Chase Harler, Sagaba Konate, and Maciej Bender should add depth to West Virginia

Bob Huggins and West Virginia signed a trio of prospects in the fall. How have the three performed during their high school season? Scout breaks it down.

Maybe the recruiting signed by Bob Huggins who is expected to have the biggest impact is Sagaba Konate. The native of Mali was first seen by Scout.com during late July at the AAU nationals and he had the look of a kid who physically was ready to compete as well as athletically.

Konate is someone with has good size, nice hands, a solid touch around the rim, and is an above average athlete. More so than just that, Konate is a physically imposing kid with an attitude, and that fits in right with what Huggins wants.

All during his senior season Konate has been a dominant force. Most recently it was a 24 point and 20 rebound performance that capped a big rivalry win. Konate appears to be in the best shape of his life, and his physical tools make him someone who could fit right in and play in the rotation from day one for West Virginia.

Like most European bigs, the scouting report on Maciej Bender has been that he has good size and is very skilled, especially shooting the basketball. That was on display at the Flyin to the Hoop event this past weekend.

Bender appears to be a legit 6-foot-9, maybe even touching 6-foot-10, and he possesses a tremendous outside shot. When in pick and pop situations he is difficult to guard because he is so pure with his jumper.

Unlike Konate however, Bender is not the type of big man you usually see Huggins go after. He is somewhat of a finesse player who doesn’t attack the glass and isn’t super physical around the rim or move his feet well on the defensive end.

Bender brings a different skill set, and if he can buy in to what Huggins wants he can be a weapon because of his ability to shoot the basketball. Still defense is always going to come first for a Huggins coached team, so it is intriguing to see how he will adjust to that style of coaching when he gets to college.

Throughout the season in-state pledge Chase Harler has been putting up massive numbers. Harler is averaging well over 20 points per game and is on the verge of cracking the 2,000 points scored mark for his career.

In a recent viewing against Archbishop Wood out of Philadelphia, Harler was excellent. He scored 38 points, and came up big down the stretch as his team got the win.

Harler has always been known as a scorer, and with good reason, but he is also showing a bit better feel and understanding this year. He has been more judicious with his shot selection and is getting others involved and making nice passes as well.

There is no doubt Harler will have to get used to the speed and athleticism of the game at the college level, especially in Huggins’ pressing style defense, but still he is a heck of a scorer and his ability to shoot along with his size and toughness should fit right in once he gets acclimated to the speed of the game.


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