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It’s official: UK announces the addition of Hamidou Diallo

screen-shot-2017-01-11-at-8-19-56-am

It’s officially official, folks; Hamidou Diallo is a Kentucky Wildcat. UK just sent out a press release announcing the news, noting that the current plan is for the five-star shooting guard to sit out this spring and practice, then play the 2017-2018 season.

“I’m blessed and excited to be here at the University of Kentucky,” Diallo said. “I can’t wait to hit the floor and get rolling and get better each and every day. I chose the University of Kentucky because the plan Coach Cal had for me was just phenomenal and I felt like this was the best place for me to achieve my goals. I felt like this was the best choice for me and my family.”

“What excited me was that Hamidou wanted more than anything else to train with our guys and to practice and wasn’t worried about playing games this year,” John Calipari said. “It gives him an unbelievable head start on next year, and as I told him, he’s being put in a position to lead next season because he’s going to have that head start on everyone else.”

Diallo will be considered a member of Kentucky’s 2017 class, which also includes five-star signees Quade Green, Nick Richards and P.J. Washington; four-star signee Shai Gilgeous-Alexander; and five-star commit Jarred Vanderbilt. As Calipari notes, Diallo’s biggest contribution this season will be in practice, where he can challenge Isaiah Briscoe, De’Aaron Fox, Malik Monk, Mychal Mulder, and Dominique Hawkins.

“As far as what Hamidou can do, he’s a 6-5, 6-6 wing who is an unbelievable defender, athletic, has great ball skills and is a terrific finisher. He’s going to challenge Malik (Monk), De’Aaron (Fox), Isaiah (Briscoe), Mychal (Mulder) and Dominique (Hawkins) every day, which is great for our team, as well as what they’ll challenge him to do. This wasn’t expected, but I’m so happy for him that it’s played out this way where he can come in and focus on getting better and getting ready to chase his dreams.”

UK also sent out this awesome video welcoming Diallo into “the family”:

Welcome to the family, Hamidou.


Calipari visiting two MAJOR recruits today

Calipari visiting two MAJOR recruits today

bamba-reddish

After posting a video of himself dabbing and saying YOLO, John Calipari hit the road this morning to visit five-star teammates Mohamed Bamba and Cameron Reddish at Westtown High School in Pennsylvania. The 6’11” Bamba is considered one of Kentucky’s top remaining targets in the 2017 class, while Reddish is the top small forward in the 2018 class.

Mohamed Bamba
Power Forward/Center| 6-11 | 210 lbs.
New York, NY | Westtown
AAU: PSA Cardinals
★★★★★
ESPN No. 4 | 2 C Top247 No. 3 | 2 PF
Rivals No. 4 Scout No. 2 | 2 C
Cameron Reddish (2018)
Small Forward | 6-8 | 196 lbs.
Norristown, PA | Westtown
AAU: Team Final
★★★★★
ESPN No. 4 | 1 SF Top247 No. 4 | 2 SF
Rivals No. 6 Scout No. 4 | 1 SF

According to Pat Lawless of MADE Hoops, Cal and Tony Barbee will check on Bamba and Reddish before heading to Philadelphia to see 2017 commit Quade Green, who has made it very clear he’s recruiting Bamba to join him in Lexington. Green isn’t alone; all of the members of Kentucky’s 2017 class are after Bamba, including the newest Wildcat, Hamidou Diallo, who called Bamba Kentucky’s “missing piece” in an interview with Evan Daniels released this morning.

“The biggest recruit that we’re trying to get next is Mo Bamba,” Diallo said. “I think that’s the missing piece right there. Once we get him, the sky’s the limit for us.”

Check out their highlights below:

 


Hamidou Diallo on playing this semester: “We’re playing it by ear”

Hamidou Diallo on playing this semester: “We’re playing it by ear”

screen-shot-2017-01-11-at-8-19-56-am

This morning, recruiting guru Evan Daniels released a new episode of his podcast in which he interviewed the newest Wildcat, Hamidou Diallo. The five-star shooting guard announced this past weekend he will enroll at Kentucky this semester and is expected on campus in the coming days, and although the plan has been for him to sit out this year to develop and practice against Kentucky’s guards, he hinted to Daniels that may not be set in stone yet.

“I would say, right now we’re just playing it by ear,” Diallo said when asked if he will sit out this semester. “We just don’t want to rush into things. I just don’t want to go over there and put on a Kentucky jersey and just play. Just trying to protect me as much as possible. First, I’m going to have to get used to things. I mean, me just getting used to things, me just getting used to the college game. That’s pretty much the biggest thing of why I would sit out this year but right now, we’re just playing it by ear. We’re trying to see what happens within these next four months.”

Diallo will be eligible for this summer’s NBA Draft, and although John Calipari sold him on staying at Kentucky for a year and a half, he said he hasn’t ruled coming out in this year’s draft out either.

“I mean, right now, I’m just playing everything by ear. I haven’t completely ruled anything out. Right now, I’m just worried about getting up on Kentucky’s campus and just getting ready to put that work in and that’s pretty much it. I haven’t ruled anything out though, if that’s what you mean. I’m just happy to be a Wildcat right now. That’s pretty much it.”

Regardless, Diallo said he chose Kentucky because of the opportunity to train against the best guards in the country.

“Those are great guards right there,” Diallo said of Isaiah Briscoe, Malik Monk, and De’Aaron Fox. “Me just playing against them right there, that’s going to help me and help them because they’ll have a better defender to guard them of course and that could prepare them for the next level and prepare them for games as well. For me, just getting used to guarding the best of the best guards in the country.”

While UConn recruited him the longest, Diallo said he “fell in love” with Kentucky on his visit a few weeks back.

I would say I picked the Wildcats because, I mean, when I went up there, I just fell in love with them. I felt like it was the best decision for me and I just felt the level of basketball was just very different and everything — they had the best plan for me to make it to the next level.”

Specifically, Diallo said he was impressed by what Kentucky’s players had to say about assistant coach Kenny Payne, and how he can help him develop for the pros.

“I would say the training part,” Diallo said when asked what appealed to him most about Kentucky. “Coach KP [Kenny Payne], a couple of the guys telling me Coach KP is always in the gym. He’s in the gym with you at night, he’s in the gym with you in the morning. He always wants to put in work and he wants you to get better to see your dreams come true.”

Diallo said he made the decision to enroll in college this semester about a month and a half ago, and when he met with Calipari, Cal thought it was a win-win situation for both sides.

“He just thought it would be a great idea. Just coming in there, getting a couple of months under my belt early, he thought it would be a great idea and he thought it would be a good situation for the both of us.”

Who knows what will happen with Diallo, but one thing is certain: whether or not he plays this semester will be the hot topic on every pre- and postgame show this season.

Lots of good stuff in this interview, so give it a listen before this morning’s radio show by clicking this link or listening in the player below:


The 2017 Recruiting Class is Pretty Excited About the Addition of Hamidou Diallo

diallo

Coach Cal still can’t publicly talk about Hamidou Diallo, but his future teammates can.  The consensus is simple — they will work well together.

“I believe he and Quade will definitely complement each other,” small forward commit Jarred Vanderbilt told Adam Zagoria. “[They have] two totally different games but ultimately [are] compatible.”

Vanderbilt appears to be a big fan of Diallo’s game, known by his counterparts simply as ‘Hami.’

“He brings length, energy, and freakish athleticism,” Vanderbilt said.  “He also a great defender/rebounder and [he] plays hard.”

UK signee Shai Gilgeous-Alexander will be directly impacted by Diallo’s arrival.  With a one semester head-start, many expect Gilgeous-Alexander to take a backseat to Diallo.  He doesn’t see it that way.

“They are going to use us the same way they use these guys now: having three guards out top and getting up and down the floor fast,” SGA told Rivals.

It makes sense.  Quade Green controls the ball well, Vanderbilt’s is an exceptional passer and finisher in transition, and the two post players move well in space.  Gilgeous-Alexander describes them as a complete team.

“It is special,” he said. “We have guys that can shoot, passers and rebounders. We are going to be really tough.”

How tough? All eligible recruits are McDonald’s All-American Game nominees.  The rosters will be announced Sunday night at 10:30.


What impact would Hamidou Diallo’s commitment make on this team and beyond?

diallo

Editor’s Note: Below is Jack Pilgrim’s feature on Diallo from earlier this week.  Tonight the nation’s No. 1 shooting guard announced he will be enrolling at Kentucky next week for the spring semester.  


A few weeks back, I wrote an article on the pros and cons of an early commitment from 5-star SG Hamidou Diallo, specifically talking about the impact he would make on Kentucky this year as a player. At the time, the big rumor being discussed was Diallo being eligible to participate immediately, meaning he would throw on a jersey and get tossed in with the sharks in conference play.

Now, reports are saying he will enroll early at the school of his choice, but would likely sit out this semester and focus his efforts on preparing for next season.

Though he’s announcing his decision tomorrow at 5 PM, nearly every recruiting analyst is predicting Kentucky to land the high-flying guard. His last visit was to Lexington, Calipari visited him in person last week, and he shut down his recruitment fairly soon afterward. UK’s spring semester begins next week, whereas UCONN (the other “favorite” in his recruitment) doesn’t start classes until the week after. When you put all the puzzle pieces together, UK is the team to beat.

Let’s put our hypothetical realistic goggles on and say he throws on a Kentucky hat tomorrow afternoon…

What impact will it make on the team for this season and beyond?


UK now has a five-star prospect locked up at every position in 2017

Considered the No. 10 prospect in the nation and the best overall shooting guard, Diallo would give the Wildcats a five-star commitment at every position next season. That’s just ridiculous.

Quade Green at point guard, Hamidou Diallo at shooting guard, Jarred Vanderbilt at small forward, PJ Washington at power forward, and Nick Richards at center. Oh, and for good measure, add in a four-star point guard in Shai Gilgeous-Alexander that is dominating right now and very well may end up as a five-star when it’s all said and done.

The recruiting class is already stacked, yet guys like Trae Young, Mohamed Bamba, and Kevin Knox are still considering the Wildcats and could be added in the Spring.

Factor in Isaac Humphries, Sacha Killeya-Jones, and Wenyen Gabriel possibly coming back next year, and we could be talking anywhere from seven to 11 five-stars on the team next season. That’s just filthy.

Many considered the 2017-18 Kentucky team to be more of a “transition” year, but it’s developing into yet another dominant group under Calipari.

Diallo will have an extra five months to prepare for next season

Coach Cal is the best coach in the world at getting freshmen athletes to perform at the highest level. With Diallo, Calipari is going to have five extra months to work with the five-star guard out of Queens, NY and fine-tune his game for next season. That’s just scary.

Just think about that for a second. Diallo has the opportunity to go heads up against the greatest backcourt in the nation every day, develop his skill at the college level, and go through SEC and NCAA Tournament preparations while the rest of his recruiting class is sitting in class in high school. Oh, and then he gets to come back to work in the summer when the rest of the 2017 class shows up and is just getting started.

Nearly all of the criticism Diallo has received has been surrounding his shooting ability, but outside of that, he’s considered a pretty complete player. Athleticism, finishing ability, rebounding, defense, etc., the kid does it all. By coming in five months early and working on his jump shot every day, the potential for Diallo is through the roof.

This year’s squad gets the perfect practice dummy

The development for Diallo will be incredible going into next year, but you better believe his presence will make an impact on the guys already on the team.

When you look at the games UK has struggled in this season, guys like Justin Jackson (UNC), Deng Adel (UofL), and Isaac Hamilton (UCLA) were the Wildcats’ kryptonite. They had no answer on defense for the length and athleticism, no matter who was thrown their way. Insert Hamidou Diallo.

Diallo might not be getting minutes this season, but he’ll be able to emulate that same length and athleticism in practice that has given Kentucky fits. With a ridiculous 6-11 wingspan, Diallo will be a pest on defense and would provide a unique skillset on offense to defend in practice. Isaiah Briscoe has been “that guy” this year to defend similar players, but Monk, Gabriel, Mulder, and Willis have also given it their best shot. Each of them will have the opportunity to face it every day in practice, preparing them for similar situations when post-season play comes around.


Long story short, Diallo’s commitment would will be massive for his development, this team’s ability to defend the three, and next year’s Calipari squad.

Come on down, Hamidou.

@JackPilgrimKSR


@NYCHoops

Hamidou Diallo’s future teammates weigh in on his decision

@NYCHoops

@NYCHoops

Hamidou Diallo is a Kentucky Wildcat and Twitter is all abuzz with the news. Diallo will enroll this semester (as in next week), but isn’t expected to play this season. Instead, he’ll sit out, practice with the team, and prepare for the 2017-2018 season. Kentucky’s 2017 commitments are very excited about their future teammate:

If you’re keeping score at home, here’s Kentucky’s 2017 class so far (including Diall0)

PG:   Quade Green ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
PG:   Shai Alexander ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
SG:   Hamidou Diallo ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
SF:   Jarred Vanderbilt: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
PF:   PJ Washington ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
C:     Nick Richards ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

😳


Everything You Need To Know About Hamidou Diallo

Everything You Need To Know About Hamidou Diallo

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Editor’s Note: Below is Drew Franklin’s feature on Diallo from earlier this week.  Tonight the nation’s No. 1 shooting guard announced he will be enrolling at Kentucky next week for the spring semester.  


With Hamidou Diallo set to announce his decision this weekend, fans of the basketball programs he is considering are on pins and needles, anxiously awaiting the word. That word will come down Saturday at 5 pm from a ceremony at Our Lady of the Angelus Church in Rego Park off Queens Boulevard in New York.

We will have full coverage of the announcement in the hours leading up to Kentucky’s 8:30 pm tip with Arkansas in Rupp Arena. But first, let’s get to know Hamidou Diallo, the next Wildcat?

He will pick from six finalists: Arizona, Connecticut, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky and Syracuse.

However, only three of those schools — Arizona, Connecticut and Kentucky — are believed to be serious contenders.

He took official visits to Connecticut (Dec. 21) and Kentucky (Dec. 26).

He was scheduled to visit Arizona this coming weekend, but recently canceled that trip to stay home and make his announcement, which suggests Arizona is probably out of the running.

Kentucky paid him a visit on eight different occasions since the start of the fall recruiting period.

Going back to Tony Barbee’s visit on the first day of the fall recruiting period on September 9, either Calipari or Barbee or both have made eight separate trips to see Diallo.

His plan is to enroll immediately, but not play until next season.

If you’re to believe the reports, Diallo has plans to be a one-and-a-half-and-done prospect. Though he is eligible for next summer’s draft, he believes it is in his best interest to enroll in the upcoming spring semester to get a head start on the 2017-18 season, then declare for the 2018 draft.

By enrolling and joining a program next week, Diallo would be able to practice, work out, train and even travel with the team he chooses, which would be hugely beneficial in preparing him for his true debut next fall.

Think about that for a second — we’ve seen how good Calipari’s star freshmen are when they’re on campus to start the summer as opposed to arriving in the fall; now add five more months of preparation (against Malik Monk) to that.

He is widely considered the best shooting guard in the class.

ESPN is the only major recruiting service that doesn’t consider Diallo to be the best two-guard in the Class of 2017. The World Wide Leader prefers Gary Trent Jr., a Duke signee, and Collin Sexton, an Alabama signee who is more of a point guard, over Diallo. All three graded out as a 95 in ESPN’s scale.

Hamidou Diallo
Shooting Guard | 6-5 | 195 lbs.
Queens Village, NY | Putnam Science Academy
AAU: New York Rens
★★★★★
ESPN No. 11 | 3 SG Top247 No. 9 | 1 SG
Rivals No. 10 | 1 SG Scout No. 10 | 1 SG

He is from Queens, New York.

The last time Kentucky had a player from Queens, it won the national championship. (That would be your boy D Lamb.)

He attended Putnam Science Academy in Putnam, Connecticut.

Diallo decided to attend school 160 miles from home to, in his own words, focus strictly on basketball and his schoolwork.

“It’s just a quiet town, not much going on,” he said of the move to Putnam. “Just time for me to work on my books and on my game. There’s nothing going on, no distractions. I would say that changed my life right there. Without that, I would’ve still been out here in NYC with a lot of things to do.”

He already graduated from Putnam.

Thus, he is eligible for college and the 2017 NBA draft.

He played the first part of the season as a post-grad student, before recently deciding to leave for college.

He has a 6-11 wingspan.

For a little perspective, Malik Monk’s was only 6-3.5 when measured at the Kentucky combine. Tai Wynyard and Wenyen Gabriel each measured out at 6-11.

Oh, he can fly, too.

My goodness…

He wants to play to with Quade Green.

Quade Green, as in Kentucky’s point guard next season.

You gotta like hearing that.

His YouTube highlights are really something to behold.

Get in here, Hamidou.


Hamidou Diallo Commits to KENTUCKY

@CBarcaCQ

@CBarcaQC

The nation’s No. 1 shooting guard in the class of 2017 is going to be a Wildcat.  Hamidou Diallo picked the Cats over UConn, Kansas, Arizona, IU and Syracuse.

The sixth member of the class of 2017 and the fifth 5-star, Diallo will enroll at UK next week.  He will join this year’s team, but is not expected to play until next season.

Diallo joins former Team USA teammates Quade Green and P.J. Washington in the nation’s No. 1 recruiting class, a class that still has room to grow.

Hamidou Diallo
Shooting Guard | 6-5 | 195 lbs.
Queens Village, NY | Putnam Science Academy
AAU: New York Rens
★★★★★
ESPN No. 11 | 3 SG Top247 No. 9 | 1 SG
Rivals No. 10 | 1 SG Scout No. 10 | 1 SG

Watch Diallo against the best competition in the nation at this year’s Peach Jam.

With a 6’11” wingspan and outstanding leaping ability, we won’t miss Monk’s dunks for long, thanks to Diallo.


LIVE: Watch Hamidou Diallo Make His College Decision

Kelly Kline | Under Armour

Kelly Kline | Under Armour

Hamidou Diallo is choosing between the Cats, the heavy-favorite, and five others. Watch all the action unfold below.

UPDATE

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Diallo’s Decision Day: 30 Minutes and Counting

(Photo by Kelly Kline/Under Armour)

Kelly Kline|Under Armour

Hamidou Diallo’s decision is expected to start in just 30 minutes at 5:00.  As someone who’s followed many of these decisions, only in the rarest of occasions do they start on time.

Before the nation’s No. 1 shooting guard chooses between Kentucky, Connecticut, Arizona, Indiana, Kansas and Syracuse, occupy your time with the best Hamidou Diallo highlights the internet has to offer.

Keep your computer close; we’ll post a live stream as soon as we find one.


Quade Green Believes Diallo is Coming to Kentucky

Kelly Kline | Under Armor

Kelly Kline | Under Armor

Quade Green is confident that by the time the day is done, he’ll have another swingman in the Kentucky backcourt for the 2017-18 season.

“I think it’s Kentucky,” Green told USA Today’s Jason Jordan.  “Well, I hope it is. I need him with me next year.”

Green had a bad day in ESPN’s televised Cancer Research Classic, scoring just 14 points on 3-of-13 shooting in a losing effort.  However, Green couldn’t stay down for long because he’ll soon have Diallo by his side.

“He knows he’ll get the ball from me,” said Green. “I hope I’m right about him coming because he’d help a lot with my assists. He’ll be hanging on the rim all of next year if he comes with me.”

Green and Diallo have experience playing together.  This summer they were teammates with P.J. Washington, Mo Bamba and Trae Young on Team USA’s U18 FIBA Americas gold medal team.

[USA Today]


(L to R) Knox via Andy Jones | Tampa Tribune, Vanderbilt via Thomas Shea | Houston Chronicle

Normally a Conundrum for Calipari, Two Elite Small Forwards in 2017 are Possible

(L to R) Knox via Andy Jones | Tampa Tribune, Vanderbilt via Thomas Shea | Houston Chronicle

(L to R) Knox via Andy Jones | Tampa Tribune, Vanderbilt via Thomas Shea | Houston Chronicle

What the 2017 basketball recruiting class lacks in shooters, it makes up for in elite small forwards.

John Calipari has achieved unprecedented recruiting success during his tenure at Kentucky, but if there’s one thing he doesn’t do well, it’s recruit small forwards.   Calipari’s three best teams all had one thing in common: exceptional play at small forward.  Unfortunately, he’s had trouble luring the next Patrick Patterson, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist or Trey Lyles to Lexington.

With a plentiful supply of elite small forwards in the 2017 class, that will not be the case this year.  There’s already one 5-star small forward in the fold and Calipari could land another.

Two days before Christmas Jarred Vanderbilt announced his commitment to Kentucky.  Considered the No. 20 player overall and the No. 6 small forward, Vanderbilt’s position ranking would be much higher in any other class.  Vanderbilt’s play is reminiscent of MKG’s.  His game isn’t built around scoring, it’s built around every other basketball skill, from ball-handling in the open floor, to passing, dunking and defense.  This highlight reel accurately reflects the diversity of his game.

Normally Calipari would begin looking for options at other positions after landing Vanderbilt, but this ins’t a normal year.  All eyes are on Hamidou Diallo today, but Cal’s next priority is probably Kevin Knox.

Knox is considered the No. 9 player in the class, the No. 2 small forward behind only Michael Porter Jr., the unanimous No. 1 player in America.  Knox’s final four schools are Kentucky, North Carolina, Florida State, and Duke.

Since Vanderbilt committed to Kentucky, experts immediately pinned Duke as the favorite for Knox.  Last Friday Calipari traveled to the John Wall Holiday Invitational in Raleigh, North Carolina to watch Knox play.  Knox told Rivals there’s plenty of room for him at UK.

“Me and Coach Cal talked about me and Jarred. We don’t play alike and we talked about how we could make it all work,” Knox said.

Knox is the most physically gifted small forward in the class and he’s probably the best shooter.  Smooth down the lane, he keeps defenders on their toes because of his ability to pull up and shoot from any spot on the floor.  His range extends well beyond the three-point line.

Even when they don’t go in, they always look good.  Every time he lets one fly, I say “BUTTA!” It happened plenty of times in this early game at the John Wall Invitational.  He dropped 38 and nailed a contested game-winning three in transition at the buzzer.

Knox is waiting until February or March to decide.  If Calipari can convince Knox to come to Kentucky, he’ll have a good problem at small forward.


Saturday’s Top 10: Monk vs. Arkansas and Hamidou Diallo

Saturday’s Top 10: Monk vs. Arkansas and Hamidou Diallo

Via USA Basketball and Getty Images.

Via USA Basketball and Getty Images.

It’s a busy day in the Bluegrass, but you’ll have to wait awhile for the action.  The nation’s No. 1 shooting guard Hamidou Diallo will (hopefully) choose Kentucky over five others this after noon at 5:00.  Later on the SEC Network at 8:30, Kentucky tips off against Arkansas, the school spurned by Malik Monk.  There’s plenty to talk about so let’s not waste any time.

Last Minute Scoop on Diallo

There is none.  The general consensus remained the same overnight: Kentucky is the favorite for Diallo who’s expected to enroll for the spring semester.  Since there’s no news to share, I’ll share my two-sense three-sense on Diallo’s game for the final time.

1. For a shooting guard, he doesn’t shoot well.  Think Archie Goodwin, but better.  The first time I watched him play, I dogged his shot nonstop, until he shut me up with a game-tying fadeaway three at the buzzer to force overtime.  He dominated overtime and his team won at the Peach Jam. Diallo is a dog.

2. Diallo dunks like Monk.  The explosion and ferocity are strangely similar.  If Diallo indeed comes early, I’d love to see the two take part in a dunk contest.

3. New York, New York.  New York natives do not mess around, and Diallo is no exception.

If Diallo joins the team midyear it will not be unprecedented, just ask Tai Wynyard.  However, there’s no denying this recruiting process is stranger than what we’re used to.  Come back around 4:45 for all the coverage you need from Diallo’s commitment.

How Will Monk Handle his Home State School

He’s going to shoot it, shoot it some more, and never stop until the final horn sounds.  “Feast or famine” is one way to put it.  Coach Cal is trying to keep him calm between the ears.

“When he gets too hyped he’s not at his best,” Calipari said yesterday.  “I thought when he gets too hyped he doesn’t shoot it as well, mind starts racing a little bit. He’s not, you know, the calm, athletic, attack player he needs to be when he’s at his best. He and I will talk about it before the game, but right now it hasn’t been discussed.”

When Calipari players take on teams with hometown ties, it usually goes pretty well.  You’ll see what I’m talking about in a post later today.

Arkansas and UK have the Same Record

Each team enters the game 12-2, but the Razorbacks’ competition has not been close to the caliber of Kentucky’s.  Arkansas’ signature win was a 3-point victory over the under-achieving Texas Longhorns in Houston, although they did something Indiana couldn’t do: beat Ft. Wayne.  Arkansas lost their SEC opener against Florida and received a thorough 14-point beatdown at Minnesota.

The Last SEC Loss at Rupp was to Arkansas

The Cats have won 20 consecutive SEC games at Rupp Arena since falling to the Razorbacks in overtime 71-67 back in 2014.  In UK’s last eight meetings with the Razorbacks, the series is split.

By the Numbers

Kudos to Arkansas’ graphic department for this one.

screen-shot-2017-01-06-at-2-28-35-pm

Early Enrollees Arrive to Campus

Over the next two days, high school seniors will not return for one final semester of  high school.  Instead, they’ll enroll at Kentucky and begin their SEC football careers.  Experiencing spring practice is an advantage that propelled many to early playing time, most notably Kash Daniel from ’16.  By the end of the week we’ll have an exact list; here’s a rough draft/guesstimation:

  • Linebacker Jamin Davis
  • Cornerback Cedrick Dort
  • Running back Bryant Koback
  • Wide receiver Clevan Thomas
  • Quarterback Danny Clark (maybe Walker Wood too)
  • JUCO safety Lonnie Johnson
  • JUCO defensive tackle Phil Hoskins

Bowden can (Basket)ball

Lynn Bowden is my favorite uncommitted Kentucky football prospect.  The 4-star Youngstown athlete is a freak on the football field, pulling off stuff you thought was only possible in video games.  Turns out, he’s pretty good at basketball too.  A few highlights from a 30-point performance:

Have you downloaded the KSR app?

If you’re still waiting, you’re missing out, quite literally.  Last night we gave away a free pair of tickets to tonight’s game on the app.  Don’t let another opportunity go by, get it on iTunes or Google Play now.

Atlanta’s Channel 2 Severe Weather Team Keeps it 💯

That’s not an attempt to use hip lingo.  💯 is the approximate number of reporters on the street covering two inches of snow.

h/t to John Boel

h/t to John Boel

But wait, THERE’S MORE!

h/t Darren

h/t Darren “D-money” Rovell

Today’s Sports Schedule

  • Noon: No. 18 Butler at Georgetown on Fox
  • 1:00: TCU at No. 7 West Virginia on ESPNU
  • 1:30: Texas A&M at South Carolina on CBS
  • 2:00: No. 21 Virginia Tech at No. 12 Florida State on ESPN
  • 3:15: Maryland at Michigan on ESPN2
  • 5:00: Illinois at No. 25 Indiana on ESPNU
  • 5:15: Tennessee at No. 24 Florida on ESPN2
  • 8:00: NC State at No. 14 North Carolina on ESPN

Check out the complete hoops schedule here.  After basketball, we get a special treat:

playoffs-mora

There’s a bad one at 4:35 on ESPN when the Raiders travel to take on the Texans.  Just before the UK game tips off, the Lions kickoff in Seattle against the Seahawks on NBC.


Thursday’s Top 10: The Crown, Hamidou Diallo announcement set, SNOW!!!

Thursday’s Top 10: The Crown, Hamidou Diallo announcement set, SNOW!!!

the-crown-season-2-770x433

I’ll be honest, the majority of things I watch on Netflix are forgettable — looking at you, Fuller House — but over Christmas break, I stumbled upon their original series The Crown. Several people have recommended the drama about Queen Elizabeth’s ascent to the throne, so I took a chance on it, and man, I haven’t enjoyed a show this thoroughly in a while. While shows like Westworld and Stranger Things make your head spin with theories, The Crown has me researching more about Queen Elizabeth II because her story is simply fascinating. Yes, the show tells the story about her becoming queen, but the most interesting part — and the part the show explores the best — is the impact it has on her family, specifically her marriage to Prince Philip; in fact, the show begins with their wedding in 1947. Netflix spent upwards of $100 million on the series, which they hope will span six seasons, each lasting a decade. There are ten episodes in season one; I’m only through six and am already dreading running out of them.

Now, let’s run through today’s agenda before I watch another one…

1. Hamidou Diallo will announce his decision on Saturday

If you missed the news late last night, five-star shooting guard Hamidou Diallo tweeted that he will announce his decision Saturday at 5 p.m. Don’t let that graphic fool you; at the most, Diallo is down to Kentucky, UConn, and Arizona, and even then, all signs point to Kentucky. Diallo was on campus last week for an official visit, which Calipari followed up on at the end of the week. Yesterday, recruiting gurus Evan Daniels and Jerry Meyer said they believe Diallo will end up in Lexington and will sit out this upcoming semester to focus on developing himself for next season. Adam Zagoria says Diallo was working on taking a visit to Arizona up until yesterday, but now that won’t happen. If that’s not a good sign for Kentucky, I don’t know what is.

2. Turning our sights towards Arkansas

As we wait on Diallo’s decision, we can start preparing for Saturday’s showdown with Arkansas, aka the Malik Monk Bowl. Monk, of course, grew up in Lepanto, Arkansas and played high school ball in Bentonville, which is close to Fayetteville, and his brother Marcus played football and basketball for the Razorbacks. Malik ruffled a lot of feathers when he chose Kentucky over Arkansas, and while this game would be A LOT more dramatic if it was in Fayetteville, you know it will hold special meaning for the freshmen phenom.

3. Calipari watched Shai Alexander last night

John Calipari was in my neck of the woods last night to see his future point guard Shai Alexander’s Hamilton Heights play Brentwood Academy in Nashville. Alexander scored 13 points in Hamilton Height’s win, and Calipari also got a look at Brentwood’s Darius Garland, the number one point guard in the 2018 class according to 247 Sports Composite. He doesn’t have an offer from UK yet, but he does have offers from Duke, Louisville, and Indiana, so one is probably on the way.

4. Much more importantly, it’s supposed to SNOW! FREAK OUT!

The Central Kentucky area is supposed to pick up 1-3 inches through tomorrow, which is just enough to send the entire Bluegrass into a panic. Here’s the latest estimate from LEX18:

Of course, down here in the Snow Dome, we’ll probably just get flurries…MAYBE a dusting. Regardless, I’m sure the store is already out of eggs, bread, and milk.

5. UK Hoops hosts Missouri at 7 p.m.

After two tough road losses to Duke and Tennessee last week, your #24 ranked UK Hoops team returns to Memorial Coliseum to host Missouri tonight at 7 p.m. Tickets are still available, or you can watch the game on the SEC Network.

6. It was a wild night in college basketball

@Zyanalexander

@Zyanalexander

If you didn’t spend your Wednesday night watching college basketball, you missed a classic as #18 Butler took down #1 Villanova at Hinkle Fieldhouse. As you can see in that picture up there, up five in the closing minute, the Bulldogs used a play called “Kentucky” to seal the deal. That’s gotta be a good sign, right?

Meanwhile, Grayson Allen returned to action for Duke after an “indefinite” one-game suspension, which should shock no one. Louisville lost at Notre Dame, Pittsburgh beat #11 Virginia, and the SEC was a hot mess. Vandy, who’s been horrible this year, beat Auburn by almost 20 points, and Missouri lost their fifth straight at LSU.

7. But if you ask Missouri AD Jim Sterk, EVERYTHING IS FINE HERE

Of course, as many have pointed out on Twitter, the fact that he felt the need to issue a statement of support probably means he’s not that supportive at all.

8. College basketball on TV tonight:

  • 7:00 PM: #20 Purdue vs. Ohio State
  • 9:00 PM: California at #4 UCLA
  • 9:00 PM: #5 Gonzaga vs. San Francisco
  • 10:00 PM: Utah vs. #17 Arizona
  • 11:00 PM: Stanford vs. #25 USC
  • 11:00 PM: BYU vs. #19 Saint Mary’s

9. Did you see the buzzer beater at the WMYT Mountain Classic?

Turns out it might have been a hair too late, but what a shot.

10. A new Calipari podcast will drop today

Will it be the one with Rick Pitino? Or will it be feature one of Calipari’s other scheduled guests like Karl Towns, Dan Patrick, and Geno Auriemma? We’ll find out at some point today.

BONUS: Have you downloaded the KSR app yet?

You definitely should. We even fixed that bug where it crashes when you open a story. Do yourself a favor and get it on iTunes or Android.

Radio in an hour…


Hamidou Diallo Sets a Decision Date

@Diallo1Hamidou

@Diallo1Hamidou

The news you’ve been waiting for all day is finally here: Hamidou Diallo will make his college decision Saturday night at 5:00.

The Cats are considered the team to beat for the nation’s No. 1 shooting guard.  Diallo was expected to visit Arizona tomorrow but that no longer appears to be the case.  UConn and and Syracuse are also in the mix.  Diallo is expected to enroll in the spring semester, although Evan Daniels does not expect him to suit up this season.

Hamidou Diallo
Shooting Guard | 6-5 | 195 lbs.
Queens Village, NY | Putnam Science Academy
AAU: New York Rens
★★★★★
ESPN No. 11 | 3 SG Top247 No. 9 | 1 SG
Rivals No. 10 | Scout No. 10 | 1 SG