Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
By ADAM ZAGORIAAdama Sanogo, the 6-foot-9, 241-pound big man from the Patrick School (N.J.), ended his recruitment Tuesday by committing to UConn.
He will reclassify into the 2020 class from 2021 and join the Huskies as they re-enter the Big East Conference. Due to an NCAA automatic-eligibiliy waiver, student-athletes this year don’t need a standardized test score to reclassify, only a 2.3 GPA.
“I think this is the best fit for me,” the 18-year-old native of Mali said by text.
The No. 7 center in the Class of 2021 per 247Sports.com, he also considered Seton Hall, Maryland and Nebraska. Sanogo, who models his game after Philadelphia 76ers big man Joel Embiid, averaged 13.3 points and 7.8 rebounds in 14 games after becoming eligible this past season.
The Celtics were among the favorites to win the New Jersey Tournament of Champions title but lost in the North Non-Public B semifinals to rival Roselle Catholic.
“Adama will help UConn bring instant credibility back to the Big East as they re-enter the Big East next year,” Patrick School coach Chris Chavannes said.
UConn coach Dan Hurley coached for nearly a decade at St. Benedict’s Prep in Newark and is very familiar with New Jersey’s top programs and players. He and assistant Kimani Young heavily recruited Sanogo, who played this season for the school in Hillside, N.J., after transferring over with Jonathan Kuminga from Our Savior New American on Long Island.
“Adama is one of the most coachable and hard-working forwards that I have ever coached,” said NY Rens coach Andy Borman, who played at Duke.
“He’s a terrific rebounder on both ends of the floor. He is an advanced player on the offensive side of the ball and has put a ton of time in to expand his game out to 15 feet. He is an immediate impact forward for UConn and Coach Hurley.”
Sanogo told 247Sports.com he decided “Really over the last three days,. I was thinking about, I was thinking about four schools and I said let’s just pick UConn and I just think it’s the place for me. I picked UConn because it’s the best fit for me.”
Sanogo is a monster on the boards and over-powered Rutgers-bound big man Cliff Omoruyi of Roselle Catholic in several meetings this season, and should provide toughness and a low-post force as the Huskies move back to the Big East.
Sanogo is the third Patrick School player to choose a college this spring, following guard Noah Farrakhan (East Carolina) and wing Zarique Nutter (Saint Peter’s).
He joins wing guard Andre Jackson and big man Javonte Brown-Ferguson in UConn’s 2020 class.
“I think they need a post player, that’s what coach Hurley said,” Sanogo told 247. “He said if I work my ass off, and they’ll do a good job with me and they really need a post player. That’s the area, I can really help them.”
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Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.