The Fiba U18 Event was held in Antananarivo, Madagascar where Egypt beat host team Madagascar. Neither of the two top teams in the group stage made it to the finals (Mali and Senegal). Overall not the level of play from teams that were displayed at other events but there was some talent at this event. I look in depth into the top 4 and then 4 honorable mention players.
Ousmane Ndiaye: 6’11, Stretch Power Forward, Senegal born in 2004
Ndiaye, at 6’11, has a nice looking shooting stroke, with extended range, averaging a double double for the tournament 15.5 ppg 10.7 rebs. He’s long with a nice wingspan and is quite agile for a player his size going up and down the court. He has the measurables that teams look for in a stretch big man. Although he is right handed, he likes going left and has a good left hand dribble and crossover that he uses to either dribble into a mid range jump shot with some success or get near the rim and score with his soft touch. He needs to work on his right hand when putting it on the floor. He has the tools that you would think would make him a sure draft pick, but at this point he still has some work to do. Many players at his age and his size lack weight and strength but have learned how to absorb contact, this is not the case with him. He shies away from contact, partially due to his lack of confidence in his right hand dribble, making him passive or too eager to take a long range jump shot instead of getting a higher percentage shot. His first step is good but due to his lack of strength, opponents can catch up with him and prevent the dunk or finish. Ibrahim Souhare of Guinea (Dream City Christian 2024) and the bigs of Angola played physical with him and it had an effect. He has good vision on the break but overall did not pass the ball much in this tournament. Shot selection and movement without the ball need to be better but given the quality of play overall with his team’s guards, you wonder if it’s him or the environment. He Is not a good shooter off picks or with movement at this point in his development and very inconsistent from the free throw line. Defensively he has long arms that allow him to affect the passing lanes for steals but he is not a shot blocker. He’s stiff laterally, letting lesser athletes get by him too easily but mobile going straight line. Still very raw both on offense and defense but did some good things on offense in pick and roll situations when receiving the pick. Plays in Germany for Rhondorf.
Malick Diallo 6’10, Power Forward, Mali born in 2005.
Malick’s summer started with the FIBA 17 WC where he created some intrigue for scouts. Has a strong frame and a long wingspan and is fluid running up and down the court. He is best on the fast break where he can finish strong, agile enough to get around defenders with a Euro step, and has good court vision on the break. He was 3rd in the tournament with 3.4 assists per game. Averaged a double double 10.9 ppg 11.7 ast. He does not have any midrange or beyond the 3 point line game and is a poor free throw shooter (shot 19/50 in both competitions combined 38%). Plays at Wasatch Academy in the USA.
Mathias M'Madi 6’4, Combo Guard, Madagascar born in 2005
MVP of the tournament and led the host country to a silver medal. Led the event in scoring at 20.8 and assists 5 and was third in steals at 2.5. He dominated all the other guards in this event, but let’s be frank the quality of guard play at this event was not at the standard of the other U17 orU18 events. He has a very quick first step and he knows how to split a double team or in pick and roll situations. He has a go to spin move that was effective at this event. His handles can get a little loose when he is sped up and shot selection can be questionable at times: 38.8 fg%. Plays for Elan Chalons U21 team
Mouhamed Faye 6’10, Center, Sengal born in 2005.
Faye with 18.2 ppg 13.7 rebs and 1.3 blocks was in the top 5 in all 3 categories. He is powerful, with a strong and quick leaping ability allowing him to score most of his points with dunks or put backs which, giving him the ability to lead the tournament in field goal percentage at 68.7%. He needs to continue to work on the skill side as he must work on his shooting form, touch and handles. He’s a hard worker, and willing defensive enforcer and shot blocker, but lacks experience defensively. Lacks all around basketball experience. Plays in Italy for A.S.D Rebasket.
Mahamadou Diarra 6’9, Mali Forward born in 2005. 10.9 ppg 7.1 rebs 2.1 steals Played for ANGT u18 team Varese last season.
Amadou Doumbia 6’11, Center, Mali born in 2005. 14.9 ppg 7.4 rebs 9/22 from 3 84.8% from the free throw line. Weakness: Stiff, 0.3 blocks . Plays in Spain for Real Madrid u18 team.
Jerry Pepin Rabibisoa 6’8, Power Forward, Madagascar Born in 2004. 11.1 ppg 9.2 rebs, 6 ast (led league), 3.3 steals, 1.3 blocks. Top 5 in rebounds, blocks and steals.
Ibrahim Souare 6’10, Power Forward, Guinea Born in 2004. 11 ppg 7.7 rebs Plays for Dream City Christian