Want to preface this with the obvious clarification that Hamidou is a great get for UK regardless of whether or not he plays this season.
While the stated plan for him is to keep him on the sideline, and the benefit of added practice will only help him more in the coming years, Mike Decourcy isn’t one to rule out the possibility of Diallo on the court. We’ve gone over the newest Wildcat’s pros and cons ad nauseam—the one-stop shop for those you’ll find here—but if Decourcy is right we could see those come to fruition much earlier than we thought:
“According to Scout recruiting analyst Evan Daniels, the plan for Diallo is not to participate this semester. And that’s a logical approach: No one should expect him to play because he is so far behind.
There’ll come a time by late February or March, though, when he will be far enough along to be not out of place entering a game. Given Kentucky’s overwhelming outputs in the first two Southeastern Conference games, there are almost certainly going to be opportunities to get him onto the floor and gain some degree of comfort. And then, in the biggest games, he would be only an emergency option. Somebody’s in foul trouble? Somebody loses a contact lens? You want another athlete to help with defense? Whatever the circumstance might be, if Diallo is ready for it there is no logic to hiding him from it.“
Decourcy goes on to point out that burning a redshirt season would have no impact on Diallo, who’s projected by nbamockdraft.net to go 25th in the 2017 draft (flattering, but I’m 95% sure he can’t actually leave that early). The fact that he’s down 60 practices to all of his teammates does hurt him, though.
Either way, he’s a great get. Feel free to revel once more in his highlight video:
On an unrelated note, this happened:
Nevada trailed New Mexico 90-76 with just over a minute left last night. What happened next was one of the most insane comebacks you'll see. pic.twitter.com/PEqe0wmbqK
— March Madness 2017 (@Madness2017) January 8, 2017