Aziz Bandaogo – Center – Utah Valley Transfer – 7’0″ – 215 Pounds
Another big man? Yes, hear me out on this one. Louisville’s two tallest players are 6-foot-10 Brandon Huntley-Hatfield and 7-foot-1 Dennis Evans. While there are very few doubts that Dennis Evans will have an impact in Year One, adding an athlete like Aziz Bandaogo with his Adama Sanogo-type build would undoubtedly be a huge impact in the paint.
If in the extreme hypothetical situation where he did come to Louisville, he would allow the flexibility for Danilo Jovanovich to move between the 3 and the 4. Kaleb Glenn is listed at 6-foot-6, so he would ideally play the 3-position. Koron Davis has been rumored to play point guard, and he is 6-foot-7, so adding another 7-footer to the mix wouldn’t be the worst thing.
The power forward/center rotation could be Brandon Huntley-Hatfield, Emmanuel Okorafor, JJ Traynor, Dennis Evans, and Aziz Bandaogo.
His big-body frame is one of the reasons why I think he could benefit the Cardinals down low, but another reason is that he used to play for the NBA Academy Africa, the same program that Emmanuel Okorafor came from. Kenny Payne also recently took a trip to Africa to witness the NBA Academy Showcase and so he is very familiar with the program.
Bandaogo, thus far, in his college career has made stops at Akron and Utah Valley. Last season with the Wolverines, he averaged a double-double with 11.4 points per game and 10.5 rebounds per game to go with 100 blocks on the season. A very impressive stat line and one that could be very beneficial to a team that struggled to keep the opposing team’s ball out of the basket last season.