Keita Bates-Diop showcased his basketball talent during an outstanding 2017-18 season at Ohio State. He is now giving NBA general managers, scouts and the like an up-close view of his skills at this year’s NBA draft combine, which started Wednesday and runs through Sunday, in Chicago.
On Thursday, Bates-Diop checked in at 6-7¼ without shoes (6-8½ with shoes) and 224 pounds with just 5.35 percent body fat. He was listed at 6-7, 235 on Ohio State’s official roster last season. The Normal, Ill., native’s wingspan at the combine was measured at 7-3¼. He recorded a standing vertical jump of 30½ inches and a running vertical jump of 35 inches, which is showed in the video below.
— Ohio State Hoops (@OhioStateHoops) May 17, 2018
Bates-Diop had at least one supporter present in the Windy City, as Ohio State head coach Chris Holtmann stopped by to watch him perform in front of NBA personnel.
— Chris Holtmann (@ChrisHoltmann) May 17, 2018
Bates-Diop is considered by many to be a late first-round pick in this year’s NBA draft, which will be held on June 21 at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y. A year ago at this time, being selected in the first round may have been considered a pipe dream for Bates-Diop.
Last May, he was only a few months removed from season-ending surgery for a stress fracture in his left shin that grew progressively worse during the 2016-17 season. Despite undergoing a serious operation, Bates-Diop was named the 2018 Big Ten Player of the Year after averaging 19.8 points, 8.7 rebounds, 1.6 assists and 1.6 blocks per game while shooting 48.0 percent (247 of 515) from the field and 35.9 percent (66 of 184) from three-point range.
“He’s a big-time shot-maker,” Holtmann said of the former Buckeye on March 26, the day Bates-Diop declared for the NBA draft. “I think he can do it at all different spots. I really give our coaching staff a lot of credit because they did a great job both in skill instruction with him and getting him to his spots on the floor. (Assistant coach) Ryan Pedon has said this multiple times, ‘Keita is maybe the best guy I’ve ever coached in terms of if you get him to his spot and it’s over because he’s going to make something good happen.’ You’ve just got to get him to his spot. When we struggled at times, it was teams that thought it was a football game and somehow were allowed for it to be a football game and they didn’t let him get to his spots. If he struggled, that was part of it. He’s unbelievable if you get him to his spots.”