Attending to know Youssef Khayat, Michigan basketball’s newest commit

youssef khayat (Photograph: Youssef Khayat / Instagram)


The Michigan males’s basketball program landed a dedication from Youssef Khayat on Sunday afternoon. The Lebanese ahead was a comparatively unknown identify in the USA till final week, when he launched a listing of finalists that included the Wolverines. 

Khayat selected Michigan over Xavier, Wake Forest and DePaul and can be a part of this system forward of the 2022-23 season.

Right here’s what to know in regards to the newest Michigan commit. 

Scouting Youssef Khayat 

Khayat, who turned 19 in March, has performed each with Limoges CSP’s Underneath-21 program in France and debuted with Lebanon’s senior nationwide workforce when he was simply 18 years outdated. He begins on the ‘3’ and leads Limoges CSP U-21 in scoring.

Eurohoops referred to as Khayat “among the finest recruits within the 2022 class” and described his sport as follows in a December 2021 scouting profile:

He possesses good fluidity and coordination which permit him to maneuver nicely across the courtroom and get to his spots. He’s not extraordinarily vertical however he’s fast and explosive to rise up. … Offensively, Youssef can’t be thought of a shot creator at this level. As an alternative, he scores nearly all of his factors by operating laborious within the open courtroom and reducing with nice depth and timing. He shows fixed movement off the ball and good reads when making the most of defensive errors. He additionally showcased an improved and refined ending package deal within the paint, flashing a promising floater. Furthermore, Khayat has great defensive upside because of his motor, willingness to sit down in a stance, lateral actions and instincts.

He’s listed at 6-foot-8 by FIBA and tallied 16.7 factors, 7.6 rebounds and 1.8 assists on 43.6% FG and 35.2% from 3-point vary throughout 33 video games with Limoges in 2021-22. 

“I believe I can convey vitality on each offense and protection,” he instructed 247Sports. “I can guard the one via 5. I’m very versatile and, if we play a positionless system, I can play any place.”

Why Youssef Khayat was comparatively unknown 

As not too long ago as this March, Khayat was unsure about whether or not he needed to play faculty ball in the USA.

“Each participant has an ambition to go on to the NBA,” he stated in an interview with L’Orient At the moment. “I have to see the place the best choice is. A number of gamers are getting drafted in Europe, so each are good choices. I’ll wait till the tip of the season to see.”

The downsides of enjoying faculty basketball within the U.S., as Khayat detailed, embody being removed from household — although his mother and father have stated they’re supportive of the transfer. Moreover, although, coming to the U.S. limits his capability to characterize the Lebanese nationwide workforce, which was a big consideration. 

Khayat has been recruited by high-major packages since final yr — Georgetown, DePaul and Maryland had been amongst these reaching out on the time, per Eurohoops — and, as evidenced by his pledge to Michigan, has dedicated to pursuing his NBA dream via the faculty basketball path. 

Youssef Khayat’s basketball journey 

As his mom defined, Khayat received his begin in basketball nearly by likelihood. There have been no after-school lessons out there in his age group for soccer, so his household signed him up for hoops as an alternative. By all accounts, it was a fruitful resolution. 

A narrative revealed final yr by FIBA Basketball describes how Khayat left Lebanon as a younger teenager in 2018 for a tryout with the French membership Nanterre. A coach from Limoges was in attendance and invited the younger ahead to work out together with his group. Khayat impressed, and he departed Lebanon for France in a extra everlasting style in August 2018. 

That very same yr, Khayat stood out with youth nationwide groups at each the FIBA U16 Asian Championship and the FIBA U18 Asian Championship. On the latter event, he was by far the youngest participant within the competitors. 

Khayat has spent a lot of his profession in France, and he is aware of what he represents to his countrymen. He aspires to succeed in the NBA and stay a job mannequin for Lebanese gamers.

“There are a variety of younger folks wanting as much as me, individuals who wish to be like me and play with the senior nationwide workforce and play overseas,” he instructed FIBA. “Proper now the scenario in Lebanon shouldn’t be that good. So a variety of younger folks wish to go to Europe, particularly to get basketball experiences. So having somebody like me to look as much as could be very supportive to them.”

Why Youssef Khayat selected Michigan 

In an interview with 247Sports, Khayat described what he sees in Michigan. 

“I selected Michigan as a result of I believe they match me nicely, particularly with their expertise with overseas gamers. Juwan Howard is a good coach, among the finest. I like the power to be there of their system with the teaching employees, it will likely be an amazing alternative for me,” he stated.

The Wolverines have made a behavior of attracting European-born expertise, as this system has featured the likes of Moussa Diabate, Franz Wagner and Mo Wagner. All three went from Ann Arbor to the NBA. Diabate is off to the Los Angeles Clippers, Khayat’s favourite NBA workforce.

“The identify ‘Michigan’ is so necessary within the USA in order that paired with their expertise with worldwide gamers plus being a well known program is form of distinctive,” Khayat stated.

The place Youssef Khayat matches at Michigan 

As Michigan constructs a lineup round Hunter Dickinson, including a participant who can reliably shoot 35% from 3-point vary is extremely helpful. The Wolverines have sought to rectify final season’s taking pictures deficiencies, and Khayat ought to play a job in that. Coaches instructed Khayat that they are going to use him in varied roles, significantly on protection.

Juwan Howard and Co. preach that this system is “for rivals solely,” and there shall be loads of competitors to earn beginning roles on the ‘3’ and ‘4’ following the NBA departures of Caleb Houstan and Moussa Diabate. Whereas Khayat nonetheless has loads of room to develop offensively, his taking pictures and skill to assault the basket ought to each translate to the faculty sport. So ought to his defensive tenacity. It is also encouraging that he’s snug at enjoying towards older competitors.

Projecting Khayat’s instant influence is tough given his considerably uncommon path to school ball, however his athleticism and size alone ought to earn him worthwhile minutes.