Coach Speak: Bourama Sidibe

What is Syracuse getting in four-star Bourama Sidibe? We spoke to St. Benedict's head coach Mark Taylor to break down his game.

Four-star Bourama Sidibe brings a lot of talent, athleticism and potential with him to Syracuse, having signed with the Orange during the early period and announcing the decision on Monday. His head coach at St. Benedict's, Mark Taylor, believes SU got themselves a good one. 

“He’s good,” Taylor said. “He’s long. He’s athletic. He can run. He’s got a great short jumper. From 18-feet in, he doesn’t miss. Finishes with both hands. Super athletic. Quick to the ball on rebounds. We nicknamed him ‘The King’ because when he’s playing the way he can play, he’s better than everybody else. He’s good.

"He’s going to be very, very good at Syracuse with that style of play, the zone and the way they get up and down.”

Along with just his ability and skill set, Sidibe brings positional versatility. He can play on the wing or in the middle of the zone because of his athleticism. 

“I think he’s going to play more than one position,” Taylor said. “His true position is the four (power forward) position. He can play the five (center), but he’s more of a true four. Kind of similar to some of the guy you have there now. The kid (Tyler Lydon) plays center and he plays forward. The shooter who I really, really like up there.

"I think that he’ll play the wing on the zone. I think he’ll play the middle of the zone. Depending on who is on the roster and what they’ve got. He’s so athletic and fast, that he becomes real effective on the perimeter. We actually play him at the wing position when we go 2-3. We don’t always play him in the middle.”

St. Benedict's has done a tremendous job with Sidibe, developing his game to get him ready for the college level. And Syracuse plays in the ACC, the top conference in college basketball. The improvement Sidibe has made during his time with St. Benedict's is a positive sign for his development with the Orange. 

“Sidibe has made unbelievable strides in his offensive game,” Taylor said. “When he came to us, he was very athletic. Very raw. He had the ability to defend immediately. Things we look for in guys like Bourama, who come in, can they run the floor? Can they catch the ball? How is there athleticism and timing? If they have great timing and they’re athletic, the upside is as much as they want it.

"Bourama works hard. Bourama has phenomenal timing, so his ability to block shots and alter shots is off the charts. If you’re athletic and can get up and down and you listen and work hard, you’re going to improve. Bourama has done that. We think real highly of him. We think he’s a pro. I think Syracuse also believes he’s going to be a pro. It depends on how hard he works and how bad he wants it.”

Off the floor, Sidibe is as strong as he is on the floor. A coachable, friendly young man who works just as hard academically as he does athletically. 

“He’s a really, really positive person,” Taylor said. “He uplifts everybody. He does what he needs to in the classroom. You’ve got a kid who speaks five languages. He has the ability to do what he needs to do in the classroom. And he never has anything bad to say about anybody. Pretty much, whatever you ask him to do, he does. He’s very grateful, humble and knows what he wants.”

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