|Senior||7’7″ 288.8||Center||UCF||DOB: 12/10/95|
|11.1 ppg||7.6 rpg||2.6 bpg||FG: 74.8%||FT: 36.2%|
NBA Comparison: Manute Bol
Strengths: Shot Blocking, Length, Inside Scoring, Rebounding, Size
Weaknesses: Shooting, Agility, Endurance, Athleticism, Ball Handling
It is hard to miss Tacko Fall when you turn on a game that he is participating in, standing at 7’7″, there are few people in the world with a similar height to the center. With his height also comes great length measuring in at a 8’2.25″ wingspan with a standing reach of over 10′. These numbers are some of the most impressive measurements of any player that has gone through the NBA combine, and he actually exceeded expectations when it came to what he is what going to measure. Shot blocking and rim protection are the strongest parts of his game at this point, and he will most likely need to be an elite shot blocker at the next level to have a chance of sticking in the league. Fall only had one season where he averaged less than 2 blocks per game and that was 1.9 per game, so when you factor in the limited minutes that he has played those numbers are impressive. He can effect the game by causing players to not drive in the lane, or they challenge him and leave themselves open to having the ball swatted away. As a scorer he is fairly limited in his ways that get a basket, but he did average double digits in points his last three college seasons mainly scoring on put backs and being set up by teammates around the basket. He will not be asked to score the basketball with regularity at the next level, however he can get a team a bucket by getting position down low or an offensive rebound. As a rebounder Fall has been very effective with his best season coming as a sophomore where he brought down 9.5 per game in 26.3 minutes. He will need to work on boxing out and gaining inside position, but he can grab a significant amount of rebounds by his size and length alone, which should still be the case at the professional level. While his size is certainly an asset, there have been players who are similar in height that have played in the NBA over the years with mixed results, making him one of the more difficult players to analyze in the draft class or compare to other professional players. Fall played better than many analysts were projecting in the scrimmage portion of the NBA combine, racking up 5 blocks over the 2 games to go with 9 points and 8 rebounds in about 40 minutes of play total for the most part improving his stock.
With many centers in the NBA now stepping out and hitting three point shots, players like Fall have become somewhat less valuable to NBA franchises who want to run an offense where all five players on the floor can shoot at a high level. It is highly unlikely that Fall will ever become the type of shooter that can stretch the floor, but he needs to be able to knock down free throws considering the rate that he gets fouled on the inside. He had his worst year from the free throw line as a senior shooting them at 36.2% on 4.9 attempts per game, and this is a major concern with Fall possibly being a liability on the floor if he is to get fouled. With that said he does not need to become a consistent outside shooter or even in the mid range to earn minutes, but if he cannot improve his shooting from the line it will negatively impact his playing time at whatever level of professional basketball he plays. His agility is a concern, with Fall struggling to handle switches on pick and rolls which would occur often at the NBA level. He also struggles to run the floor at times given his size, and the speed of the professional game could cause problems for him going forward. Much like his shooting he will not be asked to lead the fast break or anything close to that, however he need to improve his quickness and speed to help him compete as the speed of the game increases. Stamina will be a major focus as he enters the professional ranks, with Fall only playing over 25 minutes per game in one of his four seasons at UCF. There is not a likely scenario where Fall is able play 30 plus minutes a night as a pro and teams know that going into the draft, but it makes it that much more difficult to earn minutes and impress teams when you are limited in the amount of time you can be put on the floor. Fall is still fairly new to organized basketball suggesting that he has plenty of room to improve in his game, adding to the intrigue with his overall projection.
This play shows his ability to roll off the screen and finish at the basket:
Here comes UCF! Tacko Fall and the Knights start the second half strong to cut Duke’s lead to one pic.twitter.com/EaUXswoDdk— SI College Hoops (@si_ncaabb) March 24, 2019
Here is an example of how he can effect the games on both ends of the court:
Fall is projected as a late second round pick by some analysts, while others have him going undrafted. His ceiling as a professional is a role player most likely coming off of the bench giving the team solid spurts of shot blocking and interior scoring. The worst case scenario for Fall is that he is unable to handle the speed of the professional game well enough to earn minutes at the NBA level, leading him to play most of his career in the G League or overseas.