Player Profile: Papa Ndao

Our player profile series rolls on today with junior forward Papa Ndao. Ndao, a 6'8 225-pound power forward, played just under 7 minutes per game a year ago. Where does he stand now, heading into his junior campaign?

Papa Ndao has been a difficult player to read during his two years on Hawk Hill. Ndao, a native of Dakar, Senegal, certainly has the physical attributes necessary to be successful in the Atlantic 10. To date, he has been a bench player. Last year, in 6.9 minutes per contest, Papa averaged 1.8 points and 1.6 rebounds a game.

Hawk Hill Hardwood spoke with St. Joe's assistant coach Dave Duda about Papa, and his role on this year's team. "Papa needs to find different ways of contributing to the cause," Duda began. "Often, he focuses on the ball going through the basket as his way of contributing. He must rebound more and do more with minutes earned. "

As a strong and athletic 6'8 forward, Ndao has the ability to contribute on the boards. However, looking through his stat lines from last year, there were many games where Papa played in the range of six to ten minutes and didn't grab a single rebound. For him to play this season, the rebounding must be improved.

It's likely that Papa will be behind Ron Roberts, Halil Kanacevic, Javon Baumann, and Isaiah Miles on the frontcourt depth chart this season. That being said, he will still be given the opportunity to contribute this year, most likely at the 4. "He's another guy who could be very valuable off the bench," Duda added.

Now a junior, Papa Ndao will be looked at this season by the Hawk coaching staff to provide energy, rebounding, and a decent stroke from three off the bench. If he embraces that role, limits turnovers, and rebounds better, he's a player that could make a difference off the bench this season.

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