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2023 NBA Draft Player Profile: Marcus Sasser

Houston’s senior guard is an effective shooter and crafty scorer

NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament Midwest Regional-Miami (FL) vs Houston William Purnell-USA TODAY Sports

2021 was a year of highs and lows for Marcus Sasser and the Houston Cougars. After a 28-4 regular season record, they entered March Madness as a #2 seed. Houston made it all the way to the Final Four before losing in a 19-point blowout to the eventual champion, Baylor. After being knocked out of the tournament, Houston would suffer another blow: Quentin Grimes, the team’s leading scorer, declared for the draft and was selected in the 1st round that summer.

Sasser had big shoes to fill heading into his junior season.

He emphatically delivered.

Through the first 12 games of his junior season, Sasser was playing like a superstar. He was putting up nearly 18 points per game, hitting 44% of his threes, and had an Effective Field Goal percentage (eFG%) of 57.9%.

Then, in December of 2021, disaster struck. Marcuss Sasser sustained an injury to his left foot, sidelining him for the remainder of the season.

Sasser tested the waters at last year’s draft, but eventually decided to return to school for his senior season.


Height: 6’1.25”

Weight: 196

Wingspan: 6’7”

Pts: 16.8

Reb: 2.8

Ast: 3.1

FG%: 43.8

3FG%: 38.4

BPM: 12



During his college career, Sasser hit 37% from deep (750~ attempts) and 82% on free throws (285~ attempts). His floater game out of the pick and roll is another indicator of good shooting touch.

At the combine, Sasser hit 80% of his shots in both the 3-point star and 3-point spot-up drills, good for 1st and 2nd, respectively.

Sasser has DEEP range, capable of drilling threes from several feet behind the line. He shouldn’t have any issues adjusting to the NBA three-point line.

Although his 3-point efficiency isn’t in elite (40+%) territory, context is important. Last season, Houston shot just 34% from three as a team (ranked 189th in college), and Sasser was the only rotation player north of 34.7% from deep. As the team’s leading scorer, Sasser faced tight defense and frequent double teams when he had the ball. He should thrive with NBA spacing and multiple shooting and scoring threats around him.

Shot Creation

Sasser excels at creating his own shot out of the pick and roll and isolation. He’s a capable shooter and scorer off-the-dribble, with good separation on step-back threes and a deadly elbow jumper in the mid-range.

He sets defenders up with a variety of dribble moves before countering when they react. Once the defender turns their hips or shoulders, Sasser stops on a dime and pulls back the other direction with more than enough space to get his shot off.

On-ball Defense

As a point-of-attack defender, Sasser pesters and hounds opposing ball handlers and disrupts ball screen action. He often forces turnovers in these play types or in isolation, and does a good job sticking to the ball handler, squaring up, and contesting shots.

He recorded a solid 1.6 steals per game, good for 2nd on his team. Despite his relatively short stature, his 6’7” wingspan, good instincts, and sound fundamentals should allow him to be an effective defender against most guards at the NBA level.


Few college players impacted the game and contributed to winning as much as Marcus Sasser did last season. He was top 5 among all college players in Win Shares, Win Shares per 40, and Box Plus/Minus. While he may not be elite in any one specific area, he’s good or great at most things and should be able to contribute right away on an NBA roster



While Sasser excels as a scorer, he’s less effective as a passer and playmaker for others. He can get tunnel vision on drives or force passes into tight windows. Although he made strides and improved as a passer his senior season, his 2:1 AST:TOV ratio is less than optimal for a player his size.

He likely isn’t a good enough passer or playmaker to be a lead ball handler, even off the bench. He’ll need to improve his vision and decision-making to be an effective playmaker.


At 6’1”, Sasser is small for an NBA guard. His 6’7” wingspan does make up for some of that, but he isn’t particularly athletic, either. His speed, agility, and vertical burst are at or below league average for his position, and he’ll almost certainly struggle to finish at the rim early in his career.

His lack of elite size and athleticism will put him at a disadvantage, on both offense and defense. Speaking of defense…

Defensive Versatility

Although Sasser is an effective on-ball defender against college guards, he’ll struggle against NBA wings and bigger ball handlers that can just shoot or pass over him. He’ll hold his own against point guards and some small 2 guards, but he won’t be very effective on switches and offers little resistance in the paint or as a weakside helper.


Marcus Sasser is projected to be a late 1st or early 2nd round pick in this draft. At 28 overall (or in the early 2nd after a trade), he could be a great value pick. There is a lot to like about his game, and in the right situation he could be a key rotation player and bench scorer.