Lunes, 20 Noviembre, 2017

UK's Diallo showing off leaping ability at NBA Combine

Hamidou Diallo Hamidou Diallo
Galena Nuncio | 14 May, 2017, 21:59

The basketball community has heard of the "one and done" prospect, but Hamidou Diallo is poised to become a unique "none and done" should he stay in this year's draft pool.

Hamidou Diallo (UK Athletics) Between Mo Bamba, Cam Johnson and Hamidou Diallo, who plays for Kentucky next season?

But there's a catch with Diallo. He was eligible to play in games, but elected to sit out and compete only in practice. "The 6'5" guard enrolled at Kentucky in January.

On the Combine broadcast, Kentucky coach John Calipari guessed that it would take Diallo being assured of a pick in the 20-to-22 range to convince him to fully declare. Through this unprecedented scenario, however, it's been the Wildcat coaching staff that has had Diallo's back. Diallo plays with a high amount of energy and loved absorbing contact in high school. "His ball skills are better than I thought".

Since we have yet to see the young man play in college, here is a short highlight reel of his senior year at the Putnam Science Academy. "But I know his plan has always been to test the waters and then go back to Kentucky".

Should Diallo choose to hire an agent and stay in the NBA Draft, a team like the Brooklyn Nets - who are young and have multiple first round picks - would be more likely to select the young talent. He jumped 44.5 inches, one of the highest marks in the history of the event. No sources or anything, but Diallo can raise his draft stock quite a bit by playing a season of college basketball.

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Justin Rowland, Publisher: Based on everything that's out there, and there's more out there on some guys than others, I'll say that Kentucky lands Mo Bamba, Cam Johnson goes elsewhere and Diallo stays in the draft. "Give it 100 percent and definitely with those guys in practice getting in live action, and training and doing live things".

"They don't know - don't show them, " Calipari said.

"Cal is a person that I really trust in my life", Diallo said.

Then, Diallo went to the NBA Draft Combine this week.

The only thing Diallo committed to Thursday was keeping the door 100 percent open to a return to Kentucky - and 100 percent open to departing for the National Basketball Association.

He joined Kentucky midway through last season and decided against playing.

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Calipari said that before Diallo jumped out of the gym. "At the end of the day, I gotta do what's right for me and my family". But it's going to be hard for Calipari to tell him to come back if he's expected to go high in the draft.

Despite the deep connection with his potential teammates, Diallo knows everyone is in his corner no matter what he decides. "I would just say (it was) energy and adrenaline". So, they see and opportunity like this.

"I think it's a very, very smart move for him not to play at the combine, just do the testing where he'll excel".

Jackson and Diallo are both one-and-dones (Diallo technically isn't even that), which adds to the intrigue.

The only question for Diallo is does he want to start his National Basketball Association journey now as a lower pick, or spend a season at Kentucky and likely be a much higher pick (that gets paid more out the gate, this past season the No. 10 pick made $1.4 million more than the 25th selection, but start now and he gets to the potentially more lucrative second contract sooner).

You're probably not familiar with the name Hamiduo Diallo yet, and that's fine. But don't expect him to focus on the abnormality of his situation.

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Playing time? Who needs it. "Whatever best suits them". "I just gotta wait for my chance and prove that I belong".

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