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Report: Moussa Diabate staying in NBA Draft after one season at Michigan

The former five-star is officially off to the pros.

NCAA Basketball: Michigan at Ohio State Joseph Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports

After playing one season with the Michigan Wolverines, Moussa Diabate will not be returning to Ann Arbor and has decided to stay in the 2022 NBA Draft, according to Jeff Goodman.

In his freshman season at Michigan, Diabate earned Big Ten All-Freshman Team honors after averaging 9.0 points, 6.0 rebounds and 0.9 blocks in 24.9 minutes per game. He shot 56.4% from the field and 61.9% from the free throw line. It took him a bit to find his footing, but he never gave up the starting spot after taking it away from Brandon Johns early in the year.

I can hear what Michigan fans are saying as they’re reading this: “Moussa’s not ready, he’s too raw on offense, he needs another year or two to grow before he goes to NBA.” Whatever your opinion is, NBA teams are clearly impressed and have promised him enough to entice him to pursue his professional dreams.

In an interview with The Detroit News last month, Diabate said he had meetings with about 10 teams at the combine, including the Denver Nuggets, Miami Heat, Dallas Mavericks, Los Angeles Lakers and Los Angeles Clippers. He also worked out for the Indiana Pacers.

It’s not hard to see why NBA teams swooned over Diabate at the combine. He’s an incredibly versatile defender who can protect the rim and hold his own against guards on switches. He also improved offensively as the year went on, showcasing a nice face-up game, finishing through contact on the block and developing a nice baby hook in the post.

Diabate still has room to grow — he doesn’t have much of an outside shot and dropped way too many interior passes last season. That said, his potential is off the charts and if he continues to improve his handle and get comfortable taking more than a few dribbles at a time, he’ll have a lengthy pro career.

We here at Maize n Brew loved watching him play in Ann Arbor. While we wish he was returning for another season, we’re happy he’s pursuing his dreams and we’ll keep you updated on how his NBA journey goes.