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2017 FIBA U-19 World Cup: Killian Tillie leads France to quarterfinals

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The Gonzaga forward finally had the showing we know he can.

Gonzaga v North Carolina Photo by Chris Steppig - Pool/NCAA Photos via Getty Images

A lot of things were expected out of Gonzaga forward Killian Tillie for the French team at the FIBA U-19 World Cup. It just took a few games for him to realize that.

Tillie finished with 20 points, seven rebounds, and five assists and he helped lead France over Puerto Rico in the Round of 16. Up next, France will take on Canada on Friday, July 7.

Prior to today’s game, Tillie had been struggling in the tournament, averaging just 6.67 points off of 28 percent shooting from the floor. That changed against Puerto Rico, where Tillie kept his shot close to the hoop, hitting 9-of-15 shots, with seven of his makes coming directly at the basket.

If you take a look at Tillie’s shot chart, you will see the young forward stepped out of his comfort zone a bit, but relied on his handiwork down low for a majority of his points.

Killian Tillie shot chart vs. Puerto Rico
Killian Tillie shot chart vs. Puerto Rico

It is nice to see Tillie show some range, but it is also nice to see him pound it down low. The Zags aren’t exactly deep in the post next season, and Tillie will generally be more useful in the paint instead of loitering around the three point line. He has an ability to run the ball, but his ability to crash the offensive glass (10 of his 29 rebounds so far in the tournament are offensive) is just as important for Gonzaga.

After Rui Hachimura’s valiant effort to keep Japan in the tournament fell short, Tillie is the one player for Gonzaga fans to watch and root for.