Toronto,ON- It is well known now that in a bid to move one step closer to his NBA dream, Tanor Ngom, formerly of the Ryerson Rams is leaving downtown Toronto to join the Florida State Seminoles of the NCAA.
The news dropped July 10 with a post on Ngom’s Instagram.
This is a big step for the 22-year-old big man, as he’s transferring to a school that before COVID-19 had visions of going deep into March Madness in 2020. The big question now though is what happens for the team he left behind?
What will the impact to Ryerson be on both ends of the floor of losing the Ram’s towering centre from Senegal and what can be done to fill that void?
On the Offensive End
After a solid but unspectacular rookie season with Ryerson in 2017-18, Ngom really burst onto the scene in August 2018 against Duke University where he broke Alex O’Connell’s face with a towering dunk.
Since that game in OUA regular season and the playoffs Ngom has seen his role, his opportunities and subsequently his production increase year over year. How much will the Rams miss him now?
Well, the good people over at SacTown Royalty, the SB Nation site covering the Sacramento Kings, created an Advanced Basketball Stats Calculator and together we are going to use it to take a closer look at Ngom and his place among not just in the Rams hierarchy, but among the OUA’s elite.
Ngom hasn’t actually seen his direct role in the Rams offense increase all that much. Through two years under (now Sacramento Kings Assistant Coach) Roy Rana and then the last season under Borko Popic, Ngom’s usage rate rose just 2.7% from 22.1% in 2017-2018 to 24.8% in 2019-20.
In 2017-18 he was actually 2nd on the Rams in Usage Rate which is fascinating considering his 12.8 minutes per game put him 9th in the rotation.
Rams Usage Rate 2017-18
Manny Diressa: 30.6% | 21.8 PPG – 43.1/37.6/75.8
Tanor Ngom: 22.1% | 5.8 PPG – 52.1/66.7/51.8
JV Mukama: 20.3% | 11.3 PPG – 40.2/25.7/63.0
Myles Charvis: 17.9% | 12.0 PPG – 44.0/31.0/68.8
This points to the idea that whilst he wasn’t on the court a significant margin of time, when he was the ball would either continue to run through Manny Diressa the Rams would force feed the rookie Ngom attempts in the paint (he only took three 3-point attempts all year). The main thing dragging Ngom down was actually his weak free throw shooting as his 76 attempts were second on the Rams but his 51.8% success rate was second last among rotation players. Even so he ended his first season with a place on the OUA All-Rookie Team.
In 2018-19, Ngom really took off, we talked about the facebreaking dunk earlier but that was just one of many as the big man grew more confident each time he stepped on Coca Cola Court. I mean just check out examples like this:
Rams Usage Rate 2018-19
JV Mukama: 26.7% | 18.4 PPG – 45.7/38.1/70.1
Tanor Ngom: 23.4% | 11.3 PPG – 63.8/25.0/81.3
Filip Vujadinovic: 21.7% | 11.3 PPG – 47.3/27.9/61.7
Myles Charvis: 21.6% | 16.0 PPG – 48.6/41.6/82.5
The Rams had to take a different approach in 2018-19 with no Manny Diressa. The offense went from one straw stirring the drink to a more collective approach. This approach resulted in career years for all three of their Rams veterans in Mukama, Charvis and Vujadinovic and a strong second season for Ngom. The biggest growth point being his incredible 30% improvement in free throw percentage.
Despite missing the first six games of the season, Ngom had his true peak year for the Rams offensively this past season. This included a career high 24 points against the Ottawa Gee-Gees in January and hitting double digits in points in all but two of his 16 games played.
Rams Top 4 Usage Rate 2019-20
Tevaun Kokko: 30.0% | 23.7 PPG – 49.9/45.2/82.3
Jayden Frederick: 27.4% | 19.1 PPG – 46.0/38.2/71.1
Tanor Ngom: 24.4% | 16.7 PPG – 63.5/18.8/78.4
Mouhamed Ndiaye: 22.1% | 9.9 PPG – 42.5/38.9/70.4
The breakout of Jayden Frederick allowed Ngom to slide to being the third option as the main man in the paint surrounded by a pair of gunners in Kokko and Frederick.
The big thing that stands out across his career but in in 2019-20 especially is Ngom’s efficiency.
A key way to look at this is through True Shooting Percentage. Among the top 40 eligible scorers in the OUA in 2019-20 the True Shooting Percentage averaged 55.26% which is slightly above average but Ngom paced the entire group with an incredible 70% true shooting percentage.
1. Tanor Ngom – Ryerson Rams: 70.0%
2. Lloyd Pandi – Carleton Ravens: 69.5%
3. Julian Walker – Western Mustangs: 67.6%
4. Kadre Gray – Laurentian Voyageurs: 62.3%
5. Tevaun Kokko – Ryerson Rams: 62.1%
Some people will argue that Tanor’s 18.8 three point percentage, points to a lack of ability to create beyond the paint but concurrently it could be that Ngom is a master of making shots in the places that he can which when coupled with a strong free throw percentage (Top 15 in the OUA) lends itself to the idea that FSU can look to him if they need guaranteed points in the paint.
Ngom On the Defensive End
The biggest thing that the Ryerson Rams are going to miss from Tanor Ngom on the defensive won’t actually just be the thunderous blocks he managed to pull out on occasion to wow the Mattamy Athletic Centre faithful but rather the less talked about but very important skill of rebounding
The Rams led the OUA in Rebounds per game in 2019-20 with a league best 44.4 including an impressive 32.3 defensive rebounds per game a full two and a half more than the Lakehead Thunderwolves in 2nd place. A lot of that came on the very tall back of Tanor Ngom who managed to nearly double his rebounds per game in 2019-2020 from 5.6 the previous season to 11.5 last year.
This peaked in Jan. 2020 when Ngom broke the Ryerson school record for rebounds in a game with 23 on Jan. 11 vs Western and then managed another 19 rebound performance against the Ottawa Gee-Gees on Jan. 24.
The changes to their offense will be easier to stomach but the biggest way the Ryerson will have to adjust to losing a centre so effortlessly able to box out opponents and swallow up rebounds all around the paint like the Rams personal Roomba.
If I am being honest though, the Rams are going to miss the powerful paint protection that Ngom’s incredible blocking ability provided.
In 2018-19 his 48 blocks on the season set the Rams single season record and helped pace their 2nd in the OUA defensive record at allowing just 63.4 points per game. Across his career he finished in the top five in OUA in blocks in each of his three seasons including second place twice, only losing out to the absolutely absurd Lock Lam of the Lakehead Thunderwolves who in 2019-20 alone posted 77 blocks, more than double Tanor’s total in second place.
Who will fill Tanor’s place?
There isn’t really one answer for the Rams going forward. Just based on height the next two tallest Rams would be Tom Dumont and Nikola Ursevic at six foot seven each. Dumont profiles more as a guard though and Urosevic only just entered the rotation last season. With the pandemic throwing the 2020-2021 season into flux it will be interesting to see how recruiting is handled for the Rams this year and the years to follow to try and figure out a new answer.
It will be a challenge for new Head Coach David DeAveiro to find someone to replace Ngom for the Rams but the time was right for the big man to take what he believes is the next step in his NBA dream.
Any Advanced Statistics Courtesy of the Calculator Available on www.sactownroyalty.com