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Draft Express’ latest prospect rankings suggest Diallo should return to school

Chet White | UK Athletics

Photo by Chet White | UK Athletics

Photo by Chet White | UK Athletics

On Sunday night, Hamidou Diallo declared for the draft, but said he’s not going to sign an agent so he can go through the evaluation process and decide whether or not it’s best to go back to school or stay in. In turn, mock draft sites are factoring Diallo into the 2017 mix, and based on that, it sounds like Hami would be wise to return to the school to work on his game and improve his stock. Draft Express’ latest ranking of the Top 100 prospects has Diallo 35th, so, theoretically, the fifth pick in the second round. Similarly, ESPN’s Chad Ford has Diallo 37th in his latest rankings.

Here’s where the rest of Kentucky’s prospects landed in Draft Express’ Top 100 rankings:

5. De’Aaron Fox
6. Malik Monk
34. Bam Adebayo
35. Hamidou Diallo
89. Isaiah Briscoe
100. Isaac Humphries

While Draft Express hasn’t updated its 2017 mock draft to include Diallo, he is in the 2018 version as the 22nd pick, along with Mohamed Bamba at 4th and Nick Richards at 19th.

Come back, Hami!

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.

16 Comments for Draft Express’ latest prospect rankings suggest Diallo should return to school

  1. JusSayin
    12:21 pm April 26, 2017 Permalink

    People who hate this would REALLY hate the college basketball without the One and Done rule. Guys committed and then decided to go straight to the NBA all the time.

    Happened twice to UofL.

    Didn’t happen to UK as much because we had Tubby and he seldom got 5 star players.

    • Sentient Third Eye
      2:28 pm April 26, 2017 Permalink

      Yes, remember how low the talent-level was in the early 2000s because of one-and-done? The NCAA champs of that era couldn’t make an elite eight today.

  2. thomaswaynem
    12:24 pm April 26, 2017 Permalink

    I’m not normally a pessimist, but if he is sniffing the first round without even playing a game he is going to leave.

    • Bobbum Man
      12:42 pm April 26, 2017 Permalink

      Except when u can come back and be a lottery/top 10 pick and make yourself a lot more money

    • thomaswaynem
      1:19 pm April 26, 2017 Permalink

      Bam Adabayo says hi

    • Sergeant
      9:53 pm April 26, 2017 Permalink

      Fox and Monk say hi back.

  3. plumloopy
    12:41 pm April 26, 2017 Permalink

    Yeah, and they say the same for Humphries, Briscoe and Adebayo. They sure listened.

    • Bobbum Man
      12:44 pm April 26, 2017 Permalink

      Draft experts have no idea of a persons family situation, neither do you. I would guess there’s a lot more to their decision than taking the experts words as gospel. I’m sure you would turn down the opportunity to care for ur entire family if given the opportunity and assuming your family was struggling a bit and could really use the money, but maybe they think differently

  4. CatManDo
    12:58 pm April 26, 2017 Permalink

    I have a sinking feeling he is gone despite these projections.

    1. NBA teams draft mostly on potential and he has it. I could see a team drafting in the 20 – 30 range that doesn’t have an immediate need to their roster grabbing him as a 2-3 year down the road guy. They could think “I can get a top 10 caliber talent at a late first round pick”. Plus you know how teams fall in love with measurements such as reach, wingspan (Jay Bilas anyone?), etc.and we have all heard he fits this bill.

    2. He may have the mentality that he just doesn’t want to go to school for another year especially when his only reason to go to college was to get into the NBA, which he can now do.

  5. lumafia35
    1:00 pm April 26, 2017 Permalink


  6. dballrb
    1:40 pm April 26, 2017 Permalink

    Early 2nd round.Many have left with lower draft projections so I’ll say 51%-49% he’s gone.

  7. Duuuuuude
    2:30 pm April 26, 2017 Permalink

    It was his plan all along to test the waters. He as much as said so. He is a smart kid and he has a plan and he is sticking to the plan. I have no problem with him what so ever because we all knew this was a possibility from the get go. Good Lord…..

  8. Aar
    2:35 pm April 26, 2017 Permalink

    So, I agree he’s probably a coin flip away from going to the draft. However, I’m focusing on the reasons he might play next season for UK:
    1) Unlike the other 2017 UK departures, he has a very real potential to significantly improve his draft position (and thus future earnings) in 2018
    2) His family might not be in the position of extreme need that another 2017 UK departure has been
    3) He and his handlers have been very conservative with taking steps in his development until now. There is no reason to expect them to change now. They held him out of college for an extra semester, I suspect they do the same with holding out of the NBA for a season
    4) Competing with the taller, more experienced Cam Johnson both for playing time and defending him in practice is exactly what he will need to do in the NBA. Perfect development opportunity. (quite an assumption there)

    Anyway, I think he’s been getting very good advice, collecting as much information as possible along the way and making very good decisions about his progress through the basketball development levels. I know he will make the best decision possible for him and his family. To my (admittedly very limited) line of sight, I suspect his best decision is to play for Big Blue next season.

    Anyway, from the time I formed a decision on each, I have always expected Hami to play for UK next year and for Bam, Isaiah and Isaac to leave. I hope I bat 100% this season.

    Finally, I am salivating over the thought of having both Diallo and Johnson available at the 2 next season! I don’t believe Cal has had a single player with either of their size at the 2 since coming to UK. His UK teams have almost always lacked pure shooting wings with athleticism and size.

    Yes, Murray and Monk have been pure shooters with athleticism but neither were 6’6″ to 6’8″! With the exception of 2012-13 (MKG, Lamb & Miller), the 2 or 3 has always been the position that opponents could sag off and attack through. These two give me hope that next season’s 2 (and 3?) will not be a weak spot on either side of the ball!

    Cal’s UK teams always have had great depth at 1, 4 & 5 and, with the exception of Monk and Lamb, used out of position players at the 2 and 3. Hopefully, next season’s Cats look to have natural talent for the position at the 1 (Green & ?Alexander), 2 (Diallo, Johnson & ?Alexander), 3 (Washington & ?Vanderbilt), 4 (Gabriel, ?SKJ & ?Vanderbilt) and 5 (Bamba, Richards, ?SKJ & Wynyard). So, obviously, I’m hoping that Diallo stays, Johnson and Bamba come. If they all do, I think we have a real likelihood of winning our 4th “odd decade on the 8s National Championship” (58, 78, 98 & ?18).

    • Dy9astyIn2018
      3:32 pm April 26, 2017 Permalink

      I agree with everything you said. I’m really intrigued to see how SKJ develops over the summer. If he can live up to his potential we could have starting 5 with crazy length.

      At this point, I hope Cal takes a commitment from Johnson ASAP. Realistically I don’t think we’ll get Knox, and it would be a shame to miss out on both Johnson and Knox. Assuming Diallo returns and Johnson and Bamba sign with UK there’s no reason why the Cats won’t be in the national title conversation yet again. Regardless, basketball season is going to be a lot of fun in the state of KY next year. Kentucky and Louisville will be top 5/top 10 teams for the majority of the season, and Western will certainly compete for NCAA Tournament bid as well.

      Here’s to hoping Diallo returns and Johnson and Bamba sign in the near future 🍻. Go Big Blue! Time for 9

  9. CatBlue in LR
    3:33 pm April 26, 2017 Permalink

    I think you’re forgetting Aaron. He played the 2 at 6-6, I believe. Hami is listed at 6-5.

    Next year looks like the year the odd-number-decade-8 string ends, unfortunately. But, if we get Johnson, and especially Mo, at least it won’t be miserable to watch.

  10. DelrayCat
    5:04 pm April 26, 2017 Permalink

    I saw over 180 guys had declared for the draft that were underclassmen. That did not include seniors nor all the potential foreign players. Remember there are only 64 draft picks total. A lot of bad advice going around.