Stoneridge Trio Intriguing

There are a trio of imports at Stoneridge Prep (Calif.) who will all be receiving plenty of attention from college coaches as the spring signing period approaches.

The desperate search continues for college coaches looking for that "diamond in the rough". You know, the guy who has slipped under the radar and is still available at this late date.

A trio of imports at Stoneridge Prep (Calif.) may not have slipped under the radar. Two of the three just haven't been in the United States long enough to build any sort of reputation.

Hamady N'diaye, a 6-foot-11, 225-pound big man who came over from Senegal in October of 2004, is the best-known of the trio, but the least skilled – especially on the offensive end.

In his defense, though, N'diaye probably shouldn't have even played this past weekend in Rhode Island. An injured knee had kept him out of action for the past couple of weeks.

``He's coming along offensively," Sy said. "He had a lack of basketball knowledge, but he's terrific on the defensive end and is a good rebounder and shot-blocker who always plays hard."

The 19-year-old N'diaye was unimpressive in Rhode Island while it was 6-foot-10 Mamadou Diarra who stole the show.

The skilled Diarra, who came over from France via Mali in October, is a versatile offensive player who can shoot the three and also get in the paint and score points in the low post despite his lithe 215-pound frame.

Diarra, 19, finished with 22 points on 9-of-13 shooting – and also grabbed 8 rebounds – in the loss to Notre Dame Prep.

``Everyone whose seen him lately loves him," Sy said of Diarra. "He's got a nice stroke and shoots it well from three-point range. He's a great athlete with a 7-5 wingspan whose really hard to deal with."

USC appears to be the frontrunner for Diarra – mainly because Trojans assistant Gib Arnold coached with Stoneridge Prep head man Babacar Sy at Southern Idaho.

In addition to N'diaye and Diarra, Stoneridge has a third senior who is worthy of high-major looks. Djibril Thiam is a 6-foot-8 point guard who didn't shoot the ball particularly well, but he's a terrific ballhandler for someone his size.

``He grew from 5-9 to 6-9 in the last two years," Sy said. "He's very skilled and we think he's the one with the most potential."

Both N'diaye and Thiam took an official visit this weekend to Rutgers.

N'diaye is also looking at Pittsburgh, George Washington, Gonzaga and Miami.

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