MORGANTOWN, W.Va. - Remi Dibo's scoring average and 3-point percentage at Casper College leave few concerns about whether the newest West Virginia basketball signee can make it with the Mountaineers.
Yet if that's no secret to a populace barely familiar with the 6-foot-9, 230-pound forward, trust it won't be absent from scouting reports once Dibo gets deeper into WVU's 2013-14 schedule. Fortunately for the Mountaineers, Casper Coach Dan Russell said Dibo has a workaround built into his game.
"He's really crafty," Russell said.
Dibo shot 41.9 percent from 3-point range last season and averaged 18.2 points as a second-team All-American. About 55 percent of his field goal attempts were 2-point shots and Dibo made 46 percent of those in a variety of different ways.
"He's crafty with how he ball-fakes, with how he finishes around the rim, with his shot array for the type of shots he takes on the perimeter," Russell said. "He's got a good step-back, he's great with the pump-fake and then he shoots it really well. He's just really good with the ball and he's deceptive with the ball."
Russell, a Casper assistant for the five semesters Dibo was on campus who has since been promoted to head coach, saw opponents realize they had to rush out to the perimeter to contest Dibo. He then watched Dibo make hasty defenders look silly. He would wait for them to fly by and then shoot. Or he'd slide and shoot. Or he'd dribble inside. Or he'd pass and cut.
When Dibo was inside, he could use his body and his moves to draw fouls or to jump up and shoot over a defender.
"He understands how defenses play him and he understands how to play while he's being scouted," Russell said. "He's a really intelligent player and that has a lot to do with his international background. He's been all over. He's played against a million different types of players. He's kind of seen it all because he's played for such a long time."
Dibo, who is 21 and right-handed, is on track to get his associate degree from Casper. He was born in the Ivory Coast and has dual citizenship in France. He lived in Paris for many years and was on the under-16 national team.
He also played for Team Africa in the adidas Nations Camp that features some of the world's best under-18 players.
It was there where Dibo discovered he was quicker than power forwards he would play, but not as agile as the small forwards. He started building a game that could work against either defender. Then he started applying it in games and became much more popular on the recruiting trail.
Dibo was offered a scholarship by Kentucky to be a part of the 2009-10 recruiting class. He couldn't get his grades in order before the Wildcats convinced Terrence Jones to de-commit from the University of Washington and pick the team that would beat the Mountaineers in the 2011 NCAA Tournament.