Roundball Mining Company offered this scouting report on Cheikh Samb last month:
Cheikh Samb – C – 7′1″ 240 lbs (Updated 12/22/2008)
Offense: Cheikh Samb is a raw player, but he already has an NBA quality offensive skill and that is a very nice outside shot. Despite his height and lack of experience he has good mechanics and a consistent release. The rest of Samb’s offensive game hinges on drive and dish plays and offensive rebounds. He does not have a post move to speak of yet, but he does have good hands and his quality jump shot displays a willingness and ability to learn. He also has shown an ability to pass out of the post, but he has very limited ball handling abilities and if he puts the ball down in traffic usually does not have it for long.
Defense: Samb can definitely block shots, but he does it simply by being over seven feet tall with long arms. He jumps at everything and needs to learn patience and better timing. He is an OK rebounder, but his slight frame makes it easy for defenders to move him whether it be boxing out or backing him down on the block.
Makeup/Intangibles: We really do not know much about Samb. He can post good numbers in the D-League simply due to his size. He is a long way from being a contributor in the NBA and whether he earns a spot in someone’s rotation may depend on his ability to gain girth. Whether or not he reaches his potential he is the perfect player to be the fourteenth man on the roster as the payoff should he develop could be immense.
There’s also this from Jeremy:
Samb reminds me of Marcus Camby in that he plays every possession for the block. He lays off his man giving him room to drive so that he has the space to gather himself and go up for the block. That tactic may work at this level, but he cannot expect to get away with that type of defense in the NBA. He does try to block everything. On one occasion he actually tried going at a shot when he was under the basket far enough he was closer to the other side of the rim. He also had a teammate between him and the shooter. As a result, when the shot was missed Samb was completely out of position and the Reno player tipped in the miss completely unchallenged.
It also goes without saying that Samb has a difficult time holding his position either defending the post, posting up himself or boxing out on free throws. He is not quick, but on one occasion he was able to help off on a drive and still recover to block his man’s shot. He also had a sequence where he had the ball tipped away from him when he was doubled on the fight block, but he got back quick enough to get a piece of the layup on the fast break at the other end of the floor. Sadly it hit the backboard first and was correctly ruled as goaltending, but it was an impressive play.
Offensively Samb has a very smooth release. We all know he can hit the 18-20 footer. He started getting the ball in the post a little in the fourth quarter. On one occasion when he was posted up on the left block he waived everyone away, made a decent move with his right hand pushing into the lane and lifted a right handed hook that settled softly into the net. Unfortunately it came after the shot clock expired and although it was not called, I think he may have traveled. On another occasion Samb had the ball on the same block, but a little further out. He tried a fade away turn around and although it looked like a nice shot, but it missed badly.
Samb does have very good hands and does a good job of clamping onto the ball when fighting for rebounds. I look for two things in a big man, one is good hands and the other is good footwork, Samb is halfway there.
Overall, he is a very intriguing prospect, but right now the only parts of his game that are NBA caliber are his help side shot blocking and his perimeter set shot.