Satou Sabally | Small Forward | Oregon | 6-Foot-4
Junior Season Stats (2019-20): 29 games, 28.8 MPG, 16.2 PPG, 6.9 RPG, 2.3 APG, 0.97 SPG, 0.41 BPG, 46.4 FG%, 33.8 3P%, 79.2 FT%
Oregon Career Stats (3 seasons): 105 GP, 27.7 MPG, 14.4 PPG, 5.6 RPG, 2.0 APG, 1.15 SPG, 0.70 BPG, 48.0 FG%, 37.8 3P%, 77.0 FT%
1. Declared for WNBA Draft in February
After being asked repeatedly about whether or not she would return to Oregon for her senior season or jump to the WNBA after her junior season, Sabally announced her decision in February that she did intend to go pro this spring.
— Satou Sabally (@BallySatou) February 20, 2020
Sabally is eligible for the draft since she turns 22 during the 2020 calendar year – in fact, she’ll turn 22 just a week after next Friday’s draft. While she made her intentions known in February, she made it official earlier this week by filing the proper paperwork with the league.
2. Shined Among Fellow Oregon Stars
Sabally is part of a talented Oregon roster that had hopes of not only returning the Final Four, but also capturing the program’s first national championship. Unfortunately, those hopes were dashed as the season was ended prematurely due to public health concerns. Instead, the Ducks finished the season ranked No. 2 in the polls.
Sabally is one of three Ducks projected to be first round picks in this year’s draft along with Ionescu and Ruthy Hebard. While Ionescu garnered most of the national attention and enters the draft as the presumptive top pick, Sabally and Hebard also shined for Oregon over the past few seasons as the program gained national prominence and became title contenders.
Sabally averaged 16.2 points and career bests of 6.9 rebounds and 2.3 assists this season. Her 1,508 points rank seventh in Oregon history – and that’s with another year of eligibility being left on the table and a shortened junior season.
3. Synergy Stats Spotlight: All-Around Excellence
When it comes to breaking down Sabally’s game by Synergy play types, it’s actually faster to look for the play types in which she does not excel compared to the ones that she does. Just look at this:
PCT: Percentile; PPP: Points Per Possession; EFG%: Effective Field Goal Percentage; %TIME: Percentage of Player’s Time
She’s in the 90th percentile or greater on spot ups, post ups, cuts and transition opportunities. Those four play types account for 62 percent of her offensive plays. And if you add in put backs and being the roller in pick-and-roll sets – which she still ranks in the 87th percentile or better – that now accounts for more than three-quarters of her play on offense.
4. Inside – Outside Game
As the numbers above illustrate, Sabally is a problem from all over the court. She has a combination of height (6-4), speed and athleticism that should make her transition to the professional game quite seamless as a wing.
Her versatility shined throughout her career at Oregon, as she proved to be an absolute nightmare to defend. First, you have to get back in transition or she’ll use her speed to beat you down the court for easy scoring opportunities. And in the half-court, she can unleash an arsenal of skills to give defenders fits.
She has great shooting range (she made 180 3-pointers on 37.8% shooting for her career), but is also great off the dribble and driving to the basket. If you’re paying attention to any of her talented teammates, she’ll catch you napping with a well-time cut to the basket. And playing alongside Sabrina Ionescu, who commands so much attention, but has the vision and passing ability to find a cutter like Sabally for easy shots.
Let’s take a closer look at her Spot Up possessions, which account for 28% of her offense. She had an effective field goal percentage of 55.5% on catch and shoots (no dribble jumpers). When coming off the dribble for a jumper, runner or takes to the basket, she shot 18-36. She was especially dangerous driving right as she shot 14-25 for an EFG% of 58%.
5. Shined Against Team USA
In preparation for the Olympics – which have now been postponed until 2021 – the U.S. Women’s National Team competed in a variety of competitions from September 2019 to February 2020. The team compiled a 17-1 record during those games, with the lone loss coming to Oregon as the Ducks upset Team USA in Eugene on Nov. 9.
This was a great test for Sabally to see how she would fare against the most talented team in the world filled with WNBA stars. She handled the level of skill and physicality quite well as she finished with 25 points on 10-18 shooting and six rebounds in 29 minutes.
“I feel like the USA game was just such a spark,” Sabally said. “After that game, it was just eye-opening that I’m able to play at that level. … That game really showed me what I need to improve on but also that I’m kind of there.”
This won’t be the last time Sabally faces Team USA as she also competes for the German national team as she grew up in Berlin.