Welcome to A10 Talk’s Preseason Top 25 Player Countdown for the 2018-19 season. Each day, we’ll be publishing a new article counting down our best 25 players for the coming season, as voted on by our staff of writers. Today, we feature #9 Hasahn French of Saint Louis.
What He’s Done
In a league that’s been dominated by the guard position (and should continue to be in 2018-19), Hasahn French is an enormous threat on the block. French had a strong freshman campaign, averaging 9.3 PPG and 7.1 RPG while recording 5 double-doubles throughout the season. With a 7.2% block percentage, French ranked 84th in the nation and 4th in the Atlantic 10 in swatting shots. A rim-protector, a rebounder, and a ferocious dunker, French is proving to be the quintessential big man that Travis Ford need to get the Billikens to the NCAA Tournament. Few players in the conference can match up with the 235 lb. forward.
I’m pretty sure Hasahn French will break a backboard by the time he graduates from Saint Louis… pic.twitter.com/kjRn1iPCGO
— A10 Talk (@A10Talk) December 13, 2017
Along with massive dunks like the one above, French began to develop his footwork in the post and shot an effective 53.2% from the field. If he can continue to improve his touch in and around the paint, he’s going to be an absolute tank and very difficult to stop on offense. French had the 6th best free throw rate in the conference this past season, as he was incredible at getting to the free throw line; however, his 36.8% mark from the stripe shows that his overall game certainly has room for improvement.
What He’ll Do
Improving his free throw shooting will be key, as the Billikens shot an abysmal 65.2% from the stripe as a team last season, a stat that ranked them 334th out of 351 division 1 teams. French will have some frontcourt help this season with star freshman Carte’Are Gordon who is likely to get serious minutes early on in the season. Add back Jordan Goodwin as well as some new faces that could help the Billikens from deep, and French could all of a sudden see a lot more open space around the paint. Saint Louis’ poor three point shooting allowed opponents to crowd the inside last season. Tramaine Isabell and Dion Wiley are transfers that can knock down the three and should help bring defenses out to the perimeter. If you’re Travis Ford, you’re going to let Hasahn French go to work in the paint. He has the skill set and the sheer power to overwhelm opposing forwards, and I expect him to do just that in 2018-19.
Previously: #10 Grant Golden