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Calipari: Diallo will only play this year if it’s in HIS best interest, not the team’s

Screen Shot 2017-01-13 at 1.30.25 PM

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:

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.”

Fair enough.

Article written by Mrs. Tyler Thompson

No, I will not make you a sandwich, but you can follow me on Twitter @MrsTylerKSR or email me.

17 Comments for Calipari: Diallo will only play this year if it’s in HIS best interest, not the team’s



  1. nadroj
    3:16 pm January 13, 2017 Permalink

    The form on his shot is already obviously off — the release is too late.

    I’m excited for him, for sure, but this video gives us no reason to be excited about his jump shot. Anybody can make one.



    • Sentient Third Eye
      4:09 pm January 13, 2017 Permalink

      Maybe that’s why he’s here a semester early. Speaks well of the kid, I think. By fall, I’m sure his jumper will be smooth and sweet.



    • Megan
      1:07 am January 14, 2017 Permalink

      Thank you for the snap judgment. One shot and you’ve got him all figured out.



    • rainman
      9:42 am January 14, 2017 Permalink

      Another snap judgement, he’s not squared up!
      But it’s not as bad as we have been led to believe!



  2. ukallday69
    3:35 pm January 13, 2017 Permalink

    wide open free throw line jumper at half speed in practice and WOW look at his form man !11 maybe his shooting isnt bad …



  3. Booby Petrino
    3:42 pm January 13, 2017 Permalink

    These guys ^ sound like a lot of fun to hang around. Yay for negativity!



    • nadroj
      4:06 pm January 13, 2017 Permalink

      Just to reiterate: I’m really excited about Diallo. I think he’ll be a great player next year (and maybe even later this year). But there were worries about the jump shot, and that video certainly does nothing to ease them.

  4. But of course he said that because Cal. Why can’t it be best for both? Why does he seem to think it has be one or the other?

    • BTW, I know some people compare situations like this to Slickie Rickie not playing DA in the tourney in 97. However, they’re apples and oranges. Pitino was dealing with a player that had blown out both knees and he didn’t want to hurt his draft stock with another injury. Part of me wishes he had played him (3 nattys in a row!), but I understand why he didn’t.

      If Diallo isn’t ready, it’s a no-brainer, but I just don’t get Cal’s logic. It seems to me if he’s ready, he’s ready, if he’s not, he’s not.



    • runningunnin.454
      6:04 pm January 13, 2017 Permalink

      That’s Cal-speak; and it gets him a loaded 5* class every year.



  5. leon singleton
    7:23 pm January 13, 2017 Permalink

    Not playing Diallo goes against the one and done theory.



    • RickE
      7:34 pm January 13, 2017 Permalink

      Too late for one and done. Has to be .5 or 1.5 and done.



  6. Rick_S
    12:05 am January 14, 2017 Permalink

    He should play..We need an NBA player to defend the SF’s out there..Can you imagine him on the break with Fox and Monk…wow



  7. Luether
    1:58 am January 14, 2017 Permalink

    Just more mind games and BS from Cal….



  8. jonthes
    9:03 am January 14, 2017 Permalink

    Well, those are mutual interests and he will be playing for the team if he plays.



  9. rainman
    9:45 am January 14, 2017 Permalink

    I don’t understand why anyone would make a decision this quickly,
    there will almost certainly be situations where he will be able to help
    this team! I really wouldn’t understand, if he doesn’t dress!



  10. Rixter
    2:29 pm January 14, 2017 Permalink

    CoachSpeak for “we’ll play him if we need him, then I’ll explain how it was in his best interest”