Intriguing wing with great size, potential as a shot maker, and fluidity with the ball who faced a steep learning curve in his first season playing outside of France.
About Ousmane Dieng
Ousmane Dieng is a promising wing with rare size who came on slowly in the NBL but showed his offensive upside after his team was eliminated from playoff contention. Emerging as a prospect averaging 8.9 points and 3.6 assists over 22.3 minutes per game at the 2019 FIBA U16 European Championship, the Bordeaux native spent the following two seasons with the Centre Federal de Basket-ball–a club composed of most of the top young players in France that competes in the nation’s third division. Averaging 12.6 points, 5.5 rebounds, and 2.7 assists per game at that level two years ago, Dieng underwent a late growth spurt and opted to explore his options abroad, ultimately landing in the NBL Next Stars program. Facing a steep learning curve playing with the New Zealand Breakers under Head Coach Dan Shamir, Dieng had some growing pains in his first season competing against quality competition, but finished the year averaging 8.9 points, 3.2 rebounds, and 1 assist over 20.8 minutes per game settling in over the second half of the year.
• Listed standing 6’10 in shoes with a 7’0 wingspan and a 205-pound frame, Dieng was a lanky shooting guard who kept growing. That much is apparent in his fluidity and coordination but also leaves with him significant room to get stronger to potentially play some power forward down the road.
• Playing a bigger role some nights than others as one of the youngest players in a league noted for its physicality, Dieng showed his skill level on the offensive end at points in the second half of the year when he had more room to play through mistakes. Operating mostly off the ball but getting some opportunities to create out of ball screens, Dieng showed promising coordination with the ball, the ability to dribble into pull-ups from beyond the arc, and the touch to score with soft touch on his floater. While he still lacks a degree of polish as a playmaker, physicality as a slasher, and experience, the 19-year-old has an interesting base of tools to build off on the offensive end that showed as he was productive when his role changed late in the season.
• Facing a spike in expectations defensively in the NBL, Dieng had some rookie moments in his first season competing at a high level and possesses some natural room to grow on that end as his frame continues to mature and he gains experience.
• Flashing intriguing perimeter skill for his size in spurts, Dieng found more of a comfort level applying his talents against NBL defenses as the year wore on. Averaging 0.57 points per possession over the first half of the year but 1.01 points per possession over the second half, his game opened up as he found his range and was given more freedom to make things happen off the dribble.
• Getting shots up in a variety of ways, Dieng’s shots were split between catch and shoot jumpers, pull-ups, and attempts around the rim. Scoring 0.93 points per dribble jump shot [74th percentile] and 0.85 points per floater [62nd percentile], the 19-year-old did much of his best work off the dribble. He has solid mechanics on his pull-up and a high release point on his floater. While he has some room to tighten up his handle and footwork, he had some very encouraging moments as a shot creator out of ball screens and attacking closeouts.
• For the flashes of shot-making ability Dieng showed, he averaged 0.67 points per catch and shoot jump shot in the half court [68th percentile] and has considerable room to grow as a set shooter and weapon off the ball.
• Scoring 1.19 points per shot around the rim [56th percentile], Dieng did a nice job taking what defenders gave him around the rim. He lacks a degree of physicality at this stage, but can catch an occasional lob and has room to improve as he gets stronger.
• Still early in his development as a passer, the 19-year old will make the simple play but looked more comfortable scoring than finding the open man off the dribble last season.
• Benefitting from his rare size for a wing when contesting shots and crashing the glass, Dieng provided some intriguing flashes of defensive potential in the NBL even if his inexperience was a limiting factor for stretches as well.
• He remains early in his development as an off-ball defender and will need to get stronger to maximize his versatility on it, but has good feet and got better as the year went on in terms of technique.
— Profile by Synergy Sports