Robert Sacre has been the heart and soul of the Gonzaga Bulldogs and he is on the cusp of his pro career. After playing the role of defensive specialist to start his college tour, he's now becoming a complete player with a burgeoning offensive game and a seemingly limitless ceiling of potential. To kick off what we are dubbing as Sacre Saturday here at RaptorsHQ, we begin with a look on the the North Vancouver big man by our very own Can Ball Ray. Check out the prose and stay tuned all day for our interviews with the man from BC ...
The Gonzaga Bulldogs had a lot of talent on this past season’s team in Elias Harris and West Coast Conference Player of the Year Kevin Pangos, but there is no question that the heart and soul of the squad was senior Robert Sacre.
After starting off on a tear last season averaging 18.7 points, 7.1 rebounds and a block through the first seven games, he dislocated his thumb. For the next few weeks, he would play through the pain though, and despite being limited, would still anchor the Zags middle eventually averaging 11.7 points, 6.3 boards and 1.4 blocks in 26 minutes of action on the year.
Sacre has been the vocal leader for the Zags for the last three years and this coincides with his development from being a defensive specialist to an all around talent. And this could have him looking at an NBA roster spot come fall.
He’s been making the pre-draft workout rounds and he’s been racking up the frequent flyer miles to prove it. In the last few weeks, he’s been in and out of airports in Miami, Chicago, Toronto and the Big Apple to name a few, and he’s not done yet.
If an NBA team is looking for a frontcourt player that can defend the post, enforce the paint and not be afraid to mix it up, then Sacre is your man.
And coming from a guy that’s stood out against potential NBA draft lottery picks such as Illinois’s Meyers Leonard and Ohio State’s Jared Sullinger, you know that he’s feeling the confidence that he can hang with anyone at his position.
"I’ve competed against lottery picks … over my career at Gonzaga and I know that I’m not going to be a lottery pick but I’ve given a lot of those guys fits," states Sacre with confidence. "I know I can play with them."
The best part about Sacre’s game is that he’s still improving on the offensive end, which will compliment his already pro level defense. That will make him a more enticing pick up for any team at this point. And with the lack of quality, mobile big men that can shoot (Sacre led his team in FTs made last season and had a stellar true shooting mark of 60%) he looks more and more like he could find his name on the back of an NBA jersey.
"I’ve worked damn hard to get where I’ve gotten," says Sacre. "I know it’s not over, and I know I’ve still got more to do, but the sky’s the limit if I put in the work. I want to be the best that I can be, I want to push myself to that level."
And that is money in the bank.