Sagaba Konate is a flat-out monster. His game is unmatched by almost any player in the country.
Yes, there are plenty of guys who play above the rim and attack the opposition in the paint. But Konate’s skills is rather unbelievable. Not only can he block almost any shot in his path, he can take on more than one guy at a time.
He is strong and only getting stronger. His play midway through the second half against Villanova shows his brute strength, but also his raw emotion. He was whistled for a technical foul after a slam dunk over several Villanova defenders.
The dunk helped West Virginia get back on track after the team saw a six-point lead whittled away. The lead was decimated by Villanova foul shots, frustrating the WVU basketball players because there were some questionable calls by the officials.
Konate grabbed an offensive rebound and had to go up through the arms of three Villanova players. He was getting bruised while trying to score in the paint and he was hacked multiple times on the way up. However, there was no foul called.
The technical was Konate’s fourth personal foul. Konate and Daxter Miles were both in foul trouble and had to sit the bench for a majority of the second half. With those two in the game, West Virginia had established an excellent rhythm. It’s unfortunate that couldn’t happen more often.
Konate had every right to get out a scream and flex his muscles walking back up the court to play defense. He offered several dirty looks, all in his right, at some Wildcats players who he just dominated on the other end.
The officials did not take kindly to that and gave Konate a technical. Villanova’s Omari Spellman also received a technical. Really, there was no reason for any player to get that. Konate still denies ever saying anything too foul or brash, despite admitting his own version of trash talk in an interview with BlueGoldNews.com.
“Honestly I didn’t do anything. I always play physical. I always play emotional. It was just a game, It was physical, and I was ready to play.”
Honestly, is Konate wasn’t the strongest player on the court, he probably wouldn’t have been called for a technical. He may have showed up the other team a little bit, but after not having any calls go in his team’s favor, Konate had to release his frustration somehow.
As much as the officials know the game of basketball, they don’t know what it’s like to be a massive human being who is also one of the best dunkers and shot blockers in all of college basketball.
If the officials could actually walk a mile in Konate’s shoes, no technical foul would have been called. It would have been a whole new game had the officials let the second half go as much as they did in the first half.
The first half was great basketball. When the referees inserted themselves into the storylines, it became a national disgrace.