Analyzing Youssoupha Fall

May 21, 2017

By Alan Lu

I decided to take the time to watch Poitiers Basket 86’s 7-3 center Youssoupha Fall from Senegal, who plays in a second division league in France.  With thanks to YouTube via Jon Schroeder, I set out to watch a game that he played on April 4th against Saint Quentin.  Here are my thoughts on how he fared, as well as how rates as a prospect for the NBA.

Youssoupha Fall is a mobile, high-motor center that excels at scoring on hustle plays.  He will set screens and roll to the hoop, and on one play, he managed to throw down a thunderous dunk for his team afterwards.  He also can get up the floor fairly quickly, especially for a player his size, and on one play, he even managed to score on a drive on the break despite nearly losing control of the ball.  Also, he will box out his opponents to put himself in position to score off of offensive rebounds.

Also, he may be an adequate low post scorer.  Fall has very good size, strength, and shooting touch, and he can rely on a few go-to moves such as a jump hook or a drop step move to draw fouls and garner buckets on the block.  However, he may not possess an advanced set of moves when he looks to post up, and sometimes he can display questionable footwork at times, as he was called for traveling on one occasion.

He also may possess adequate playmaking skills.  Fall is a good passer that possesses solid court sense.  Early in this game, he managed to hit a cutter on the move from the post to set up a score for his team.  Fall also throws accurate outlet passes, and he excels at finding open teammates from the block.  Plus, he will also set on-ball screens, which can free up shooters or open up driving lanes for them, but sometimes, Fall can be prone to traveling, as he may not always have his footwork on point when he looks to make moves on offense.

Fall also possesses a good ability to rebound the basketball.  He has great length and wingspan to collect many balls in his area, as he can leap up to haul in plenty of defensive boards, and his long reach allows him to get to more balls than most of the players that are on the floor.  He also managed to tip a ball to himself to collect an offensive rebound, and every once in a while he will grab a board in traffic, but sometimes, he may commit loose ball fouls in pursuit of those rebounds.

He also showcased fairly good defensive skills.  Fall is an active help defender, as he managed to swat a shot off of a drive from behind after initially appearing to get beat, as he showed very good recovery speed, length, and timing to force the miss.  Also, he can heap on loose balls to help his team get steals, and he is a good low post defender that will ably contest numerous shots to force misses.

However, he can struggle to defend pick and rolls.  Fall will hedge out on screens, but he can tend to be inexact on his rotations, as he can get beat off the dribble, or give up too much space on a switch, which can lead to scores.  Another time, he once whiffed on a steal attempt when trying to front his man when defending the post, which led to a scramble that helped the other team get the score.

In general, Youssoupha Fall is an interesting prospect that could potentially excel as a role player in the NBA.  He may have the skills to be a rim protector at that level, as he has solid mobility and a very good motor for a player his size, and he can rebound, block shots, and defend in the paint.  Plus, he also is a strong finisher around the basket.  However, he will need to expand on his offensive skills, and he will need to show that he can play well against upper echelon athletes in a fast paced game, but with his skill set, Youssoupha Fall could potentially develop into a Boban Marjanovic type of center in the NBA, as he may be a good value pick for a team in the late second round of the upcoming draft.