Mandatory Credit: Greg Bartram-USA TODAY Sports

Keita Bates-Diop is the Next Big Thing for the Buckeyes


Men’s Basketball Recruit: Keita Bates-Diop

Height: 6’7″

Weight: 180 lbs.

Position: Small Forward


Keita Bates-Diop is one of many stellar freshman that will be joining the men’s basketball team next year. With the departure of LaQuinton Ross for the NBA draft Diop will be relied upon to be a primary offensive weapon in the coming season. Diop has enormous potential, with a 7’2″ wingspan and a silky smooth turn around jumper, but he will have to add muscle if he hopes to stay competitive at the 3. ESPN currently has him ranked #22 on their ESPN100 big board of basketball recruits.

Strengths: Bates-Diop is an extremely long and athletic small forward with a polished offensive game and the ability to make plays on defense. Diop’s impressive wingspan makes a huge difference on the defensive side of the floor in blocking shots and disrupting passing lanes. Diop has a knack for getting weak side and chase down blocks, utilizing his athletic ability to make an impact defensively. Diop will be a force on defense, but on offense he will be a star. Diop brings a smooth jump shot and the ability to shoot over defenders to an Ohio State offense that needs an infusion of scoring. For a tall forward, Diop also has strong ball-handling skills and the ability to cut through defenses. Diop is also an underrated passer that can move the ball around the perimeter, as well as passing out of the post.

Weaknesses: There is a reason that Bates-Diop is a top 25 recruit, he doesn’t have a lot of weaknesses coming out of high school. His biggest drawback, like almost every other freshman, is that he doesn’t have a lot of muscle.  The young forward will have to bulk up in his time at Ohio State. Diop’s ability to move the ball on offense is not as serious a threat if he can’t take the ball to the basket. Diop has to be able to take contact at the rim and make tough shots to be a complete offensive threat. There is also a lot of pressure coming to a competitive school as a highly recruited freshman, so Diop will also have to display some poise and focus if he wants to be great.

Overall: I think Keita Bates-Diop will be the next big thing for Ohio State. Diop has immense talent, offensively and defensively, and the sky is the limit for him. The Buckeyes had serious offensive struggles this past season, but this recruiting class seems to be the remedy for that problem. With guys like D’Angelo Russell and Jae’Sean Tate joining Diop, the Buckeyes will be very competitive next year. I expect Diop to be a serious offensive presence for the Buckeyes next year.


Keita Bates-Diop highlights.


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