In the months leading up to the 2021-’22 college basketball season, BTPowerhouse will be releasing a series called the ‘BTPowerhouse 25,’ which features the Top 25 players in the Big Ten as voted by members of the staff. All players set to be on Big Ten rosters for next season were eligible during the staff vote with their top selection receiving 25 points and their 25th and final selection receiving 1 point.
Today's edition will take a brief look at Moussa Diabate of the Michigan Wolverines, who came in No. 25 in the rankings. The Wolverines are hoping to build off last year’s Big Ten title with another NCAA Tournament run this year.
'BTPowerhouse 25' - No. 25 Moussa Diabate:
- Eligibility: Freshman
- Career Totals: N/A
- 2020-’21 Averages: N/A
- Positional Role: Power Forward
Entering Juwan Howard’s third season, Michigan is now a Howard-eseque team and Diabate is a perfect example of it. The roster is loaded with elite talent and athletic pieces that can play mulitiple positions. The biggest influx of talent comes from the 2021 recruiting class, where Diabate consists of one of four top 50 prospects.
As one might expect from Diabate’s ratings, he brings quite a skill set to Ann Arbor. His athleticism and physical tools are incredibly impressive. He is listed at 6-foot-10 and that doesn’t even put his length into perspective. His wingspan is massive, making him one of the most physically gifted prospects in the 2022 class.
Diabate’s physical tools should immediately make him one of the better defenders in the conference. And he should be able to guard just about anybody on the court, whether in the perimeter or the paint. Expect him to bring a physical presence to the court and be one of the best shot blockers in the league.
-Areas for Improvement
Obviously, as a freshman, there will be plenty of areas for Diabate to grow as a player. That might sound generic, but it’s the truth. His game will grow exponentially in the months ahead. Expect him to focus much of his time on the offensive end of the floor. If he can improve his handle and outside shot, he could be a special player. Diabate will also have to prove he can only up against bigs like Kofi Cockburn down low. The length is there, but he could use a few pounds still.
With so many pieces in Michigan’s frontcourt returning this season, Diabate will have to work hard to find playing time. More likely than not, he will likely end up filling some type of reserve role. However, it seems likely he will see starter minutes, even if he’s not technically a starter. Hunter Dickinson and Brandon Johns simply seem too established for Diabate to grab a starting role, especially early in the season.
However, Diabate’s raw talent is exceptional and fans should expect him to grow as the season continues. If Michigan gets lucky, he’ll really start to elevate as March approaches. If things go right, he should have a shot at earning All-Big Ten Freshmen team honors.
'BTPowerhouse 25' Rankings:
- #26-27 - Players That Just Missed The Cut
- #25 - Moussa Diabate (Michigan)
- #24 - to be continued ...