UConn commit Youssouf Singare 'excited' to play with fellow big man Donovan Clingan next season: 'We're really coming' | Zagsblog
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Thursday / June 20.
  • UConn commit Youssouf Singare ‘excited’ to play with fellow big man Donovan Clingan next season: ‘We’re really coming’

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    NEW YORK — UConn has one set of ‘Twin Towers’ this season in 6-foot-9 Adama Sanogo and 7-2 Donovan Clingan who are imposing their will on opponents.

    The skilled and powerful big man duo has helped the Huskies get off to a 15-2 start and a No. 3 NET ranking.

    Next year Youssouf Singare will join the UConn frontcourt and the 6-foot-11 big man from Mali can’t wait to play with Clingan.

    “I think I’m going to play with Donovan next year, so I’m excited to play with him and I hope Adama go to the league,” Singare said Sunday after posting 10 points, 10 rebounds, 3 steals and 2 blocks as Our Saviour Lutheran dominated Fort Erie International, 75-50, in a Grind Session game at John Jay College in Manhattan. UConn assistant Kimani Young was courtside for the game.

    Singare, who committed in September as the fifth member of UConn’s “Fab Five” class, has only spoken to Clingan once, but hopes to continue to develop the relationship.

    “We only spoke one time, once, because I’ve been in UConn two times,” he said. “We didn’t have the time to talk a lot but he’s a good guy.”

    Singare also remains in touch with the other members of the “Fab Five” class and promises big things are coming down the road.

    “As soon as we get there, that’s going to be really crazy because we really coming,” he said. “We’re really coming, preparing for the next level.”

    UConn coach Dan Hurley said in November it will be “looked at as a failure” if this “nucleus” of players doesn’t win the program’s fifth NCAA championship.

    Asked if that was the goal, Singare said, “100 percent, that’s the goal. Go there, do the job, play together, work together.”

    As for how he’ll work together with Clingan, Our Saviour coach Peter Weyhe believes they will complement each other well.

    “If they play together, Donovan can really do a lot of things offensively,” the coach said. “And I think Yousouff can catch-and-shoot, obviously play around the rim, help around the rim, dive, play without the basketball.”

    Singare, 19, at this point is mainly known for his rebounding and shot-blocking, and will impact the team on the defensive end.

    “He’s going to be an impact on the defensive end as soon as he gets to UConn,” Weyhe said.

    But he’s an emerging offensive force.

    “[He can] catch and shoot definitely [from] 15 feet. you see him really shoot [from] the elbow, a little bit from the key, but mainly he rim runs, he’s able to play a little bit above the rim,” he said.

    For what it’s worth, Weyhe thinks Sanogo is a future pro and he wouldn’t be surprised if he’s gone next season.

    “I think Sanogo’s a pro,” he said. “I think he’ll be able to play a five, he’s going to do a Draymond Green.”

    If Sanogo returns for his senior season, “I think it could work [with three bigs],” Weyhe said. “They got an up-and-down style and I’m confident in Danny and in Kimani that they can figure it out.”

    Sanogo and Clingan are future pros, and Singare has also tested himself against future lottery picks this season.

    In the newly expanded Overtime Elite league, Singare and Our Saviour Lutheran are playing Overtime Elite’s teams four times a year, plus playoffs and OTE Championship series. Former UConn head coach Kevin Ollie is the current Overtime Elite head of coaching and basketball development .

    “We play three or four games and we lost everything because those teams are really good,” Singare said.

    He faced off against projected lottery picks Amen and Ausar Thompson and had his hands full.

    “They’re really good,” he said. “It’s a blessing, too, because play against that type of players is going to prepare me for the next level.”

    Our Saviour is eligible for the postseason in both the Grind Session and OTE, meaning Singare will have several more months to test himself against the best.

    “Overtime league helps us quite a bit because of how physical the game is, how skilled and strong those guys are,” Weyhe said. “Going up against that every day is going to make him better and ready for college.”

    As for his message for UConn fans, Singare said, “We’re gonna come. We’re coming to do the work and have fun. Yeah.”

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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.

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