Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Niang's Evolution In Full Swing At TCA

Having tweaked a once-spotty shot selection and ramped up his awareness, TCA junior forward Malishaw Niang is shaping into a viable third scoring option.

At 6-foot-7 and 193 pounds, the native of the Senegal brings a soft touch from 20+ feet, a consistent mid-range game, adeptness at scoring from the wings, and the ability to play instinctively on both ends end of the floor. The energy is there, as is the effort. Don't be surprised to see him sprawl onto the floor for a loose ball or guard multiple positions.

 On a roster rife with interchangeable guards, however, Niang must pack on muscle and assert himself on the blocks.

Since TCA bid adieu to 6-foot-10 behemoth and Top-20 national recruit Austin Wiley (now at Auburn), there's been a considerable void inside the paint.

Niang is best suited for the 3-4 positions, albeit he possesses the versatility and athleticism to progress into a certifiable rim protector.

Still grasping the nuances of the American game and a speedball-centric offense, Niang has been a decent surprise for head coach Shaun Wiseman and company.

Possessing a combination of length and durability (he's visibly not afraid to absorb the brutal contact from the trees down low), Niang must establish himself as a low-post scorer.

 This would entail less settling for jumpers and more back to the bucket moves and fearless point-blank finishes.

Especially with the way TCA's frontline has thinned out in rapid fashion.

While his Division-1 weight may eventually tip the mid to high-major scales, Niang must pack muscle onto his spindly frame.

Coaches have been quick to indicate a monstrous work ethic from the junior, who has turned in more multi-hour workouts at nearby YouFit in Orlando this break.

Several prep programs with a national reputation wooed Niang. A kid who speaks several different languages fluently, Niang chose the first-year program at TCA because of its international flavor. His primary language, French, is spoken fluently amongst teammates Luguentz Dort, Mel Esso, and 7-foot Center Ari Boya.

Just how effectively the Class of 2018 forward incorporates a sturdy post game into his arsenal (and creates his own shot with efficiency) will determine TCA's balance.

He'll have an excellent proving ground during the second week of January 2017. That's when TCA treks to Kentucky for its third Grind Session event of the season.