One of the great parts of the Top 80 platform is that it allows players to earn their stripes. Any time you are going up against the top guys in the state, you are able to make a mark for yourself. Junior Bassirou Diop was one of the players who utilized the Virginia Top 80 to spring board his recruitment moving forward.
What stood out the most about Diop against some of the best players in the state, was his undeniable versatility. With athleticism and a wing span over 7’, he was able to defend multiple positions. Offensively, he was able to finish from all 3-levels. He set up at the high post where he showed touch, he set up from the wing where he showed the ability to get downhill and attack and he set up on the block where he showed ability from the short corner and with his back to the basket.
Virginia high school hoops guru, Frank Bennett told us walking into the camp that Bassirou Diop was a walking double/double in any game he plays. Bennett was right, which should not come as a surprise to anyone as Bennett typically knows about Virginia kids well before anyone else.
In Bennett’s introduction he wrote, “Bass has very good skills to go along with his 6’6/6’7 frame and a 7’ wingspan. He runs the floor and plays hard; he has excellent hands and a pretty good touch on his jumper to 18 feet. Bass looks more comfortable as a face-up player but he does have good back to the basket moves, knows how to establish position inside and seal the defender and present himself to the ball. He handles well enough where he can lead the break and is a good passer, out of the post as well. Bass is a very good repeat jumper, quick to elevate and has good quick feet. He has very good defensive footwork and posture, guards the dribble pretty well. He’s a very good shot blocker! Bass is an impressive prospect because he has all the tools to be an impact guy and a next level prospect. He is a versatile player, eventually a small or power forward but certainly the skill set to be a wing. As he adds weight and strength he will become even more of a handful. He’s a high motor player and my bet is he will become more physically dominant over the next year.”
Diop started his showing at the Virginia Top 80 with a 36 point outburst, which was a camp high for the day. He show cased the full offensive arsenal. Diop was also awarded the prestigious “Mr Defense” award for his undeniable ability to defend multiple positions at a high level.
After his performance at the Virginia Top 80, National Analyst Patrick O’Brien wrote, “Diop is an intriguing prospect to watch with his size and versatility. He is strong enough to finish at the rim but can also knock down jump shots with regularity. He showed off his scoring versatility today as he put up 36 points in the first game. He also rebounds very well.”
Diop’s coach Lamar Claiborne at Team Loaded 757 echoed these exact sentiments, “Bass is a long 6’6/6’7 stretch forward that can play with his back to the basket or on the perimeter. He is strong enough to get to the basket and finish, but can knock down the mid-range jumper extended. His length makes him an excellent defender, his ability to block shots and guard in space makes him tough on both ends of the floor.”
Currently Diop is well of the recruiting radar, however we do not expect that to last long. There is so much he can do on the floor and he is just scratching the surface of his immense potential. He will be playing with Team Loaded 757 this summer and we advise college coaches to monitor him closely…