What Hamidou Diallo Brings to the Kentucky Wildcats Table Next Season

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With only minutes to spare before the NBA Draft entry deadline, Hamidou Diallo informed the Kentucky Wildcats of his intention to return to school. It was metaphorically an 11th hour decision. Diallo only practiced with the Cats, for about half the season, last year. He never saw game action. Usually, when a player of no experience returns to a college basketball team, it’s not huge news.

It is here though because UK has so little experience returning from this past season’s Elite 8 team.

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Hamidou Diallo at least knows the system and the culture in Lexington, which gives him a jump on the entering freshmen.

Diallo enrolled at Kentucky in January after graduating from Putnam Science Academy in Connecticut in May.

(Editor’s note: I talked Kentucky basketball, and the return of Hamidou Diallo on ESPN Hawaii, have a listen at this link)

Analyst/International expert Fran Fraschilla and reporter Jeff Goodman who answered questions to preview the 2017 NBA Draft. You can read the entire transcript of their media conference call at this link.

Fraschilla scouted Hamidou Diallo thusly:

“He is a high-character kid. He’s a 6’6″ 2 guard. He obviously can shoot it better. His skill level will have to improve..I’m a fan of his, and I think his long-term potential down the road is sky high.”

Goodman said the following: “the knock on him from NBA guys that saw him in practice, they said he doesn’t have great feel.”

“Great athlete, doesn’t have great feel yet. Obviously I’ve seen him a ton, I’m sure Fran saw him a ton in AAU, not a great shooter.”

hamidou-diallo

Diallo released the following statement in announcing his intentions to return to school:

“Like I said when I submitted my name for the draft, playing in the NBA has always been my ultimate goal. When I enrolled in school in January, my plan was to come to Kentucky to work on my game and to focus on academics. At the end of the season, I knew I wanted to see where I was in the draft process so I could get a proper evaluation.

“That plan still hasn’t changed. I hope to play in the NBA one day — just not this season. Based on the information I received by testing the waters, I believe it’s in my best interests to return to school. Although I was a part of the team last season and trained with my teammates, I never fulfilled another one of my dreams, which was to play for a major college program and win a national title. I am excited about returning to Kentucky for the 2017-18 season. I can’t wait to play in a Kentucky jersey for the first time.”

kentucky wildcats

The Wildcats are looking to replace 92.6 percent of their scoring and 76.6 percent of their rebounding from last year’s team. Here’s a link to our updated depth chart with Diallo back in the fold.

The have yet another top-ranked, blockbuster class coming in next year. It’s more than just the top ranked class nationally (by 24/7 sports), it’s a much larger group than usual.

If you include Diallo, who has now re-classified into this year’s recruiting class, it’s six 5-star players and two 4-stars. Leading the way you have five McDonald’s All-Americans in Jarred VanderbiltQuade GreenNick RichardsP.J. Washington and Kevin Knox.

kentucky basketball

Kentucky has three prospects who could go not just in the lottery, but top ten overall. Go to the following links, where the names are highlighted to read what Fraschilla and Goodman had to say about the Big Blue Nation NBA blue chip prospects Malik Monk, Bam Adebayo and De’Aaron Fox.

Paul M. Banks runs The Sports Bank.net and TheBank.News, partnered with FOX Sports Engage Network. Banks, a former writer for the Washington TimesNBC Chicago.com and Chicago Tribune.com, currently contributes to WGN CLTV and KOZN

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