Mountaineer hoops fans are ecstatic about Sabaga Konate coming back to Morgantown for his junior season. Sags was named to the preseason all-Big 12 team. Fans are excited that they will get to take in his blocked shots, dunks, finger wags and all else that is Sags, instead of him being in the NBA or G-League.
Sagaba Konate block party against Kansas
Sagaba Konate hosted a BLOCK PARTY in the first half Monday night. ???? pic.twitter.com/A7sl7son1X
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) January 16, 2018
Something very interesting happened in the Gold-Blue scrimmage. Sags took a couple three-pointers and made one of them. This wasn’t when the shot clock was running down. This wasn’t at the end of the half. It is something Konate has been working hard on coming into the season.
“I’ve put in a lot of work to extend out my shooting,” Konate said.
If you watch any NBA, you know that everyone is shooting threes these days. Even the big men. Sags came into Morgantown as a very raw prospect. The thought of him shooting threes was basically insane when you look back at the player he was as a freshman. This is a testament to the hard work Konate has put in.
Last year Konate was very comfortable taking 17 footers regularly. It’s just a couple more steps back, right?
“He doesn’t necessarily have to make 3s,” coach Bob Huggins said. “He can, and he’s worked hard at it, but he’s got to be a consistent shooter from 17, 18 feet, because you’ve got to be able to drag your guy away from the basket. You don’t have to shoot a 3 to be able to drag him away from the basket. If you shoot 17-, 18-footers, you’re going to drag him away from the basket.”
Huggins then compared Konate to Kevin Jones. A guy who didn’t take any threes as a freshman, but ended up making 110 3s and shot 31.5% during his career.
“It’s kind of like Kevin Jones,” Bob Huggins said. “As K.J. continued to get better, he shot them more and more, and I think Sags will do the same thing.”
So far Konate has attempted zero three-pointers, but Konate is definitely looking to change that.
Another thing Konate is working on is being able to switch on all defenders. The NBA wants their 4 man to be able to switch because the NBA switches on everything now.
No one wants to see Konate picking up cheap fouls when he switches to a shifty point guard. With the athletic ability Sags possesses, this is something he can definitely add to the arsenal.
“What I’m told by all the NBA guys is they need their 4 man to be able to switch, because they’re switching everything now,” Huggins said. “If you are going to switch, they’re going to put you in a ball screen with the guard. So you have to be able to get the guard in front of you. Nobody is saying you’ve got to stop them all the time. Nobody stops anybody all the time in that league, but you’ve got to be able to keep them in front of you.”
If a physical specimen like Konate can add threes to his arsenal, you are looking at a potential lottery pick for the NBA Draft.