Charles Bediako led the U19 FIBA World Championships in points per shot and ranked seventh in offensive rating. That’s even more impressive when you consider he just turned 17 last March, which means he played against an age group on average two years older than him.
The six-foot-11 center excelled at generating second-chance opportunities and earning foul shots, in part because his thin 215-pound frame led to him losing his balance on most contact plays but also because he was a constant threat to catch-and-score around the goal and due to his consistent involvement in scrums.
Bediako moved well in pick-and-roll defense and played with good activity as a help defender but fouled like crazy and rebounded at a below average clip for a center.
The Brampton, Ontario native acted mostly as a finisher out of the dunker spot. He can play above the rim as a target for lobs sneaking behind the defense but hasn’t shown to be an explosive leaper in a crowd, isn’t yet strong enough to score through contact regularly and struggled with his touch on non-dunk finishes – converting 64% of his 25 two-point shots, which is actually not all that impressive when you consider the nature of his role.
Bediako really made a killing crashing the offensive glass, though. He is a tip-dunk threat, can rebound outside of his area and has a quick second jump to fight for 50-50 balls or play volleyball at the basket – collecting 12.8% of Canada’s misses when he was on the floor.
As a constant threat to score or pick up a miss around the goal, Bediako was involved in a lot of scrums. He is also thin for his height and showed so-so coordination when he had to dribble, which led to him losing his balance on most contact plays and earning the benefit of the whistle a fair amount, as Bediako averaged 13.4 free throws per 40 minutes – a tournament-leading mark.
He is a poor foul shooter at this point of his development, converting just 64.3% of his free throws, but the sheer volume of his trips to the charity stripe resulted in him earning 43.5% of his points from there.
Bediako played with good intensity as a rim protector – stepping up to the front of the basket as the last line of defense and actively coming across the lane in help defense. His average of 1.9 blocks per 40 minutes might not be all that impressive but he made a ton of plays in the hidden areas of the game – preventive rotations that discouraged opponents from attacking all the way, guarding with his arms up around the basket, challenging shots via verticality and altering a lot of shots thanks to his length.
Bediako sold out for blocks from time-to-time but the biggest concern regarding his interior defense is his fouling. He averaged 7.3 personal fouls per 40 minutes, which limited his playing time and prevented him making more of an impact.
Another troubling area is his rebounding. Bediako boxed out opponents somewhat regularly but wasn’t physical and got pushed out of the way constantly – collecting just 15.2% of opponents’ misses when he was on the floor, a low mark for a center.
He showed decent mobility dropping back in pick-and-roll defense – sliding and backpedaling fluidly to prevent ball-handlers from turning the corner and getting his hands on some poor feeds to the roll man (averaging 1.6 steals per 40 minutes). In the few times he ventured above the foul line, Bediako even put in the effort to contest a pull-up three-pointer effectively.
He is not suited to defend stretch big men in the pick-and-pop, though. There were glimpses of effectiveness contesting catch-and-shoot’s with maximum hustle but for the most part his closeouts were slow.
 DOB: 3/10/2002
EDITOR’S NOTE: Rafael Uehara is the managing editor of ‘Basketball Scouting’. More of his work can be found here or at RealGM, where he is a regular contributor. He can be followed on twitter as @rafael_uehara