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Hamidou Diallo got a standing ovation tonight

Tonight was fun for many reasons, but none more so than Hamidou Diallo’s performance. After a month of bad games and criticism, Diallo bounced back, putting up 11 points, two rebounds, two assists, a block and a steal, earning a standing ovation from his teammates and the Rupp Arena crowd.

“I gave Hami a hug in front of the team,” John Calipari said. “They gave him a standing ovation. You know, it’s been hard, and I wasn’t going to kick him to the curb. I wasn’t going to throw him under the bus. It’s been hard. I’ve been spending, I told the team, 90% of my team has been figuring out how to I get this kid going, but I’ve got to win games. And I told them, if someone’s not playing great, it’s okay, just be better next game. But don’t expect to play when someone’s playing better.”

Calipari said Hami’s one of the players that’s been in the gym shooting late at night, which affirms his belief that the freshman could turn it around.

“Hami, I’ve been in the office 10, 11 at night, I look out and he’s out there shooting. I feel so good that I can stick with him.”

According to Hami, that support made a difference.

“It shows that I have a great group of guys around me to just help me through tough times,” Hami said of his teammates. “They know what type of player I am and what I went through.”

“I love the fact that our fans gave Hami a standing ovation,” Calipari said. “That’s what fans should do. Instead of being down on the kid — that’s someone’s son, that’s someone’s child. If it were their child, how would you want them to be treated? And now all of a sudden, they have taken it — you should see the smile on his face in there. The players love it. They knew he was struggling.”

Hami’s big dunk in the second half said it all:


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.

18 Comments for Hamidou Diallo got a standing ovation tonight

  1. Miller45
    12:18 am February 25, 2018 Permalink

    stood by him and pulled for him all season, loved seeing him having fun again and hope he comes back next season and proves the haters wrong

  2. oruacat2
    12:33 am February 25, 2018 Permalink

    The kid played well. Any and all kudos are much-deserved. Keep it up, Hami.

  3. J-Dub421
    1:25 am February 25, 2018 Permalink

    I’m so glad Hami had a good game tonight. I just knew if he could hit one shot it would act as a pressure release and he would play better. I’m so glad it finally happened. Everything is starting to fall into place at just the right time.

  4. 4everUKblue
    6:42 am February 25, 2018 Permalink

    I agree with everyone, I’m so happy for Diallo, so good to see that smile.

  5. hillbilly cat
    8:01 am February 25, 2018 Permalink

    That smile makes it all worthwhile

  6. Matty Arbuckle
    8:04 am February 25, 2018 Permalink

    I like seeing Hami do well, but he was not playing very well before this game and the criticism was pretty justified in my opinion. Hope he continues to trend upward.

    • Mathlete
      9:20 am February 25, 2018 Permalink

      Hami was acutely aware he was struggling, and was busting his tail to get out of his slump. Slumps happen to everyone, it’s how hard you work to get out of them that matters

  7. RealCatsFan
    8:34 am February 25, 2018 Permalink

    I too am glad for him. And we need him playing well going forward. However, I would love to see Cal give the same kind of support to SKJ. He was a 5 star McD’s AA coming in, and he hardly sees the floor. He needs some help and support from the coaches and fans. He is the kind of player that can make a big difference for us if he stays for 4 years.

    • Yeah, I missed the incident others are referring to where he was shaking his head on the bench. He played really well at times early on, and it looked like he was going to be our best shot blocker.

    • Racerr11
      8:48 am February 25, 2018 Permalink

      We should never criticize are players publicly never. I’m happy for Diallo, watched the game alone and when he did good a big smile came up on my face. Great job Hami.

    • 4everUKblue
      9:04 am February 25, 2018 Permalink

      I agree SKJ needs to see more playing time, in the short time he was in he had a big play to keep the run going. I also agree we should never criticize our players publicly, but as someone else on here said, there are those who like to point out other people’s flaws so they don’t have to look at their own miserable lives.

    • makeitstop
      9:43 am February 25, 2018 Permalink

      SKJ won’t get more playing time unless it comes from Wenyan or Nick. He’s got 1-6 w SGA, Knox, Vando, PJ, Hami and Green. Wenyan brings size and energy and spit up 3’s but handles the ball poorly making him the likely 7th… Nick is a force when he is on and lost when he isn’t, and SKJ better show some ball skills and 8-15 foot range if he wants to make the 8 man rotation. That’s what he does Nick can’t (or hasn’t). Especially against a zone SKJ could make himself valuable and it may just be game to game for those guys. They both need another couple years.

    • makeitstop
      9:45 am February 25, 2018 Permalink

      *spot up 3’s, thx Siri

  8. sp
    9:03 am February 25, 2018 Permalink

    He had prettty bad body language on the bench all night. It’s tough to barely play. I’m sure he’s putting in all the effort in practice but it’s not translating into minutes. He needs our support and I hope he isn’t thinking about heading elsewhere next season.

  9. makeitstop
    9:36 am February 25, 2018 Permalink

    Great to see him play a complete game. He’s been hustling on defense and that’s kept him on the floor when his offense was lost but when he had defensive lapses or selfish offense, Cal pulled him, “keep hustling and if ur shot isn’t falling I’ll stick with u but u better be playing for the team, if not, ur minutes go to someone else.” As I’ve said IMO they won’t make a deep run unless this kid plays well. They won’t play to the second weekend if he’s not contributing. Cal made a calculated risk continuing to invest minutes a few games w no results but he really had to if he wanted to play on in March. Hope it pays off!

  10. Matty Arbuckle
    10:00 am February 25, 2018 Permalink

    I get the impression from SKJ’s body language that he will transfer after this season.

  11. BlakeBlueNation
    11:43 am February 25, 2018 Permalink

    If hami starts playing well, this team will be downright scary. We have 2 amazing point guards, Quade for offense, Shai for defense, Knox needs to be more consistent but is for sure getting there, PJ is very tough and he and Jarred Vando have tore it up the last 3 games. We are just missing that athleticism, blocking, and dunking abilities right now I believe (other than a shooter but we’ve proved we can shoot the ball). If Nick and Hami start going we’ve filled out all the roles everybody plays, if that happens I could see us making a large push in the tournament.

  12. maximumscott
    1:51 pm February 25, 2018 Permalink

    If hami continues to grow this team will be downright scary in March. Probably gonna be playing just as good as a 1 seed but will be a 4 or 5