Assessing Sekou Doumbouya
June 4, 2019
by Alan Lu
This time around, I decided to watch CSP Limoges’ 6-9 forward, Sekou Doumbouya from France play in a May 4th against JL Bourg-en-Bresse in a French Jeep Elite basketball game, with thanks to YouTube via Massimiliano Aldi. He is an athletic combo forward that has been rated as a potential lottery pick for the 2019 draft all year long, and this match presented another opportunity to assess his skills. Here are my thoughts on how he fared, as well as how his game may translate to the NBA.
Sekou Doumbouya is a very athletic combo forward that runs the floor very well, and he also can make shots from all over the floor. He also has the physical tools to develop into a plus-level defender, though he will need to continue to improve his jump shot and focus on the defensive end. Doumbouya has great athletic gifts, which allow him to excel as a scorer in transition. On one play, he ran the floor to catch a long pass, which enabled him to score on a high-flying, two-handed jam on the break. He also possesses a solid ability to score in the post due to possessing good agility, footwork, and shooting touch. Doumbouya was able to pivot to score on a one-legged, fadeaway turnaround jumper once, and he also managed to use a spin move to score with his right hand while getting an extra free throw another time. But he can sometimes rush his shots when looking to score off the dribble, which can lead him to miss shots wildly around the basket.
He also can occasionally knock down jumpers to help his team space the floor on offense. When Doumbouya has the time and space to get his shot off, he can make a spot-up three off the catch. He was able to make an open corner three early on as he had ample time to set up his shot. However, he struggled to make three-point shots at other moments of this game because opponents would be in position to contest or close out hard on his long-range jump shots, which would cause Doumbouya to speed up his release and rush his shots in the process.
Also, Doumbouya displayed adequate playmaking skills. He is an unselfish player that will look to find the open man to set up plenty of scoring chances for his teammates, and he will sometimes push the ball up the floor to create transition scoring opportunities for himself as his team. He also can throw long, accurate passes, as he was able to complete a long inbounds pass to a teammate late in the third quarter. Doumbouya handles the ball well, and he was able to utilize a seamless behind the back dribble move very early in this match. Though he didn’t grab many boards in this game, Doumbouya was able to collect rebounds on each end of the floor, and he was able to leap up to get a pair of defensive boards.
He also played decent defense in this game. Doumbouya is an active help defender that will compete hard on the defensive end, as was able to jump a pass quickly to obtain a steal, and he will also rotate to block and alter shots in the paint, as he can swat them to his teammates to help get stops. He also has fairly good footwork and agility to defend out on the perimeter, and he also will fight through screens to stay with his man. He also was able to contest pull-up jumpers from inside the arc to force some misses. But sometimes he can be caught ball watching, as he can shade too far one way or end up being out of position, which can lead him to allow scores off the dribble as well as on cuts. He can sometimes struggle to move his feet out on the perimeter, which can lead him to commit fouls as a result.
In general, Sekou Doumbouya is a very athletic, skilled combo forward that has a variety of skills, but he may still need to polish up his overall game. He will need to be a more consistent shooter and play more under control, but his ability to score on off-ball motion plays, in the post, and defend could make him an intriguing prospect for the modern NBA. He could profile well as a small-ball four-man, and he is a talented player that may have a high ceiling as an overall prospect. Right now, he likely projects to go in the mid first round with the chance to go late in the lottery, but if the NBA team that takes him is patient in developing his skills, Doumbouya could end up being a very good player in the association.