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Ibou Dianko Badji Scouting Report by Alex Brown (AHB Analytics)

Ibou Dianko Badji Scouting Report

By: Alex Brown @AhbAnalytics


Player Profile

Age – DOB: 18 Years – October 13th, 2002

Reported Measurements (From 2019 FIBA U19 World Cup): 7’1, 240 lbs, 7’8 wingspan, and a 9’10 standing reach.

Current Team: FC Barcelona B – LEB Plata.

Agent: Arturo Ortega (Per RealGM) 

Citizenship: Senegal

Position(s): 5

Background: Hailing from Dakar, Senegal, Ibou Dianko Badji has been renowned for his outlier athletic & physical tools. He reached 7’0 by age 15, but only started playing basketball a few years ago in 2016 (first signed professionally in December of 2018). He attended the NBA Academy Africa in 2017-2018, and played for Senegal’s U19 team during the 2019 FIBA World Cup. He recently has been participating in the 2021 U18 Afrobasket Championship in Cairo. His whole family is tall according to Ibou, and his father formerly played for Senegal at the 5 as well. His older brother and younger brother (Boubaca Badji – currently with Unicaja Malaga) both play basketball as well.

Initially, Badji did not want to play basketball. 4 years ago, his father began pushing him to train for basketball despite Badji wanting to play soccer instead. He committed to basketball when his mother pushed him to listen to his father and train. It is notable to look at how far he has come since his early basketball days in 2016 and then with the NBA Academy Africa in Senegal (2017/18).

Note – His English is currently below average for an international prospect.

Injury Report: No Notable Injury Information Available

Here is an in-depth video scouting report on Badji’s game play based on the last 10 games he has played:

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Personality: This is ceiling hindrance for Badji. He does not show an admirable motor or inherent drive.

Athleticism: Badji is one of the more interesting outlier athletic cases in the upcoming classes, as he is very mobile and coordinated for a 7’1, lengthy 18 year old, but still occasionally misses open dunks and doesn’t possess the best hands. It is not hard to see the athletic appeal when he skies for emphatic blocks, hedges on the perimeter, moves his feet & hips in space, or shows off his incredible leaping ability on dunks. It does not take a genius to see that Badji’s movement is amazing for his size. He covers ground quickly and fluidly with amazing stride length. His movement is the key to his potential defensive versatility, and the differentiating factor for him compared to other bigs with outlier physical tools.

Projected Roles:

Projected 2021 Draft Landing: 20-30 Range (As of December 2020).

Statistical Profile:

Career Projections: (Note, these show what he could eventually become, not what he will be initially. With Ibou, this is likely years away and should be viewed as a project outcome).

Major Swing Factors: Decision Making, Feel, Awareness, Mental Presence, Spatial Awareness, Maturity, Motivation, Hands, Shooting.


Offense

Via Instat as of 11/23/20

Strengths

Improvement Areas

Quick look at Badji’s release at its finest. There could be something to tap into there, but it is a long way away.


Defense

Strengths

Improvement Areas


Overall Outlook

Badji is a fascinating project with all the physical tools you could dream of in a dominating 5, but not an ideal mentality to maximize it. How will you leverage the elite defensive tools compared to the myriad of offensive questions, processing speed, & worrying mental signs? The intangibles do not suggest that he will be able to diversify his role much from a rimmrunner/C&F big on offense, nor will he pursue relentless improvement in general. He is years away from being a plus at his position offensively, and betting on him learning at a quicker pace would not be wise if you are looking for an immediate impact bench guy. Furthermore, you have to take caution with handling his mentality, as building him up mentally will be just as large of a project as building his offensive game (though to be honest, they coincide). A tough coach would not be ideal for his initial development, but rather an enabler. Ideally, this would be one who is highly directive, but highly supportive as well. He will need a great, patient leader that will keep him motivated, and likely one who uses a similar (but naturally adapted) style to the K.V. Kamath leading approach (for example, I am sure there are other successful frameworks, but this one stands out). If you really love his tools and think you have the right culture to build him up, he could be a really challenging (but fun) project to work on that could yield some great dividends. Mobile 5’s with his outlier tools are so rare that it is likely worth the risk in some capacity, just do not expect him to be your hardest worker or carry a heavy mental load. If your organization is not a patient one or is attempting to compete right now, I would steer clear (or potentially stash depending on your roster) and look at some more self-motivated players.
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