2014 Intro: Keita Bates-Diop

954372[1]Keita Bates-Diop is a 6-foot-7 wing with a 7-foot wingspan from University High School in Normal, Illinois. Several Big Ten schools, including Purdue, Illinois and Michigan, have already shown interest in talented combo forward. He was a standout at Michigan’s College Practice Camp in June and visited Ann Arbor a few weeks back. I caught up with the sophomore earlier this week:

For those who haven’t seen you play, can you describe your game a little bit? I play both small forward and power forward because of my versatility and my long arms.

What would you say your biggest strength is? My perimeter, mid-range shooting.

Do you shoot 3’s, or is it mainly inside the arc? I’ll shoot the 3 when I’m open or off the dribble, but I can pull up mid-range.

What do you need to work on the most? My strength and consistency from shooting at all places.

Quick Scouting

His potential is clear. “He’s a long giraffe right now chasing cheetahs,” Mullins [his Illinois Wolves AAU coach] said of Bates-Diop. “But he’s going to transform into something special here in the next couple years.” – IlliniHQ

What schools are recruiting you right now? I have Michigan, Tennessee, DePaul, Illinois, Oregon, Purdue and I think a couple others I can’t think of right now.

Any scholarship offers yet? Just DePaul right now.

You visited Michigan a couple weeks ago, right? Yeah, I went down for the Western Michigan football game. It was good and a lot of fun. I got to see the Big House and talk to a lot of the coaches and players.

Did you get to see the basketball facilities at all? No, that was still under renovation so I didn’t get to see those.

What’d you think of the Big House? It’s great. Amazingly large and it was a lot of fun to be in.

How do you think the visit went overall? I think it went well. I got to get a greater connection with the coaches and talked to a lot of the players. I got to get a personal feeling for the school.

Do you remember which coaches and players you talked to? Let’s see… all of the coaches, the whole coaching staff, and then Tim Hardaway Jr., Zack Novak… I think all the players actually.

What’d you think of the coaches? They’re all great guys and they do a great job over there.

And the players? Yeah, they’re all great too.

What other schools have you visited so far? Illinois and DePaul. I’m going down to Purdue and Tennessee and then possibly Oklahoma State.

Based on what you know so far about Michigan, how do you think you’d fit into the offense? Well they like to get long players that like to get up and down the court and I like to do that.

Is there any player that people like to compare you to? I’m long, sort of like Anthony Davis (Kentucky freshman) and Quincy Miller (Baylor freshman) I guess.

Once you get closer to making a decision, what are you going to be looking for in a school? A good academic program, so when my basketball career is over I can fall back on it, and then just a great overall basketball program that I feel comfortable in.

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