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Hamidou Diallo’s top-ten moments as a Kentucky Wildcat

© Kyle Terada | USATSI

This afternoon, Hamidou Diallo officially announced the beginning of his professional basketball career by entering his name in the NBA Draft and signing an agent.

It was a rollercoaster ride of ups and downs for him this season, but there were a ton of bright moments in Hami’s career as a Wildcat to look back on.

Check out the top-ten moments from Diallo’s time in blue and white:

10. The Commitment

Back in January of 2017, Hamidou Diallo committed to Kentucky and enrolled in the school immediately.

Just looking from his high school highlight tapes alone, it looked like the Cats were going to be getting a sure-fire superstar that would be able to play right away.

For a team that needed depth on the wing for hopes of a Final Four run, it looked like a match made in heaven. He never ended up playing his “true” freshman season, but the excitement for Diallo was through the roof.

9. Breaking NBA Combine Records

He didn’t play his first semester on campus, but decided to test the NBA waters to see what scouts had to say.

After receiving an invite to the NBA Combine, Diallo absolutely crushed the competition, posting the second-best vertical ever recorded at the combine at 44.5-inches.

 8. The Return

After receiving high praise at the NBA Combine, many felt Diallo was more on the fence than expected. Teams were waving around a first-round guarantee, namely from the Brooklyn Nets and the Milwaukee Bucks. He had a real decision to make.

And it ended up coming right down to the wire.

It was a night the Big Blue Nation remembers well, refreshing Twitter and other social media accounts non-stop to learn whether or not we would see Diallo ACTUALLY play a game at Kentucky.

Just before the midnight deadline on May 24, reports leaked that Diallo would be returning to school.

He followed it up with this tweet:

7. The Debut

Against Utah Valley to open the season, Diallo finished with 18 points on 8-16 shooting, five rebounds, and three assists. He showed just a hint of just why the Big Blue Nation was so excited to see him suit up in blue and white.

6. One of the lone bright spots against UCLA

The Cats lost in the Big Easy, but Diallo did his part to put his team in position to win. He finished the day with a team-high 18 points, four rebounds, and an assist.

5. Season-high 23 points back in New York

Diallo returned home to New York City to play in Madison Square Garden against Monmouth, and put on a show in the process.

He finished with 23 points on 8-13 shooting, four rebounds, and two steals.

It was Diallo’s sixth game of nine total in double-figures to start the season.

4. Breaking out of the “rabbit-hole” against Missouri

His season got off to a hot start, but went cold late. After finishing six of seven consecutive games with fewer than ten points, Diallo’s confidence was down the drain.

Against Missouri on February 24, however, Diallo managed to break out of his slump with 11 points on 3-3 shooting from three, along with one massive smile following a breakaway dunk.

It was an awesome moment, sparking Coach Cal’s “that’s someone’s son” quote.

You can see the sequence below, followed by Calipari’s comments after the game:

3. The Virginia Tech Game

In the tenth game of the season against a talented Virginia Tech squad, Diallo played his best all-around game of the season. He finished with 20 points, five rebounds, and three steals, and a season-high four threes, including several clutch shots at the end of the game. Kevin Knox led Kentucky in scoring with 21 points, but Diallo was the best player on the court that day.

2. Facial dunk over Louisville

He “only” finished with 14 points, but his baseline facial slam over Anas Mahmoud to start the game set the tone perfectly for a Cardinal beatdown.

1. Diallo leads the Wildcats to the Sweet 16

Going into the year, we expected to see Hamidou Diallo live on the #SCTop10 night in and night out. We saw a few throughout the year, but rarely did we see it on a consistent basis.

In the Round of 32 against Buffalo, however, Diallo put on an absolute show. He finished with 22 points on 9-12 shooting, eight rebounds, two blocks, and one assist.

Oh, and two absolutely disgusting dunks that turned the college basketball world upside down.

Show them what you’ve got in the league, Hami.

Article written by Jack Pilgrim

Follow me on Twitter: @JackPilgrimKSR

29 responses to “Hamidou Diallo’s top-ten moments as a Kentucky Wildcat”

  1. Cousins Fake Tooth

    Not sure he will have a professional career. Maybe overseas.

  2. ukwildcat1991

    The guy is an Archie Goodwin 2.0. Fans couldn’t really understand him much. I hope nothing but the best for him but the evidence is out there. The kid wanted to leave after last year. Made us wait till the last second for his decision and he goes into the nba with no promise of getting drafted in the first round. Like I said, I hope nothing but the best for the kid but if u like it or not, the kid is a Archie Goodwin 2.0.

    1. DelrayCat

      I disagree. Goodwin was drafted in the first round, received a few million in guaranteed money, and put up decent numbers as a role player in the NBA. Diallo, although a seemingly likable guy off the floor, will not have the same chances Archie got. He will be very lucky to ever make an NBA roster.

    2. Sentient Third Eye

      It depends on how he develops. Hami has the athleticism. He’s a freak athlete even compared to other NBA players. All that’s missing it harnessing that talent consistently and putting it all together (both of which require maturity). He may be more of an Azubuike type who goes to the G-League and dominates it before having a nice run in the NBA.

    3. DelrayCat

      I agree. However, it all depends on one thing. Can he become a consistent shooter. It’s a shooters league, and he has not shown an exceptional skillset in terms of other intangibles (playmaking, defense, hustle, etc). Unless he learns to knock down the 3 from a near 40% clip, he has little chance. His type of athleticism is a dime a dozen in the NBA.

  3. SuperTroy18

    I’m sure I’m in the minority here, but I think he could be like Skal. Tons of potential never really realized, yet blossoms in NBA due to his abilities being much better suited than for college game. Good luck, Hami.

    1. BCO

      Disagree in part. Skals game was more suited to NBA. Hes a stretch 4 who hates contact and has a nice shooting touch.

      Hami cant shoot. At all. That one aspect is huge. If you cant shoot it’s almost impossible to stay in the league. Hell have to be exceptional at everything else.

    2. BCO

      All that being said I do hope the best for the kid. Seems like a respectful young man who did enjoy his time here.

  4. JTA

    Half aren’t even from games, lol

  5. Rabbi Li

    Can you be in the NBA dunk contest while in the G-League?

    1. 4everUKblue

      Can you be anything but a know it all jerk?

    2. UK Big Board Update

      Why do you care? You don’t watch the NBA anyway, amirite?

  6. timbo

    What a bunch of jerks with keyboards. Screen names like “SouthernPride” and absurd speculation presented as fact. Y’all are some low-down examples of humanity. Ever heard not to say anything if you can’t say something nice? You should try it. Talking about “won’t play in the NBA”, as you get dressed for the third-shift at the local “Spill N’ Fill” convenience store. Only bums I see are way more obvious than an 18 year-old in high tops.

    1. chris gettelfinger is not walking through that door

      What you said is not a fair stereotype either. You don’t know what these folks do for a living. Are some “know it alls”? Yeah, but some folks that come here seem to know bball pretty well. I never played so I don’t know it like some, but I do wonder if he can make it myself. I wish him the best, but he’s a shooting guard who can’t shoot. If he does improve in that area, he could be great IMO.

      I do agree with you and wish some folks would cut the “Good luck in the G league” type comments with at least some of them hoping he fails.

      Again, I wish him the best.

    2. timbo

      Thanks for helping to narrow my point for the low-intel crowd, Chris. Are any of her NBA players? Are any of her GMs or scouts? Have any of them played beyond church league or high school? You’re right, it doesn’t matter where they work, they’re idiots.

    3. UK Big Board Update

      Yeah, people said Skal and Andrew Harrison and Poythress, etc, wouldnt make an NBA team either…..

  7. kjd

    What a stretch of a top ten.
    Not your best.

  8. 4everUKblue

    Some of these idiots make me embarrassed that the BBN has fans who are such poor examples of human beings. If you think he was bad there’s no need to post it on a fan website for recruits and potential recruits to read, you’re the very ones who complain about who we didn’t get. Why would any kid want to play here if he read some of these comments for total idiots. I for one want to wish Hami luck and thank you for your time at UK, not all of us are uneducated morons.

    1. henderblue

      Well said right there ^^^good luck Hami

    2. RC

      Why do we have to blindly and unequivocally support a player’s decision to leave our program? Hami’s turning pro and hiring an agent, so he’s entering the adult world of basketball. He’s fair game.

      I’m a fan of the University of Kentucky, not the John Calipari NBA Feeder System. I understand the concept of recruiting the best talent each and every year and I fully understand the economics of professional basketball. I have no issue with kids chasing their dreams.

      However, in some instances, the priorities of the Kentucky basketball program are in direct conflict with the priorities of our players. In these instances I’m going to side with the program. I’m a fan who wants to win championships, not one who cares how many of our kids are Lottery Picks.

      Hami is another UK player who should stay and develop his skill set. He’s not a sure-thing NBA player, and it would benefit both him and UK if he stayed. But Hami has chosen to leave and I have the freedom to question his decision and what it means for the program I love.

  9. Jiminy Crickets

    I won’t say anything bad about the guy, lord knows I’ve been hard on him, mainly for poor attitude on the court. But can we stop the whole he had guaranteed money first round offers?? The nets brought him in, and would NOT promise him first round, matter of fact no one did. It’s why he waited till 11:59pm (1 minute before deadline) to withdraw, he was the very last person to withdraw because he was waiting on a promise that never came. He came “back” to UK simply because he was pretty sure he was going to be a mid to low 2nd round pick. Which is no knock to him, it was a good decision, but stop with the whole “he wanted to wear that jersey” narrative. He came here with intentions of practicing with the team, and leaving to NBA without ever playing. It didn’t work out.
    Actually Diallo is THE reason the OAD rule shouldn’t completely go away. He would have left HS to NBA and he’d be on the streets by now, at least now he’s better mentally prepared to give it a concerted effort and has an outside chance to make it.

  10. BBNDan7

    Man i didn’t know NBA GM’s commented on KSR. this is so cool

  11. Swizzle

    #1 he left

    1. UK Big Board Update

      Someone call Swizzles mom and tell her to give her kid more attention. He desperately craves it.

    2. Swizzle

      Your mom gives me plenty