- UCF star Tacko Fall is widely expected to be selected in the 2019 NBA Draft
- The 7’7″ Senegalese center averaged 11.1 points and 7.6 rebounds in his senior season with the Knights
- Fall projects as a specialist at the next level
The longest player in college basketball has very short odds of being drafted.
The online sportsbook is laying -180 odds that University of Central Florida center Tacko Fall will hear his name called at this evening’s NBA Draft. It’s just the latest indication that the towering Senegalese star is destined to have a future in the Association.
Will Tacko Fall Be Selected in the 2019 NBA Draft?
|Will Tacko Fall Be Chosen in the 2019 NBA Draft?
*Odds taken 06/20/19
Fall is Head and Shoulders Above the Competition
Any discussion about Fall begins and ends with his size. The 23-year-old pivot is 7’7″ in shoes and possesses an outrageous 8’2″ wingspan and 10’2″ standing reach. That’s longer than any other player in the history of the NBA Draft Combine and it means that Fall can dunk without even jumping, which is kind of a big deal in a vertical sport like basketball. At 289 lbs he’s also possesses a surprisingly sturdy frame and can’t easily be pushed off the block by opposing bigs.
Tacko Fall set record-breaking NBA Draft Combine numbers.
He's bigger than Boban ? pic.twitter.com/SxD9nbYI06
— ESPN (@espn) May 19, 2019
Fall put his size to good use at UCF, where he averaged 10.1 points, 7.7 rebounds, and 2.4 blocks per game over four seasons with the Knights. He only took six field goal attempts per contest, but he converted an astounding 74% of them, making him the NCAA’s all-time leader in field goal percentage.
Fall Shined in the NCAA Tournament
Fall rose to the occasion during the 2019 NCAA Tournament with a pair of sensational games. He had 13 points, 18 rebounds, and five blocks in UCF’s 73-58 dismantling of VCU in the opening round before putting up 15 points and six boards against Duke in a heartbreaking 77-76 loss.
Fall was limited by foul trouble against the Blue Devils early on, but was an absolute game-changer during the 25 minutes he played. He swatted three of Zion Williamson’s shots and consistently kept Duke from getting comfortable in the paint with his persistent activity and highly physical defense.
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
Fall’s Game Still has Holes
NBA executives love Fall’s size, but they do have a number of concerns about his fit in today’s league. For starters, he didn’t attempt a single three pointer in his four years at UCF and his range is limited to 8-10 feet from the basket. Fall is also atrocious at the line, where he connected on just 36% of his free-throws during his senior season.
— CBS Sports (@CBSSports) June 18, 2019
Those foibles may be forgiven were it not for the fact that his foot speed is also highly suspect. Fall lacks the lateral quickness to guard perimeter players and stretch fives and will be eaten alive in pick and rolls at the next level. His size is an asset in the right situations, but he’ll be run off the court when opposing teams roll out small ball lineups.
Fall’s size is an asset in the right situations, but he’ll be run off the court when opposing teams roll out small ball lineups.
Fall’s limitations have dropped him out of the first round, but they haven’t dropped him out of the draft altogether. Most reputable mock drafts have him being selected among the final five picks. It’s not hard to imagine him going to New Orleans at no. 57 or Toronto at no. 59. Both teams would benefit from a game-changing center who can disrupt second units for three-to-four minutes at a time.
Too Big to Fail
Fall will likely never be a starting center in the NBA, but he’s an intriguing physical specimen and, by all accounts, a tremendous teammate and very coachable player. Expect a team to take a flier on him late in the second round and stash him in the G League next season where he’ll have a chance to improve his range and get used to the speed and athleticism of the professional game.
Pick: Yes (-180)