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FSU Basketball Signs Tanor Ngom: A Scouting Report

Florida State announced it has signed big man Tanor Ngom from Ryerson University in Toronto, Ontario. Ngom, who is listed at 7’2″ and 236lbs, averaged 16.7 PPG and 11.2 RPG last season. He signed a Grant-in-Aid scholarship and will have one more year of eligibility.

Leave it to Leonard Hamilton to pluck a 7’2″ athletic beast from out of nowhere that averaged 16/11. Florida State’s big depth should be set to go for next season with Ngom, Balsa Koprvicia, and Malik Osborne, with freshmen Quincy Ballard as a likely redshirt candidate. This also likely takes them out of the running with prized recruit Moussa Cisse and Oklahoma State transfer Yor Anei, two players Florida State has been linked to for a long time.

FSU still has one open scholarship to play with, and after the out-of-the-blue signing this was, it wouldn’t come as a surprise to see it happen again here. The average height of the roster checks in at just over 6’8″ (80.25 inches), a full inch and a quarter taller than last season’s team, who was the tallest in the country. Dating back to 2007 (which is the furthest back KenPom’s records go), 80.25 inches would be the tallest team ever, beating out 2018 Syracuse who averaged out at 80.1 inches.

It’s difficult  to gauge how tough Ngom’s competition was, but here’s a quick scouting report.

Strengths

Length and Athleticism

For someone standing well over 7-foot, his athleticism is eye-popping. His feet are really quick, he’s great at chase downs, and he gets down the floor incredibly well for someone his size. Ngom’s vertical is impressive as well, he gets off the floor quickly. He won’t be able to keep up with ACC guards, but he’s also not going to get blown by either, he’s got the length to make up for that.

This is going to a very important skill for him this season, as we saw FSU constantly switch bigs onto the perimeter (not sure if that will stay that way this season). His athleticism is a huge reason why Hamilton and the rest of the FSU staff chose to go with Ngom over some of these younger recruits.

Shot-Blocking

While FSU as a team was superb at blocking shots last season, they didn’t have one true rim protector. Devin Vassell and Patrick Williams each averaged 1 block per game. Enter Tanor Ngom, who just averaged 1.8 blocks per game in 24.8 minutes per game. It’s very likely he won’t get 25 minutes per game, but if he can come in for 14-18 minutes and just swat 1-2 shots, he’s executing his role perfectly.

Offensive Potential

The tools for a complete offensive game are there. He has solid post moves (footwork could be a little cleaner and he needs to use his body a little more instead of his length), but he can comfortably shoot out to 18-feet and will attempt 3s. He may have only hit them at 18.8% last season, but he took one a game. If he forces the defense to step out or to hesitate for just a second, that’s all FSU will need. His free throw percentage the last two seasons (79.7%) shows a player who absolutely has the potential to step out further.

He’s also very comfortable with the ball in his hands. Florida State likes for whoever grabs the rebound to just put the ball on the floor and go. He’s not quite as comfortable as Mfiondu Kabenegle was who could bring it across half court comfortably, but very few bigs are.

Weaknesses

Scheme

His college scheme was very heavy on 2-3 zones when it came to defense. FSU only plays zone in baseline-out-of-bounds situations, and sporadically throughout the rest of the season. 95% of the time, they’re going to be in a full man-to-man scheme including pressing. Ngom is going to have to get used to that. His athleticism will help him adjust faster than many bigs do that are used to playing 2-3, but the timing and the overall feel of the defense is much different.

Competition

It’s hard to hold a player’s competition against him, but it’s also something that needs to be pointed out. 16 points and 11 rebounds would be incredibly impressive for a player in the ACC, but for a Canadian college it’s tough to measure how much those numbers will translate. He’s going to have to add some strength to his frame, considering he played at 210 last season (already seems like he’s been working on it, given FSU listed him at 236). This is a big jump for a college player going from Canadian college basketball to the best college basketball conference in America.

Post Moves

Listing this as a weakness is nitpick. Ngom’s footwork just needs to be cleaned up, and he relies on his length too much on hooks and layups. Once he gets used to protecting the ball while he’s going up and cleans up his footwork, he’ll be just fine. It’s also not like FSU runs a ton of post-up plays. He’ll mainly just be used for rim-rolling for lobs and maybe popping on screens too.

You can follow the latest addition to the FSU roster on Twitter @ImTallT and on Instagram @iamtallt.


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