the floor well for a big man but he is not the fastest of his peers at those positions, however his ability to trail the play and hit an open jump shot is an area he will be able to step in and help a team immediately. It is a good sign that he had to work hard to get his body and conditioning to the level that he has gotten it, showing that he has a work ethic hungry for improvement. 

Here is an example of the passion that Kabengele plays with:

This play shows his ability to shoot the ball from the outside:

Kabengele is viewed as a potential late first round, or early second round pick. He could play his way into the earlier parts of the first round if teams become more intrigued with his game as he goes through the pre-draft process. His ceiling as a professional is a starter level player, being in a stretch big man role, putting up solid offensive numbers and high level defense. The worst case scenario for Kabengele is that he struggles to find a role in the league or does not shoot the ball efficiently, leading him to come off of the bench in a back up role.

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