Analyzing Hugo Besson and Ousmane Dieng Against South East Melbourne

December 23rd, 2021

By Alan Lu

Recently, New Zealand’s guard, Hugo Besson has been putting up strong numbers in Australia’s top professional basketball league, the NBL, as he’s been steadily scoring and shooting the ball well over there.  New Zealand also has a potential lottery pick on their roster in Ousmane Dieng, a tall, athletic wing player, though he has not shot the ball nearly as well as his teammate, Besson.  I decided to take the time to watch them play in a December 10th game against South East Melbourne, with thanks to YouTube via National Basketball League.  Here are my thoughts on how Besson and Dieng fared, as well as how their games may translate to the NBA.

New Zealand’s Hugo Besson scored 26 points in his team’s December 10th match against South East Melbourne.
Daniel Pockett/Getty Images, via

Hugo Besson is a talented, scoring combo guard that excels as a shot maker, and he also is an aggressive, on-ball defender that competes relentlessly on the other side of the court. He struggled with turnovers, and there are significant questions if he can run the point effectively in high level professional basketball, but Besson is a talented player whose strong production could make him an intriguing option for NBA teams to consider in the 2022 draft. Besson shot the ball very well, especially from downtown.  He showed a knack for making threes in this game, especially off the dribble and in crunch time.  Besson was comfortable in making pull-up threes, and he has a very quick release that enables him to make outside shots both off the catch and dribble.  He especially thrived as a three-point shooter down the stretch, and he also was able to draw three free throws on a deep three-point shot late in this match, as defenders started to grow very concerned about his shooting prowess.  Plus, Besson also drove quickly off of a screen to score on an open, mid-range floater.  In this game, he showed good range and shooting touch to consistently score on jump shots.

He also showed a solid ability to score off the dribble.  Besson is a crafty scorer that handles the ball well.  He was able to accelerate to score on an underhanded scoop layup.  He also used a really nice spin move to score off the glass.  Besson also can take on and absorb the contact to score in traffic, although sometimes he would miss when he wouldn’t get foul calls.

On the downside, Besson was quite turnover prone on offense.  Though he handles the ball well, he tended to have bouts of tunnel vision, and he tended to both be inaccurate with his passes and was also prone to making careless mistakes with the ball in his hands.  For the positives, Besson can pass the ball well when he operates under control, as he can throw timely interior passes to find teammates on the move, and he also can make drive and kick passes to get the ball out to shooters.  However, he can tend to over-dribble into traffic, which can lead him to commit ball-handling turnovers.  He would sometimes collide into defenders, which caused him to lose the ball once, and he also committed a charging foul another time.  He also had a ball stolen away from him another time.  He also dropped a catchable pass out of bounds another time.  He also can be quite inaccurate with his passes.  He threw a rushed pass that led to an over and back violation.  He also threw a low, hasty pass that got intercepted and led to fast break points the other way.

Also, Besson is a very good rebounder, especially for a player his size.  He did a great job of crashing the glass on both ends of the floor to haul in boards, and he would tend to quickly bring the ball up and push it up the court after getting defensive rebounds for his team. He also would tip balls to help his team get other boards in this game. He also played decent defense in this game.  Besson is an active, aggressive on-ball defender that would fight hard around screens to stay with his opponents, and he has solid feet to guard opponents out on the perimeter.  He also would apply ball pressure and guard opponents to cut off penetration, as they wouldn’t look to try to score on him very often.  On one play though, he shaded too far to his left and he ended up getting beat off the dribble, which led him to commit a reach-in foul that time.

Overall, Hugo Besson is an agile, skilled combo guard that can shoot and score the basketball, and he is putting up solid numbers in a tough professional league in Australia.  He will need to show that he can effectively run the point, but his ability to make shots and score combined with his strong production overseas makes him a solid candidate to go in the late first to the second round range of the 2022 draft.

His teammate, Ousmane Dieng had a decent showing in their team’s loss to South East Melbourne.  He is an athletic swingman that had his ups and downs during the NBL Blitz, but he also had a few really strong games that showcased his potential.  He shot the ball fairly well in this game, and although he looked to be too passive on offense at times and wasn’t always focused defensively, Dieng excelled as a floor spacer and he was also active defensively in this game. Dieng did a good job of making threes in this game.  He was able to make threes both off the catch and dribble, and he especially thrived at knocking them down from the left wing area.  He seemed to struggle more on spot-up opportunities, but he was able to show that he can make long-range jumpers when given the space to do so. 

He also did a decent job of scoring off the dribble.  Dieng also managed to score on an aggressive drive off of a screen when he went all the way to the hoop.  He also looked to take a mid-range jumper, but he missed on a switch of hands floater after driving off of a screen to get his shot off.  Dieng also displayed fairly average playmaking skills.  He is an unselfish player that will look to find the open man to help set up scores for his teammates.  Sometimes though, he would make careless mistakes that would result in turnovers.  He threw a careless, inbounds pass that got intercepted once.  He also was called for a carrying violation after clumsily handling the ball later on in this match.

He also showed a solid ability to rebound the basketball.  Dieng was active at crashing the glass to haul in boards on both ends of the floor, and he is an athletic forward that showed that he can handle the ball off of defensive boards.  Defensively, he looked to be about average at best.  For the positives, he would use his length to contest shots both out on the perimeter as well as in the paint to force misses, and he also was able to cut off penetration to get opponents to pass the basketball.  On the other hand, he tended to sag too far off his man, which would lead him to be late on his close outs and in contesting shots, which would lead him to allow opponents to score on jumpers.  Other times, he would take bad angles and over-pursue ball handlers, which would lead him to be out of position when defending opponents off the dribble. Overall, Ousmane Dieng is a talented, athletic swingman that played fairly well in his team’s loss to South East Melbourne.  He shot the ball well in this game, though there were times where he didn’t assert himself enough on offense.  He wasn’t really used too often as a scoring option in off-ball situations, and a lack of touches on offense may help to explain his vast struggles in the NBL so far this season.  He’ll still need to work on his outside shot and improve his focus defensively, and right now, he may far from being ready to be a reliable contributor at the NBA level.  Still, his length, athleticism, versatility, and upside could make him an intriguing option for NBA teams to consider in the mid to late first round range on draft day.

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