Lamine Diane is a forward who played at Cal State Northridge. The 6’7 forward, who is a native of Senegal, could be a sleeper in this year’s draft. Diane routinely appeared in LWOS’ mid-major weekly recaps for his dominant performances. How will his game translate into the NBA?
Lamine Diane 2020 NBA Draft Profile
It felt as though Lamine Diane could never really be stopped during his time at Cal State Northridge. The sophomore swept every award imaginable from the Big West. He was the conference player of the year in both seasons that he played for the Matadors. Diane also won rookie of the year and newcomer of the year as a freshman, the first player in conference history to win those two awards as well as the player of the year award. For his career, he averaged 25.1 points, 10.8 rebounds, 2.3 assists, 1.6 steals, and 2.1 blocks per game.
Diane’s freshman year was especially dominant. He set five single-game program records that season. He also became the fastest player in school history to score 1000 points (40 games). This season, he was academically ineligible during the first half of the season. However, in the 19 games that he did play in, Diane averaged 25.6 points and 10.2 rebounds per game. In that timeframe, he still managed to lead the Big West in double-doubles and 30-point games and capture the player of the year award. Everyone else in the Big West will be glad to see him move on.
One of Diane’s biggest strengths is his rebounding ability. Based on his career averages, he was guaranteed to grab at least 10 a night. Averaging a double-double for your career is pretty impressive. He grabbed roughly a quarter of all defensive rebounds available to him as a Matador, and 16.4 percent of all rebounds. He works hard to crash the glass offensively and defensively.
Diane also knows how to work in the paint. He can score at will down low. He had 14 career 30-point games, which accounted for 26.9 percent of his scoring efforts in his career. In 52 career games, Diane did not score in single-digits once.
He is also a rim protector. Diane could be counted on for at least two blocks per game as well as two steals. He is a smart defender who times up opponents’ shots and swats them away. His aggressiveness sometimes put him in foul trouble though, so he will want to continue to work on his body control.
All of Diane’s dominance occurred against mid-major competition. He played one career game against a power conference opponent, scoring 32 points and grabbing 18 rebounds against Washington State. That is an impressive individual performance, but Washington State is not exactly a model of good high-major basketball. He will need to show that he can play well against top-notch competition consistently.
Diane also needs to improve his offensive efficiency. In essence, he was Cal State Northridge’s offense, so he dominated ball control in college. However, his 48.3 percent career shooting percentage came on roughly 10 makes on 21 attempts. With a majority of his opportunities coming inside, Diane needs to finish more shots or work on only taking quality looks.
Finally, Diane needs to cut down on his turnovers. He averaged 3.1 turnovers per game for his career and turned it over on 11.2 percent of his career possessions. Those numbers could be higher given how often he touched the ball. However, that is still too high of a number for someone who played such a crucial role for his team.
NBA Player Comparison
Dorian Finney-Smith. Finney-Smith has been a productive role player during his time in the NBA. Each year there has been an improvement in his game. Diane could follow the same path if he works on rounding out his game. That includes developing his jumper and becoming crisper in his post-game.
NBA Draft Projection
Mid to late second round.