Here we go, folks! After arriving in Lexington on Tuesday night, Hamidou Diallo is now practicing with the team. Check out this sneak peek of Diallo in practice, which @KentuckyMBB tweeted out minutes ago:
Our newest additon, Hamidou Diallo, getting his first on-court work in. That jumper looks ðŸ‘Œ pic.twitter.com/ICvVItZZc0
– Kentucky Basketball (@KentuckyMBB) January 13, 2017
How perfect is it that they showed him hitting a jumper? Diallo is the best shooting guard in the 2017 class, but isn’t exactly known as a great shooter BUT MAYBE WE’RE WRONG. Predictably, John Calipari talked a lot about Diallo in today’s press conference, and when asked if he would play Diallo if Kentucky’s guards got into foul trouble, Cal said no, stressing that Diallo will only play this season if it’s in HIS best interest, not the team’s.
“I wouldn’t do it for me or the program. The only way that would happen is if it’s in his best interest. The situation wouldn’t matter. Up, down, sideways, it wouldn’t matter. It would be about him. What I know is what’s in his mind, and what I see, he needs to get squared away, let’s get your base set, and then come back and do your thing. That would be my recommendation if he asks me.”
Diallo will travel with the team but he will not dress, meaning his biggest impact will be in practice, where he can go against Kentucky’s guards.
“He can guard them, he can make them come every day and have to bring it because he’s a long, athletic player,” Cal said. ” I get to split up the group a little bit so we get a little six rotation on both sides, which is gonna be good. It’s his first time, he’s probably anxious and nervous. We gave him a couple of things that we’re doing so when we go up and down he can play those things and we can go against him, but if I had to imagine, he’ll look a little lost.”
Cal said he thinks any player that’s in Hamidou’s situation and can go to college early should because it will give him an extra semester to develop with the best training staff in the country.
“He’s going to get to work out, all the stuff that he needs personally, we can be about. You can really focus on what he needs and then kind of shove him into this stuff, let him have a feel for it and go from there.”
And now, for the $64,000 question: how does Diallo look so far?
“I don’t know, let me coach him one day and let you know.”