Earlier this week, New Mexico State graduate transfer Sidy N’Dir decided to join the Pitt basketball program.
N’Dir will only spend one year with the Panthers but his experience will be valuable to Jeff Capel’s two incoming freshman guards Trey McGowens and Xavier Johnson.
What kind of player is Pitt getting in N’Dir?
Pittsburgh Sports Now caught up with New Mexico State basketball beat writer Mark Rudi who gave me some good insight into N’Dir.
PSN: What was your reaction when you saw that Sidy committed to Jeff Capel and Pitt?
Mark Rudi: “I wasn’t really surprised. Actually, I saw him over the weekend as he was on my flight Sunday and he seemed like he really liked going to Pitt. He really liked what Coach Capel had to offer and the facilities at Pitt so I had a hunch that he would be going there. I think he’ll fit in great there and he definitely is a Power Five player. If you watched him here at New Mexico State, it’s obvious he has the talent to fit in at Pitt and really compete well in the ACC.”
PSN: You mentioned he’s a Power Five player, what makes you say that?
Mark Rudi: “I think Sidy’s best attribute is his defense. He was the defensive stopper and would always guard the other teams best player. I can’t tell you how many times he held the opposing teams best player under their season average and it wasn’t just the teams in the WAC. They beat Miami last year, they played Illinois, Davidson, New Mexico and UTEP and was really able to slow down their best player. If you want a shutdown defender, Sidy N’Dir is your guy.”
“On the offensive end, I think he can score. It sounds like he might have more of a point guard role at Pitt. He didn’t have that role much here, as he was mostly the two guard. He was the leading scorer the year before getting hurt and then this year, with the new coach, he kind of took a different role on the team. He’s definitely showed in his career the ability to score, is a solid 3-point shooter and is an aggressive player to the basket.
PSN: Sidy is going to probably be asked to take on a leadership role on this team especially with the young guards, is he prepared for that role?
Mark Rudi: “Sidy is kind of a quiet guy but he is a leader by example. When he’s been asked to do it before, he has shown the ability to do so. He will get vocal at times but in my conversations with him he’s normally a quiet guy. He’ll be valuable because he’s played in the NCAA Tournament this year and was on an NCAA Tournament team last year but didn’t play in it because he was hurt. So he’s been there and he’s also played in the NIT as well. He knows what it takes to get to the tournament and win but also play at a high level. He’s played on winning programs his whole career here at New Mexico State so that sort of leadership and experience should be valuable at Pitt.