Player Profile: Papa Ndao

Over the coming days, Hawk Hill Hardwood will take a look at the Hawks' 2011-2012 roster. Each player profile will include some insight from Saint Joseph's assistant coach Dave Duda. In today's article, we will look at the individual game of freshman forward Papa Ndao.

After spending last spring at Saint Joseph's as a redshirt freshman, Papa is ready to contribute on the court. The 6'8 222-pound native of Senegal played his high school ball at Florida's Montverde Academy.

According to Coach Duda, Papa has the ability to play both forward spots. "He is a versatile player, working in both the front court and the wing guard spot," Duda explained.

While many have assumed that Papa's minutes would come almost entirely at the small forward spot, Duda says that that isn't necessarily the case. "He could see minutes at both spots," Duda said. This ability to play multiple positions could prove to be a significant asset for the Hawks. "Papa could be a big part of the scouting report with his ability to play multiple positions," he elaborated.

Since arriving at Saint Joseph's last winter, Papa has made significant strides in his game. The time spent redshirting should prove beneficial, as Duda said that Papa "finally has his legs under him."

At 6'8 and over 220 pounds, Papa is an imposing figure on the wing, and he plays with intensity and energy on both ends. Another asset, according to his coach, is his "great length." That length is valuable on the defensive end especially.

As a team, Saint Joseph's struggled in numerous areas last season. Among the most troubling were rebounding, defense, and ability to knock down shots from the perimeter. With his size, length, and athleticism, Papa will immediately help the Hawks on the rebounding and defensive fronts. Papa can also help the Hawks with their perimeter shooting. "He has a nice stroke from three when he gets his feet set," Duda said about his freshman forward.

On a Hawk team coming off of a second consecutive 20-loss season, minutes aren't promised to anyone. Whether he starts or comes off the bench, Papa Ndao looks primed to play a pivotal role on this year's Saint Joseph's squad.

Check back tomorrow for a player profile on freshman point guard Chris Wilson.

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