Konate, who prepped at Laurinburg Institute, had been hearing from Tennessee and Oregon. However, the Gamecocks had his number early. "South Carolina and he hit it off from the beginning," Redlands coach Steve Eck said.
Over the last two years, Konate has experienced a few injuries that set him back, particularly this past season.
"The bad thing," Eck said, "is that he hurt his ankle two days before practice started. He was out the first 24 days. It turns out that he was injured all year. He could never play more than 12 minutes all year so we had to spot use him."
Despite the injuries, Konate managed to average 6.5 points and 3 boards. Eck saw much more potential in him. "I expected him to average 15-18 points and he would have if he wouldn't have been hurt. As a freshman for us he gave Taj Gray fits."
Gamecocks coach Dave Odom has a passion for developing post players, in particular foreign ones, so his affinity for a guy like Konate is understandable.
Eck would tend to agree. Konate has room to grow. "He's 6-foot-10, 26-5-270. He's strong and he won't get pushed around. He's got a nice shooting touch. Around the basket he's got good moves, sometimes he wants to get too complicated with them. He's a good passer and rotates on defense. He's not a real quick jumper but he's got the body to get it done."
And he's chosen the Gamecocks as the place to make it happen.