who is Ousmane Dieng, the Frenchman who is panicking recruiters before the NBA draft

French winger Ousmane Dieng (2.08 m, 19 years old) was promised the heights of the 2022 draft, organized in the night between Thursday and Friday. A true physical phenomenon with a technical background rare for his size, the former resident of the Federal Center is also praised for his human qualities and his infallible mind.

“Paolo Giorgio”; a “modern and 2.08 m version of Antoine Rigaudeau”; a player “who must be inspired by Brandon Ingram or Kevin Durant”. The comparisons used by those who closely supported Ousmane Dieng are enough to understand the extent of the French phenomenon, when the latter knocked on the door of the NBA. On the night between Thursday and Friday, the 19-year-old winger, trained at the Federal Center and left to make his mark in the Australian championship last season (8.9 points, 3.1 rebounds, 1 assist in 20.4 minutes), should, barring unlikely surprise, be the first Habs called during the annual high mass which is the draft.

The Lot-et-Garonne native, born in 2003, is in a panic among the scouts of the best championship in the world and his rating has been climbing for several weeks. A few hours before the ceremony, seeing him become the fourth French in history enlisted in the top 10 (Noah in 2007, Ntilikina in 2017 and Hayes in 2020) is not incongruous. In the latest predictions, the famous fake drafts, oscillates between 9th and 12th place, which would send him to the San Antonio Spurs or the Oklahoma City Thunder. Beyond these predictions, all observers agree on one point: young Habs have almost unlimited potential.

Outdoor shooting, full-back technique and attacking midfielder vision

Ousmane Dieng is simply an outside player in an inside body. 2.08m under the arm, the shot of a winger, the technique of a full-back and the vision of a leader. “Ousmane is unique in the combination of his skills and his size,” said Mody Maor, coach of the New Zealand Breakers (he was an assistant last season), who Dieng joined last summer to continue his progress after a course at the Insep. “His offensive game is that of a real one guard. He can really create for himself and his teammates, he continues. The most special feature of him is his vision of the pitch and its passes. If he works hard and keeps improving like he did this season, that’s exactly what modern basketball is about. “

Able to defend all positions

When making the leap to the NBA, Dieng also has a more than solid defensive background. Thanks to his mobility, he is able to defend almost any position. Rayan Rupert, one of the greatest talents of the 2004 generation and potential candidate for next year’s NBA draft, was able to make it happen by meeting him at the Federal Center. He, the 1.96m leader, admits he had trouble catching the speed wing.

“He has great support and moves fast, assures the future Breakers player. We have often compared him to Paul George and I admit he is the player that comes directly to my mind. He has a long wingspan, he is tall and he is quite mobile. He is a player who can attack but also be versatile in defense. “

“On the pitch, his teammates love him. He has this thing that attracts everyone around him, he is unanimous, like all great players.”

To sum up Ousmane Dieng has an extraordinary physique would be more than simplistic. Jean-Aimé Toupane, coach of the French women’s team since last year, had the young winger under the orders of the Federal Center for several seasons before the young star’s departure for the Breakers. He claims he was impressed by his mentality of him on and off the pitch.

“Ousmane is a sought-after profile. He is calm, has a good attitude, describes him. He is an emotionally stable and well-surrounded guy. He understands all about high-level requirements. When you look at him, we see him as a different guy, everywhere in the world. world, when we recruit a player, we want him to be a great player but also to be able to live in a group, listen and exchange “Ousmane, on this point, is a godsend. I’ve never had a problem with him off the pitch. His teammates love him on the pitch. He has this thing that attracts everyone around him, he is unanimous, like all great players. “

Any reservations about his muscle development?

Described this way, Ousmane Dieng has everything from the rare pearl and seeing him “only” announced in the top 10 in the next draft seems almost incomprehensible. For now, one major factor may make recruiters a little reluctant: his weak muscle development. Unlike other perspectives, the Frenchman is not “NBA ready” and is currently too fragile to face the physical toughness of the Grand League. “The biggest weakness is that his body isn’t ready for the NBA yet, so he might not have a big impact from the start, Mody Maor believes. Everyone needs to have a little patience with him, for him to allow him to develop at the right pace “.

“Sometimes we get the impression that he is too nice. But it’s not true, being nice off the pitch is another thing. He also has a hard mental to the ground, he is one who never doubts.”

“His room for improvement is physical, says Rayan Rupert. But this is not really a problem because it is the case with many young players and can easily gain mass in the NBA. “

After playing against adults in the last three seasons (two in the National 1 with the Federal Center and one in the Australian NBL with the Breakers), Ousmane Dieng has already had the opportunity to compete with physically “finished” players. . Especially since, as Jean-Aimé Toupane points out, the young man also has a great mind.

A great mind

“Since it’s very big, it’s not completely finished. But for a year it has filled up a bit, it already has a greater physical impact. Sometimes it seems like he’s too kind. But that’s not true, being nice off the pitch is another thing. He also has a mental hardness on the floor, he is one who never doubts, assures his former coach. In one year, with the experience in the Australian championship, he has shown that he has improved a lot. He just needs experience, but it comes with time and it’s something that comes very quickly, especially given the level he plays at. You would have seen him three years ago when he got here (at the Federal Center, ed) … We have the photos! ” Everything suggests that these could go out quickly if the French managed to conquer America.

The other French who could be enrolled, all in the second round (over 30th place)

  • Ismael Kamagate (Paris basketball)
  • Hugo Besson (New Zealand switches)
  • Moussa Diabate (Michigan)
  • Yoan Makoundo (Cholet)

Happy Gabriel RMC sports journalist

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