April 5, 2012

Grading the Huskies: Aziz N'Diaye

Much like the rest of his teammates, junior center Aziz N'Diaye was much of an enigma for most of the season.

N'Diaye was Washington's only true center this season, so the pressure on him was unfairly high, but he just wasn't good enough.

On defense, the big 7-footer was all UW had inside. The Huskies needed him to enforce the middle of the paint, but he didn't effectively do that. N'Diaye played six minutes more per game this year than last, but his blocks actually decreased to 1.0 per contest.

Not only were his blocks down, but he consistently got bullied around and was seemingly always in foul trouble. When a front court is as thin as Washington's was this season, you have to get more than 23 minutes per game from your center.

N'Diaye couldn't provide that.

If N'Diaye was competent on offense, that might have made up for his disappointing defensive performances, but far from competent he was.

The big man averaged 7.8 points per game, but he shot 52 percent from the field - down from 58 percent last year - and 40 percent from the free-throw line. Yuck.

Don't get it wrong, N'Diaye certainly deserves credit for his offensive development this season. Every time he caught the ball in the post this season, you were pretty sure it was going to end in either a missed shot or a turnover.

Now, Aziz has developed a little hook shot that he is consistent with. He still struggles with decision making when the defense brings a quick double team, but he can score if he has time and is under control.

Nonetheless, it's hard to be happy when your starting center puts together a season that is highlighted by disappointing defense and minimal improvement on offense.
N'Diaye gets a C.

Up next: C.J. Wilcox

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