Konate To Test NBA Waters, Will Not Hire Agent

Konate To Test NBA Waters, Will Not Hire Agent


MORGANTOWN — Sagaba Konate, who figured to be the centerpiece of Bob Huggins’ 2018-19 West Virginia basketball team, announced on Tuesday that he plays to enter the NBA Draft without signing with an agent.

West Virginia forward Sagaba Konate

West Virginia center Sagaba Konate with a dunk.That leaves the door open for the college game’s top shot-blocker to return next season after he gets input from the league as to where he might go in the draft and what his game needs to take it to the next level.

It is exactly what Jevon Carter did last year, deciding to return and play his senior season in which he became one of the Mountaineers’ most decorated players, earning a second consecutive National Defensive Player of the Year Award as well as Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year, third team All-American and a unanimous Big 12 selection.

Two years ago, Devin Williams also entered the draft and decided to turn professional but went undrafted.

Konate, who will be a junior next season if he elects to return, made the announcement of his decision via Twitter.

“After talking with my family and coaches I have decided to declare for the 2018 NBA without an agent.. excited to learn more about developing my game. The sky is the limit,” read the tweet.
Huggins took the news stoically.

“Sags will go through the NBA Draft procedures in a systematic and professional manner by exploring the situation and leaving open his option to return,” Huggins said in a release by the school.

Konate’s development as a sophomore was monumental, taking huge strides on the offensive end of the court while using increased strength built up in the off-season to continue his improvement as a rebounder and shot blocker.

Is he ready for the NBA?

Probably not, especially emotionally as he often found himself getting involved in on-court situations leading to incidents or technical fouls, twice this year actually sneaking into the opponent’s huddle on the sideline.

Assistant coach Erik Martin, who handles WVU’s big men and did a great job of helping Konate mature as a player, told MetroNews that Konate was making a smart decision by letting the NBA evaluate him.

“It makes sense because Sags had a great year,” Martin said. “Plus, Sags is intriguing because he hasn’t played basketball that long. I think this will give you an idea of what you need to work on to get to the next level.”

Blessed with great athleticism and timing to go with his 6-foot, 8-inch frame, the native of Mali went from 4.1 points a game as a freshman to 10.8 this year, showing a deadly jump hook shot and accurate free throw shooting.

His free throw percentage jumped from 63 percent to 78 percent while he also displayed range on his jump shot, being able to move out to about 17 feet.

He also went from 2.8 rebounds a game to 7.6 and would be expected to break double figures in this department if he returns.

At the same time he had television commentators and opponents raving over his shot-blocking ability, finishing second in Division 1 ball with 116 blocks, many of them of highlight-reel material, elevating straight up and often blocking shots with two hands.

Konate has until June 11 to withdraw from the draft if he plans to return to WVU next season.

Home forums Konate To Test NBA Waters, Will Not Hire Agent

This topic contains 7 replies, has 6 voices, and was last updated by Kevin Kinder Kevin Kinder .

Viewing 8 posts - 1 through 8 (of 8 total)
  • Author
    Posts
  • #57038

    Bob Hertzel
    Muskets: 5,602
    Rank: Junior

    Konate To Test NBA Waters, Will Not Hire Agent MORGANTOWN — Sagaba Konate, who figured to be the centerpiece of Bob Huggins’ 2018-19 West Virginia bas
    [See the full post at: Konate To Test NBA Waters, Will Not Hire Agent]

    #57013
    Greg Hunter
    Greg Hunter
    Muskets: 6,596

    MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (April 3, 2018) – West Virginia sophomore forward Sagaba Konate will submit the paperwork to go through the NBA Draft process, but he will not hire an agent.

    “Sags will go through the NBA Draft procedures in a systematic and professional manner by exploring the situation and leaving open his option to return,” coach Bob Huggins said.

    Konate started 36 games this past season, averaging 10.8 points, 7.6 rebounds and finished the season with 116 blocks.

    #57020
    Kevin Kinder
    Kevin Kinder
    Muskets: 8,975

    I would anticipate this following a similar path to Jevon Carter’s of a year ago.

    #57021
    Butlereer
    Butlereer
    Muskets: 105,815
    Rank: Heisman Winner

    That was JC’s JR year coming back for his SR year.
    Sags SO year testing the waters and getting info so he can work his way into a draft pick after his JR year and forego his SR year?

    We need Sags for his SR year.

    #57022
    Shepherdstown
    Shepherdstown
    Muskets: 23,630
    Rank: Heisman Winner

    This does not surprise me nor alarm me.

    He has Had a good year but can improve once he knows how the pros view him.

    #57024

    Ccteam
    Muskets: 89,269
    Rank: Heisman Winner

    I think he comes back for his junior year but if continues to improve his offensive game he will go after next year.

    #57061
    Butlereer
    Butlereer
    Muskets: 105,815
    Rank: Heisman Winner

    Sags is a quick study. Evidence shown that he’s only played BB for a few years and he’s an NBA prospect already as a SO. This kid has a very high ceiling. Had he played from grade school on and had coaching all along he may have been a one and done. But still, I hope we can keep him for 4 years.

    #57105
    Kevin Kinder
    Kevin Kinder
    Muskets: 8,975

    That was JC’s JR year coming back for his SR year.
    Sags SO year testing the waters and getting info so he can work his way into a draft pick after his JR year and forego his SR year?

    We need Sags for his SR year.

    I was talking about the process of JC last year, not the soph-junior-senior thing. Should have been more clear on that. Think he will be back for his junior year, and that’s based on several conversations with those close to the situation.

    Now, your point about it being a year advanced deserves thought too. I don’t believe it’s an automatic that just because he went through the process this year that he automatically leaves next year. The NBA may tell him things to improve on that he can’t achieve in just one season.

    But, there are a lot of things working toward a potential departure after next year. He’s a big man, which are far more valued than guards. He can defend. He’s mobile. He’s passionate about working hard. If he improves his offensive game half as much this coming year as he did last year (say, extends his range a couple of feet and adds another post move and counter to his repertoire) then I think he’s very draftable in 2019. SO after next year, yes, it’s a concern. But barring something unforeseen, think he’s back for his junior season.

    Agreed that for selfish reasons I hope he stays at WVU for four years.

Viewing 8 posts - 1 through 8 (of 8 total)

You must be logged in to reply to this topic.

Home forums Konate To Test NBA Waters, Will Not Hire Agent