As basketball season approaches, we at FTRS will be breaking down the team player by player. Today, we take a look at Abdoulaye Gueye.
Abdoulaye "A.D." Gueye will enter his second season with the Yellow Jackets. The sophomore came from Birmingham, AL by way of Dekar, Sengal as a 3-star recruit. Gueye had more than eight Division I offers, including Auburn, Memphis, Tennessee and UAB. He was probably pursued the strongest by Texas Tech and Minnesota.
Gueye's potential was highly sought after. With more than a 7-foot wingspan and ability to shoot the 12-to-15 footer, the power forward averaged a double-double at Central Park Christian. Offensively, Gueye's skills were thought of as pretty good. He passed the ball well out of the low post and solid at putting the ball on the floor. But, Georgia Tech and other schools who recruited Gueye were mostly impressed by his defense and rebounding abilities. Many recruiting circles praised the sophomore mostly for his knowledge of the game and ability to consistently be in position to make a play.
In high school, Gueye's 14 points and 12 rebounds per game helped Central Park win the state championship for its division. It also helped him earn Defensive MVP for the title game.
Entering his freshmen year, Head Coach Brian Gregory did not redshirt him as he played sparingly throughout the season. Coach Gregory coveted Gueye's combination of height, length and athleticism to help strengthen Georgia Tech's defense.
Gueye appeared in only eight games, averaging a modest 4.3 minutes when he did get playing time. Still Gueye's defensive presents was felt, recording six boards, three steals and a couple of blocked shots in his limited time.
The 2015-2016 will be an interesting one for Gueye and the Georgia Tech basketball team. The true sophomore is versatile, capable of guard multiple positions and being a threat offensively. But the Yellow Jackets, who haven't really established an identity of how they want to play this season, will still have to define a role for their athletic big.
Will he be called upon to defend bigger wing players? Use his length in zone defenses to create turnovers? Perhaps be set in the short corner, ready to knock down 15-footers?
The short answer is: ‘Yes.' It would be great to use Gueye in all of those roles. But Tech has seven other bigs on the roster, including three bringing significant playing experience, one large graduate transfer and a highly touted incoming freshman in Sylvester Ogbonda.
Gueye's ability to contribute will solely depend on how the Jackets and Coach Gregory want to play. If the team plays an up-tempo style, allowing defense to create offense and getting into passing lanes, I see Gueye logging a lot of minutes. But, Gueye is a very smart player. His ability to be in position, defend and rebound may be too much to keep on the bench.