Mouhamed Gueye has impressed for Washington State basketball ever since he showed up on the scene a year ago, but what he did in practice this week is something we haven’t seen from a Coug ... ever?
Just watch this footage from practice the other day that Gueye posted to his Instagram:
In case you’re not super familiar with WSU’s roster, the poor, helpless player who tried to get between Mo and the rim is Gueye’s 6-foot-9 teammate from France, Mael Hamon-Crespin. You can see the exact moment Hamon-Crespin decides, uh oh, time to bail — discretion is the better part of valor, after all.
Again, to recap: that’s 6-11 taking off on one foot to jump literally over 6-9 in actual game-type action to dunk the ball.
The video eventually made its way to ESPN.com’s NBA Draft expert, Jonathan Givony, last night, and ... well, it — [clears throat] — took off* on Twitter, garnering nearly 400 retweets in the first 12 hours or so that it was up with another 1,500 or so likes.
*Takes a bow.
Givony notes in the tweet that Gueye is projected as a second round pick, which seems about right after his freshman season, which was excellent, but not eye popping — he averaged 7.2 points and 5.2 rebounds in 21.9 minutes on a modest 19% usage.
Now back as a sophomore — after a flirtation with the draft and transfer portal — Gueye is set for a big increase in his role. He’ll be a pillar of a WSU team that is ready to make a push for its first NCAA appearance since 2008, one of the top options on offense while anchoring the defense.
BartTorvik.com projects the Cougs as the 54th-ranked team heading into the season, and I suspect KenPom.com will be about the same whenever his projections come out. That’s squarely in bubble territory, and if there’s one thing we can pretty much bank on with Kyle Smith, it’s that his team is going to outperform its projections — every team he has coached has done it. All of them.
If Gueye plays up to the potential we all believe he has, he’s going to be a major part of that, and it won’t be a major leap* for him to make his way into the first round.
*Thank you, thank you. No, really, you’re too kind.
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