Adama Sanogo, the Most Outstanding Player of the 2023 NCAA Tournament, as well as a two-time All-Big East honoree and a former Big East All-Freshman member, had a decorated collegiate career. After reclassifying from the 2021 recruiting class to 2020, Sanogo made an immediate impact and quickly developed into a volume scorer. As a junior this year, Sanogo averaged 17.2 PPG, 7.7 RPG, 1.3 APG, 0.7 SPG, 0.8 BPG, and 1.9 TOPG on splits of 61/36.5/76.7. Below is his full scouting report:
Name: Adama Sanogo
Wingspan/ standing reach: 7’3/9’0.5
Hand size: 10
Pre-Draft team: Connecticut
Tools: Post scoring, rebounding, shooting upside
- Excellent back-to-the-basket & post scorer
- Good rebounder and uses his body to crash the boards
- Growing three point shooter
- Good footspeed in defending drives
- Good runner/floater and has some ability to get around defenders on drives
- Strong, NBA ready frame
- Good motor
- Excellent finisher at the rim
- Has a growing Euro-step that he is becoming more confident in
- Convincing pump fake that allows him to more easily drive to the basket
- Great footwork on post drives
- Long arms
- Awkward jump shot form; will have to continue proving consistency
- Undersized for his role
- Defends with his hands too much on drives
- Struggles with foul trouble too often
- Negative assist:turnover ratio
- Limited playmaker
- Questionable shot selection
- Needs to continue learning better P&R defense and decision-making
- Would benefit from growing his ball-handling package
- 3 point shooting consistency/being able to be a stretch big
- Adapting to a modern role and how he adapts to not being constantly double teamed
Adama Sanogo is an intriguing big man with mobility on the perimeter, shooting upside, and low-post scoring ability.
Offensively, Sanogo took 52 threes as a junior, up from his combined one attempt in his first two years in college. While the form is still a work in progress as a push shot, all indicators suggest that his shooting touch is reliable, giving his jump shooting a reasonable path to translating if he lands on the right team and if his work ethic pays off. As a 2 point scorer, Sanogo has a developing runner, shooting 10/23 on runners for the year which helps him get bailed out against defenders that stop his drive. He also is developing a lethal combination of pump fake + driving ability, which can help him become a complete scorer.
With a prominent post-scoring ability, being able to bully other bigs, Sanogo will be able to play a bit of old school basketball against mismatches in the paint. As Sanogo develops his playmaking, his offense has a very high ceiling given how raw he is at scoring away from the rim out of post-ups. He still is score-first and needs to get better at handling the ball against traffic and double teams, but NBA spacing may do him more favors in the playmaking department,
As a defender, Sanogo does a good job of defending the perimeter, at least with quick feet and being able to stay in front of most drives. This is intriguing as a big, however his low rim protection numbers make him difficult to project being a strongly positive defender. His raw defensive tendencies make it favorable to gamble on him developing well as he polishes his game, but the statistical indicators are neutral, making the right spot for him even more crucial.
Overall, Sanogo’s physical tools with a growing jump shot make Sanogo a fun upside play, with ability to safely score at the rim, a growing jump-shooting ability, and mobility on defense. If he can stay as a low-turnover big and show some hidden playmaking upside with NBA spacing, he should be able to be one of the better bench big men in the NBA.
Similar to: Dan Oturu, David Lee, Elton Brand lite, JJ Hickson
Projected draft range: 45-undrafted
Expected role: Backup scoring big that can handle switches defensively.
Unplayable if: Jump shooting doesn’t translate to be both respected by defenses and in terms of 3P%, as well as if his defensive tools don’t translate.
Exceeds expectations if: Jump shooting makes him a lethal stretch big option that can put the ball on the floor to attack closeouts, and defense is at least near average.
Miscellaneous Synergy Stats:
Catch & Shoot 3s: 20/51 (39.2%)
Off the dribble jumpers: 1-5 (20%)
Half-court at rim: 148/198 (74.7%)
Post-up: 103/176 (58.5%); 86th percentile