The student voice of Washington State University since 1895

The Daily Evergreen

The student voice of Washington State University since 1895

The Daily Evergreen

The student voice of Washington State University since 1895

The Daily Evergreen

Mouhamed Gueye stars in NBA Summer League

The former Coug showed why the Hawks drafted him
WSU forward Mouhamed Gueye reaches for the ball during the tip-off of an NCAA men’s basketball game against Northern Kentucky, Dec. 7.

Most second-round picks do not end up contributing significantly to an NBA team. It is just the nature of the league, with only 15 players per roster and 60 in the draft every year there is only room for a limited amount of late picks to get a chance. One of the best ways to beat the odds as a second-rounder is to show out in Las Vegas at the NBA Summer League.

Fortunately for Mouhamed Gueye, he has done just that.

Gueye’s Summer League started with just that, a start. The Hawks gave Gueye the nod at center for the first game against the Kings. Gueye had a green light in the loss, taking 10 shots and hitting four. He made his only free throw and recorded a block, a steal, three assists and five rebounds in his 23 minutes of action. Gueye finished with 10 points.

After the first game, someone must have told the Hawks coaching staff that despite his two years at center for WSU, Gueye is actually a forward. In the remaining four games, he had four starts, all of them now at power forward. While he did not take 10 shots in any more games, his percentages climbed and his scoring did not dip with his shot count. 

In the second game against the Nuggets, Gueye managed 10 points again. This time, he shot only five times, with three makes. Two of his makes came on three-point shots and went 2-for-5 from the free-throw line. While he recorded no defensive stats, he had six rebounds and two assists as the Hawks beat Denver. 

After proving his ability to be efficient as a scorer, Gueye now had to demonstrate his defensive acumen had also transferred. He got up to 11 points in the third game, but more importantly, he got two blocks and a steal with six rebounds. Gueye showed Atlanta who they had drafted, a savvy on-ball defender and an elite rim protector at the power forward position. 

The fourth game was certainly his best game. Throughout the Summer League, Gueye was taking the jumpers that he needs to be taking to be productive at an NBA level, but his percentage from outside was only 33%. In his fourth game, he made two of his three shots from three-point range, and his percentage climbed above 40%. He also had eight rebounds, an assist and two blocks. Getting 10 points and those kinds of other stats again was just what Gueye needed to show his potential to the league. 

Gueye’s fifth and final game was unfortunately his worst in Vegas, with only seven points and only one rebound. However, he still managed a block and a steal.

Gueye finished Summer League with stats that showed progress. While the sample size is small, he shot 10% better from the NBA three-point line than he ever did from the shorter NCAA equivalent. 

This is a huge deal for his NBA future, as his role will have to be that of the stretch four if he wants a chance to play early. While his counting stats did not match those he put up in his last year at WSU, the shooting and the defense point in a fantastic direction for Gueye and the Hawks.

Justin Powell also played in the Summer League for the Miami Heat, but he saw limited action and struggled in the minutes he got. Hopefully, the Heat still see his potential as a sharpshooter, as they are the best chance for him to make the NBA moving  forward.

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About the Contributors
HAYDEN STINCHFIELD, Evergreen sports co-editor
Hayden Stinchfield is a senior in Criminology from Washougal, WA. He is considered by some experts to be the greatest to ever spot birds. Hayden began working at the Evergreen in fall 2022, and became Sports Co-Editor in summer 2023.
Julian Caballero is a photographer for the Daily Evergreen. He is a junior broadcast production major from Tacoma, Washington. Julian began working for the Daily Evergreen in fall 2022.