As one of the youngest and most unique prospects in the class at a relatively new 19 years old and 6’11 with ball-skills, Ousmane N’Diaye has lots of intrigue surrounding him ahead of the withdrawal date for international prospects June 11. On the season with Baskonia for LEB Silver in Spain’s third division, Ousmane N’Diaye averaged 9.2 PPG, 7.5 RPG, 0.4 APG, 0.6 SPG, 0.8 BPG, and 1.4 TOPG on splits of 41/33/71. Below is his full scouting report:
Name: Ousmane N’Diaye
Wingspan/ standing reach: 7’3 (unofficial)/ N/A
Hand size: N/A
Pre-Draft team: Baskonia (third division)
Tools: Athleticism, shooting, rebounding
- Good lateral mobility
- Plus athlete with a good combination of size and athleticism
- Shooting upside, being able to pull up already
- Upside in transition to bring the ball up the floor and create quick offense
- Good rebounder
- Capable as P&R roll-man with good touch at the rim
- Good motor and has a nose for loose balls
- Runs the floor well and embraces quick, transition offense
- Raw defensively; needs to learn how to play defense and learn technique (weight goes the wrong way on closeouts/off balance, defends with hands too much)
- Inefficient scorer
- Needs to get stronger
- Must be more disciplined defensively; falls for fakes too easily
- Bad shot selection; forces shots and can be too shoot-first; has a “I have to shoot this” mentality
- Poor assist:turnover ratio with lots to improve as a decision-maker with the ball in his hands
- Defensive consistency
- Development of counters on catch & drives
Defensively, while N’Diaye has the physical tools (mobility, athleticism, and size/length), he is far away in terms of defensive understanding, technique, and decision-making. In terms of technique, the way he uses his weight in closing out on the catch is poor, his footwork can be clumsy, and he can either sit too much or be hunched over too much, putting him out of stance against drives. He also bites on fakes too much, which goes hand-in-hand with his fouling issues that can limit his impact on court. N’Diaye’s raw defense makes it likely that he keeps developing in Europe for a couple more years, learning defensive fundamentals before coming over to the NBA.
Offensively, N’Diaye has the tools to be a uniquely successful big man with floor-spacing abilities, but right now his tools are more theoretical than impactful and functional. A key reason for that is because of decision-making that needs vast improvement. At the rim, he forces too many shots without looking out for open teammates, and because of that, almost every game his teammates are seen holding their hands up calling for the ball while he shoots a tough shot at the rim.
Overall, N’Diaye is raw, but has tools that teams can afford to be patient with as a draft & stash option. In order to come over to the NBA and stick, he will have to work on his habits and improve his decision-making on both ends, while committing to learn the game at a high level. As N’Diaye climbs to the Spanish ACB or Spanish LEB Gold (should he stay with Baskonia) for better competition, he will have to scale his game down in a way, having less freedom offensively and less margin for error.
As Ousmane N’Diaye learns how to better use his dominant physical tools combination, he has the potential to be a useful rim protector that can space the floor. He will have to stop chasing highlights to do so, but with a more controlled version of himself he could still be quite the highlight-maker as the new modern-style big man.
Similar to: Willie Cauley-Stein, Dan Oturu, Christian Wood
Projected draft range: 45-undrafted
Expected role: Rim runner with floor-stretching ability
Unplayable if: Poor decision-making and negative defensive traits never come along, which would be magnified by his shooting not taking another jump.
Exceeds expectations if: He embraces a big wing play style and becomes a consistent shooter while becoming a better decision-maker.
Miscellaneous Synergy Stats:
Catch & shoot 3s: 24-74 (32.4%; 46th percentile)
Transition jump shots: 9-18 (50%)
Half-court at rim: 17-29 (58.6%)