|Freshman||6’11” 245||Center||Western KY||DOB: 10/28/00|
|14.5 ppg||10 rpg||2.4 bpg||FG: 62.7%||3 PT: 45%|
Strengths: Rebounding, Rim Protection, Inside Scoring, Length
Weaknesses: Explosiveness, Raw Offensively, Lateral Quickness
Bassey is originally from Nigeria, and came over to the United States at age 14 to attend St. Anthony Catholic High School in Texas. He impressed recruiting services and coaches becoming one of the highest ranked players in his class. He finished up at Aspire Basketball Academy in Louisville after his legal guardian was dismissed as an assistant coach at St. Anthony, reclassifying to the class of 2018 once his junior season ended and deciding to play his college basketball at Western Kentucky. Primarily doing most his damage scoring the ball from around the basket, whether it is in a pick and roll situation, or playing with his back to the basket. Bassey’s scoring numbers will not jump off of the page, but he only attempted 8.8 shots per game, meaning that with more usage he would have put up better production. Blocking shots is something that Bassey does very well, averaging 2.4 per game which as a freshman is impressive even with the level of competition that Western Kentucky faces. His length at 7’3″ should allow this to translate to the next level, and his defensive production will be a big part of whether or not he sticks in the NBA. Averaging a double-double with 10 rebounds per game, he has shown that he can be a high level rebounder, and from day one he should be able to pull down boards as a professional.
He is not an explosive athlete vertically, which even with his 7’3 wingspan could be an issue when you consider the size of his peers at the center position. There are plenty of big men that have found a role in the league without being a Dwight Howard type of athlete, but it does make everything much more difficult. With that said, Bassey has shown that he is at least athletic enough with his length to be able to finish around the basket at the college level, and he should be able to replicate that to some degree to the professional game. While he does run the floor well on the fast break, his lateral quickness is not great, and he can be exposed in pick and roll scenarios. This will be something that he will constantly be put into at the NBA level, and it will be imperative that he is able to figure out how to deal with smaller quicker players when he is forced to switch. Bassey did show some potential in being able to hit a mid range jump shot and even the occasional three pointer, going 9 for 20 (45%) on the season. If he can continue to improve his shooting ability and become a threat from outside of the paint, it will allow him a much easier path to earning minutes as a pro. This potential was on display in games like his 25 points and 10 rebounds against UCF, and 19 points to go with 6 rebounds against Wisconsin. It is important that he played well against Wisconsin in addition to putting up 13 points and 15 rebounds against West Virginia, as well as 11 points to go with 12 rebounds against Washington, which will help ease any questions about how he will play against the increased talent level.
This gives you an idea of his ability to finish around the basket:
Here is an example of how he can protect the rim:
WKU 89, Rice 83. :14.3 2nd OT.— Brad Stephens (@BradBGDN) February 8, 2019
Charles Bassey’s 5th block of the night just might seal it. pic.twitter.com/caYdtOnPcl
Bassey could be selected anywhere from the late first round to the middle of the second. There was a time he was seen as a first round pick, but it would not be a complete surprise if he goes in the second round, however if a team likes his potential he could still be taken in the first round. His ceiling as a professional is a starter level center, being able to step out and hit jump shots and score inside while providing solid defense. The worst case scenario for Bassey is that he is unable to extend his game out from the paint and cannot provide enough scoring to earn significant minutes, leading him to be in a limited role as a rim protector coming off of the bench.