2019 NBA Draft: Sandy Cohen Is an Unheralded Upperclassman for Atlanta Hawks

Sandy Cohen Atlanta Hawks 2019 NBA Draft (Photo by Steven Branscombe/Getty Images)
Sandy Cohen Atlanta Hawks 2019 NBA Draft (Photo by Steven Branscombe/Getty Images) /

A quick look at how talented yet unheralded wing Sandy Cohen might fit on the Atlanta Hawks in the 2019 NBA Draft.

After a recent short profile on John Konchar, let’s delve into another unheralded upperclassmen for the Atlanta Hawks in the 2019 NBA Draft: Sandy Cohen of Green Bay.

As would be expected of a redshirt senior, Cohen is exceptionally old for his draft class (will turn 24 in September), and after spending three seasons in the Big East with Marquette, he opted to transfer “down” to the Horizon League Conference and play for Green Bay. Though that might’ve led to less attention on the former #75 overall high school recruit, that move paid dividends due to the tremendous numbers he produced – specifically in his final season.

Simply watching some of Cohen’s highlights showcase a natural, fluid athlete with a penchant for taking (and making) difficult shots off the dribble. He also has decent bounce and good defensive instincts.

Per KenPom, Cohen was an adept foul drawer in his final year at Green Bay with a 48.5 percent free throw rate and 5.4 fouls drawn per 40 minutes. Couple that with a 76.7 free throw line, and you have the makings of an efficient, attacking offensive player.

Certainly, Cohen’s ability to leverage his solid frame (6-foot-6, 200 pounds, 6-foot-10 wingspan) into attacking the rim at will will be promising at the next level for the Atlanta Hawks.

According to Bart Torvik, only 13 players in the entire country attempted 130 shots at the rim, 140 non-rim two-pointers and 160 three-pointers, and Cohen was one of them. A few other players on that list include lottery picks R.J. Barrett and Jarrett Culver, draft prospects Admiral Schofield (an SDS favorite) and Justin Wright-Foreman and college superstars Cassius Winston and Mike Daum (The Dauminator).

Of those players, the only player with a higher at-rim field goal percentage than Cohen was Marial Shayok (73.5% for Shayok vs. 70.2% for Cohen) per Bart Torvik. 42.4 percent of those rim baskets were assisted, meaning that Cohen was a willing cutter – which would be a seamless fit for the Atlanta Hawks in the 2019 NBA Draft alongside the passing brilliance of Trae Young.

Speaking of passing, Cohen is a good, willing passer himself as his 24.5 percent usage rate and 24.7 percent assist rate would indicate per Sports Reference. Extrapolated to a heavy NBA workload, Cohen’s assists per-40 minutes is a robust 5.5.

In his final college season, Cohen produced career-highs in a variety of categories per Sports Reference, including, promisingly, trie shooting percentage (58.9%) and effective field goal percentage (53.8%), but will it be enough to get drafted in the second round?

Per The Stepien (on a limited sample size of 25 attempts), Cohen shot 44 percent on NBA-range three-pointers. If he can hit that shot with consistency following the 2019 NBA Draft, Cohen would be a low-cost gamble in the second round or in the undrafted ranks for the Atlanta Hawks.

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With the 2019 NBA Draft rapidly approaching, keep it locked to Soaring Down South for plenty more coverage of your Atlanta Hawks.