UCF head men’s basketball coach Johnny Dawkins announced the addition of Mamadou N’Diaye as an assistant coach for the Knights on on June 7, 2021. N’Diaye is responsible for the group of forward’s on UCF’s roster, making sure they’re sharp on both sides of the ball.
N’Diaye came to UCF after two seasons as an associate coach at the University of San Francisco, having previously been an assistant at Coastal Carolina (2011-13) and Georgia Tech (2014-16).
N’Diaye’s second campaign with the Knights saw the team post a 19-15 record with a big man trio of fifth-year players Michael Durr and Lahat Thioune and freshman Thierno Sylla. He also played a role in helping shape Taylor Hendricks’ offensive game inside the three-point line. Hendricks led the team in scoring and blocks, averaging 15.1 points per game and swatting aside 57 shots. His remarkable freshman campaign led to Hendricks becoming the program’s first one-and-done and lottery pick, going ninth overall to the Utah Jazz in the 2023 NBA Draft. Durr was a key piece to the team’s success as well, shooting 46.1% from the field and pulling in 4.6 rebounds per game. He was second on the team in blocks with 23 rejections. The team was 15-10 in games where Durr played.
In N’Diaye’s first season with the Black and Gold in 2021-22, the Knights posted an 18-12 overall record, including a 9-9 mark in The American. N’Diaye’s big man duo of Cheikh Mbacke Diong and Jamille Reynolds were crucial to the team’s overall success, combining for 10.3 points and 8.0 rebounds per game. Mbacke’s 44 blocks were good for seventh in the conference and 89th in the nation.
A former NBA player for the Toronto Raptors (2001-03), Dallas Mavericks (2003-04), Atlanta Hawks (2003-04), and Los Angeles Clippers (2004-05), N’Diaye was a four-year standout at Auburn and enjoyed a 10-year professional career before joining the coaching ranks.
N’Diaye, a native of Dakar, Senegal – the home city of former UCF star Tacko Fall and former Knights’ big man Mbacke Diong – was the first Senegalese player to be selected in the NBA Draft when he was chosen 26th overall by the Denver Nuggets in 2000.
He began his coaching career in 2011 at Coastal Carolina, joining the staff of Cliff Ellis, his college coach at Auburn. In three seasons at Coastal, he helped guide the Chanticleers to a 54-40 record and a 32-18 record in the Big South Conference, while reaching the postseason twice, culminating with a Big West Championship and the program’s first NCAA Tournament bid in 21 years.
With N’Diaye working primarily with Coastal’s post players, the Chants led the Big South Conference in rebounding margin his first two seasons (+5.7 each year), while finishing second in 2013-14 (+4.7). Coastal also led the Big South in field goal percentage defense (.402) and scoring defense (68.4 ppg).
In 2014, N’Diaye was hired as an assistant to Brian Gregory at Georgia Tech. In his two years coaching the Yellow Jackets, N’Diaye tutored starting post players Demarco Cox, Nick Jacobs and Charles Mitchell to their best performances as collegians, helping Tech set a school record for rebound margin two years running and finishing first and second, respectively, in the Atlantic Coast Conference in that category. All three players set career highs for scoring average and field-goal percentage.
N’Diaye joined Todd Golden’s staff at San Francisco for the 2019-20 season and helped lead the Dons to a 22-12 record, tying the program record for most wins in a season since the program’s reinstatement. San Francisco earned victories over Princeton, California, Fresno State and BYU and advanced to the West Coast Conference semifinals, before falling to Gonzaga, the No. 2 team in the nation, 81-77.
In the 2020-21 season, shortened due to the COVID-19 pandemic, San Francisco went 11-14, but earned wins over fourth-ranked Virginia and on the road against Nevada.
N’Diaye, who began playing basketball at age 18, was a four-time letter-winner at Auburn and helped the Tigers reach unprecedented heights. The starting center for the 1998-99 season, N’Diaye helped Auburn climb as high as No. 2 in the nation in both the Associated Press and USA Today/ESPN Coaches polls and finished the season No. 4 in the country. Auburn won the outright SEC Championship, the SEC Western Division Championship and set the state of Alabama record for victories in a season with a 29-4 overall mark.
In his senior season of 1999-2000, Auburn was the preseason No. 1 ranked team in the nation by Sports Illustrated, spent most of the year in the top 10, had the second-longest homecourt winning streak in the nation at 30 games, leading the SEC’s Western Division for 29 straight weeks dating back to the 1998-99 season.
Individually, N’Diaye was a two-time All-Southeastern Conference performer and ranks second all-time at Auburn in blocked shots (241) and eighth in rebounding (798). During his junior season, N’Diaye recorded 77 rejections to break Charles Barkley’s career blocked shots record. He tallied at least 25 blocked shots in each of his four years at Auburn and registered at least 66 in his final three seasons. N’Diaye played in 128 games during his career at Auburn, which ranks second all-time in school history.
As a freshman at Auburn, N’Diaye received the Greg Pratt Award, given to the Auburn student-athlete who best excelled in his sport and in academics. After concluding his professional career, he returned to Auburn to complete his bachelor’s degree in international business in June of 2011.