Posted On: 09/14/18 11:13 AM
Karim Coulibaly secured a rebound, put the ball on the deck and went the length of the floor to finesse a contested layup. On the ensuing offensive possession, the 6-foot-9, 220-pound combination forward pulled off a nifty cross over and got into the lane and powered his way to a bucket.
One Division I coach, witnessing Coulibaly’s advanced skill set and wide-ranging offensive game, said his play is tailor cut for the Big East. Another commented on his wingspan and length and the mismatch he elicits in defenses.
Coulibaly, one of the nation’s top remaining prospects, is being pursued by programs such as Providence, St. Joe’s, Rutgers, Tulane, Rhode Island, Cincinnati, and several others. The Maryland native has garnered the attention of UConn and Pittsburgh, who will be on hand to see the multi-dimensional big next week at Scotland Campus Sports in Pennsylvania.
“He’s one of the returning guys from the national team coming back and with his leadership and his toughness in the style that he plays with, he could really take them over the top,” said Scotland Campus Sports head coach and program director Chris Chaney.
“Karim has a real feel for the game and he likes to play defense. With him being left handed, with himi being able to guard nearly every position on the floor, and with him being able to take guys inside and outside, he really creates matchup difficulties.
Coulibaly has displayed an ability to contain guards on the switches and apply pressure to both backcourt positions, shuffling his feet and utilizing his length. Offensively, he’s proven he can step out and hit straight-away 3-pointers with consistency. He leaned on a feathery 15-18 foot jumper last season while also finishing with either hand in the paint. In a high major environment where most guys his size are wildly athletic but lacking in the skill compartments, Coulibaly is very much a throwback. He’s got the look of a game control combination forward with a face-up style and an IQ that enables him to really attack the holes in the defense. A double double in every game is where the expectation level is set for him.
Chaney indicated that St. Joe’s has been in heavy pursuit of Coulibaly, who has developed a rapport with head coach Phil Martelli Sr. and is slated to visit the campus soon. Providence and Tulane have also been in active pursuit of the multi-faceted forward, who could potentially play some point forward at the ensuing level.
Coulibaly, a native of Mali, Africa, is flanked by numerous Division-I players on this year’s national team. The team boasts several high caliber guards, including Maryland native Judah Jordan, high-rising French guard Clarence Nodalny, and a high-octane Class of 2019 prospect in Dequarius Nicholas out of Georgia.
Helping Coulibaly on the frontline will be 6-foot-10 Maryland native Chris Maidoh, he of the 7-foot-3 wingspan and fluid deep jumper. With his length and finishing ability in the open court, Maidoh has the look of a late bloomer prospect who is beginning to develop interest in the mid-major market. His high-release shot is hard to guard and he’s got the defensive mobility working in his favor. If he can continue to pack on muscle and become more of a physical threat, he’s got the chance to be an instant impact prospect.
Chaney’s system will give Coulibaly the freedom to create his own shot and thrive in the one on one game. He’s worked at tightening up his handle and taking defenders off the dribble.
“It would be great to get a decision out of the way so I can focus on the season and have it done with,” said Coulibaly, who began his career at St. Vincent Pallotti. “I will probably visit Tulane, St. Joe’s, and Providence. Those are the three that are recruiting me the hardest right now.”