Coach Speak: Moustapha Diagne

What is Syracuse getting in four-star power forward Moustapha Diagne? CuseNation.com spoke to his high school head coach, Jason Hasson, to find out.

Four-star power forward Moustapha Diagne committed to Syracuse Saturday night. His coach at Pope John XXIII High, Jason Hasson, says the Orange are getting someone who plays with a lot of energy on every play.

"He plays with a very high motor," Hasson said. "That's one of his biggest attributes. He never lets up offensively or defensively. He gets up and down the floor very well. He's definitely expanding his offensive game. He was making 15-footers consistently this season. Jump hooks with his left and right hand. He's working on ball handling and expanding his range this summer.

"He's also has a lot of quickness, lateral quickness. So he can guard different positions and switch on screens. He is an excellent shot blocker especially from the help side and he's a great rebounder. I think that goes along with what I said before with his relentless motor."

As with every prospect coming out of high school, there are areas of Diagne's game that can use some refining. That said, in the modern world of college basketball where freshmen are needed to contribute, the 6-foot-8 forward fits that mold.

"I think he's ready to compete right away," Hasson said. "There are always some things he can work on, but he's ready right now to compete at the next level. He's obviously going to work on his ball handling and his lateral quickness so he can guard even more positions. Just keep getting bigger and stronger.

"I don't think he needs to (add weight). He's 245-pounds right now. He will continue to add weight and get stronger. He's lifting three days a week. He's ready to compete right now, but we don't want him to compete we want him to excel."

On both ends of the floor, Diagne fits what Syracuse wants to do. He can run the floor and be a menace along the back line of the zone.

"He's definitely a true definition of a power forward," Hasson said. "Especially on offense. Stepping out to the elbow, being able to play off the blocks and face up but at the same time punish people in the paint. Defensively, because of their defensive scheme with the 2-3 zone, it would be a great fit.

"They can go big and put him on the wing at the bottom of the 2-3. Or they can go small and put him in the middle. He would effective at either spot defensively."

Diagne is talented and skilled enough to earn minutes from the Orange as a true freshman. Coach Hasson believes he has limitless potential as he develops his game.

"I think he's going to be an immediate impact player," Hasson said. "Just because of his continued growth. He continues to get better every day. From the time he got here until now. He came as a very good player and now he gets better every day. He has another year of high school to continue to get better. I think the sky is the limit for him."

Off the court, Diagne is viewed as a leader. Someone that will represent Syracuse well outside of his contributions to the basketball program.

"He's definitely a leader on the team," Hasson said. "He's a great kid. I've gotten to know him on a personal level the last few years driving him around and being with him at AAU events. He's just a tremendous human being."


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