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Hamidou Diallo: “If now is the time, then so be it…I’m still leaving both doors open”

Screen Shot 2017-05-11 at 4.56.35 PM

Hamidou Diallo had an incredible day at the NBA Combine, turning in the second best vertical jump in combine history at 44.5″. This has to be an overwhelming time for Hami, who arrived in Lexington in January, and since declaring for the draft, we haven’t really heard from him…until now. Diallo spoke to ESPN about the draft process, telling Jeff Goodman that it hasn’t always been an easy one.

“It’s just been a difficult process. I ended up trying to do this because the coaching staff at Kentucky guided me through this process. I thought this was the best thing for me to do, test the waters and see where I stand. If now is the time, then so be it. But I wouldn’t mind going back to the University of Kentucky. I’m still leaving both doors open.

Diallo said his game improved immensely thanks to his four months at UK, which included going against De’Aaron Fox, Malik Monk, Isaiah Briscoe, and Dominique Hawkins in practice, during which, interestingly, he said he mostly played point. What does Hami have to hear to decide to stay in the draft?

“I would say it’s all about feel. No certain info. Just all about feel and feeling it out and trusting those around me and making an educated decision.”

Watch the interview below, thanks to Jen Palumbo, and a montage of Hami’s performance today:

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.

66 Comments for Hamidou Diallo: “If now is the time, then so be it…I’m still leaving both doors open”

  1. Luether
    6:39 pm May 11, 2017 Permalink

    Don’t be a fool, stay in school…

  2. BigBlue4EverUK
    6:45 pm May 11, 2017 Permalink

    Yeah,he is gone…It was nice having him on the team,I guess

  3. wildcatfan20
    6:45 pm May 11, 2017 Permalink

    I may be mistaken, but I don’t believe wingspan plays into a player’s vertical jump. They typically measure their standing reach, measure their highest jump and then calculate the difference. Bottom line, he is an athletic monster with the perfect NBA physique.

    • stl_cat
      6:49 pm May 11, 2017 Permalink

      You are correct, came here to say this. Vertical not affected by wingspan at all

    • Mrs. Tyler Thompson
      6:55 pm May 11, 2017 Permalink

      My bad.

    • turdyshmurda
      8:32 pm May 11, 2017 Permalink

      Exactly why I can’t take her posts seriously anymore. Just weak.

    • Mrs. Tyler Thompson
      8:37 pm May 11, 2017 Permalink

      As always, thank you for reading!

    • turdyshmurda
      8:39 pm May 11, 2017 Permalink

      You are worst than CNN, MSNBC, all left wing news combined!

    • Mrs. Tyler Thompson
      8:42 pm May 11, 2017 Permalink

      Yet you keep coming back…. 🤔

    • turdyshmurda
      9:00 pm May 11, 2017 Permalink

      There are other writers and commenters on the site other than you if you haven’t noticed 💩. Turd.

    • Mrs. Tyler Thompson
      9:04 pm May 11, 2017 Permalink

      Man, some people are just assholes.

    • chris43
      12:05 am May 12, 2017 Permalink

      Yes ma’am they are…its a shame because we’re all supposed to be UK fans (or would would assume) but this site has quite a few of them.

    • catsarerunnin
      9:01 pm May 11, 2017 Permalink

      Don’t be so shitty turdy.

    • turdyshmurda
      9:12 pm May 11, 2017 Permalink


    • Booby Petrino
      9:18 pm May 11, 2017 Permalink

      Lol you keep coming back to her posts tho 😂😂😉

    • RealCatsFan
      9:19 pm May 11, 2017 Permalink

      Actually, an asshole is where turdy came from. 😉

    • 4everblue
      9:44 pm May 11, 2017 Permalink

      Seems Turdy is aptly named, just one of those people who seem to work at being an asshole….or maybe it just comes natural. Would fit in nicely at Duke.

    • Eazy
      9:50 am May 12, 2017 Permalink

      No surprise he is a Trump fan. You’d have to be ignorant to like that clown.

  4. Catlogic15
    7:19 pm May 11, 2017 Permalink

    So if he stays it’s Cal’s fault. Way to go coach.😉

  5. Showstopper78
    7:21 pm May 11, 2017 Permalink

    How can you go back to somewhere that you never played to begin with??? We as fans heard he was not ready for the college game and that is why he did not play. Yet just a few short months later he is ready to play against the best the world has to offer. Just color me confused…..

    • BBNDan7
      9:36 am May 12, 2017 Permalink

      His game should be better now than it was, I don’t think it was that he wasn’t ready to play but rather not comfortable with Cals system as the other players, therefore would hurt us in the court. If he goes he will have unlimited time and resources to get better in the offseason for an NBA team

  6. BlueHeaven
    7:31 pm May 11, 2017 Permalink

    I don’t understand the obsession with a kid who may never play a game in a UK uniform. Enough with all this stupid coverage. Give me stories about the players that have already committed for next year.

    • BBNDan7
      9:01 pm May 11, 2017 Permalink


    • TBW3011
      10:38 pm May 11, 2017 Permalink

      He gave his opinion. You don’t have to read it either. At no point did he said they are making him read it.

  7. sa_hunt
    8:33 pm May 11, 2017 Permalink

    Facts must really be optional. On a previous post it says Hami posted the 8th highest vertical in combine history.

    • Mrs. Tyler Thompson
      8:37 pm May 11, 2017 Permalink

      No, he posted the 8th highest vertical in NBA history. Big difference, as the combine hasn’t been around forever.

    • turdyshmurda
      9:16 pm May 11, 2017 Permalink

      I think it’s time to give up on commenting back on posts. You’re losing your credibility and making yourself look unprofessional.

    • Booby Petrino
      9:21 pm May 11, 2017 Permalink

      Tt gonna need a restraining order on turdy, he’s all over her 😂 she’s not losing credibility, she’s burning your turd ass

    • DrewP
      2:14 am May 12, 2017 Permalink

      Box fro

    • 4everblue
      9:46 pm May 11, 2017 Permalink

      Turdy your parents are gonna be pissed when they get home and find you on their computer.

    • catsarerunnin
      7:48 am May 12, 2017 Permalink

      Turd: A piece of fecal matter exiting the human anus;also can be known in other variants such as “turdy” in which fecal matter exits the mouth sometimes in a spewing action.

  8. unbridled
    9:08 pm May 11, 2017 Permalink

    This kid is the real deal. Very polished and already looks like a consummate professional. I’d say he’s gone and that sucks pretty amazing. Good for him. I just hope we can get bamba and Johnson signed. In cal I trust.

  9. TBW3011
    10:36 pm May 11, 2017 Permalink

    Performance? Weird how this “performance” not involving playing basketball effects draft stock. Wasn’t exactly breaking news before today that his arms are really long and he can jump high.

  10. chris43
    12:08 am May 12, 2017 Permalink

    I’ve change my stance on the kid. Don’t get me wrong I really and truly hope that he stays. I’ll also admit that I was bitter/irritated with the fact that we didn’t play him this year and may end up losing him before he ever plays in a game. But I can’t hold it against the kid. I hope he comes back but hey if he can go in the first round or possibly top 20….go for it!

    • Angelo
      1:48 am May 12, 2017 Permalink

      We college fans are blessed to have these superstars for a few fleeting moments!! Cal is a genius!!!

    • kyrupp8
      2:19 am May 12, 2017 Permalink

      Exactly. Its so simple, if he goes straight to the league we got more mojo and a future superstar fan of the program. Cal can pound his chest with the players’ first montra. Its so simple! Its what’s going to keep the train going. Keep the new ones coming. Who did we give up to get this kid in Lexington? No one you fools! It was a free bet with house money. This is Trump level! Sun Tzu would be proud. We won with Diallo without him ever playing a game!

      Now hold on, you say you don’t like the way the program’s going? Ok cool. I can respect that. And who should we replace Cal with? Who? Please! Oh come on, don’t be an idiot. Things may not be perfect but we got a hell of a deal right now. Have a drink and get ready to watch another fun season of hoops next year. Be happy you have that opportunity.

    • Eazy
      9:54 am May 12, 2017 Permalink

      Good thing Cal is a progressive coach.

  11. Randall lee
    4:44 am May 12, 2017 Permalink

    We need to hamidon’t in the rafters , a true legend in every sense of the word.

  12. BlueHeaven
    5:36 am May 12, 2017 Permalink

    BBNDan7, Actually I don’t read the stories which is my point. I see all the same headlines speculating about a kid and the NBA and would rather see articles on the kids that are going to be on the team at this point.

    • BBNDan7
      9:42 am May 12, 2017 Permalink

      And there’s no news on those kids obviously, so are they suppose to just not do their job and cover the topics they are suppose to?

  13. bharlan24
    6:39 am May 12, 2017 Permalink

    This just proves Cal doesn’t make stars , he finds them. Perhaps the guy with the long arms and the great vertical will under write a few kids education, to the tune of maybe a half million. I don’t blame him for doing what is best for him. However, he got six months of the best life any college athlete has ever had. Food, roof over his head, medical protection , not to mention adoration of the UK Fans.

    Take that great vertical and jump to the NBA.

    I still believe if he is so good, while Monk couldn’t throw it in the ocean , against Kansas , UT and the Gators, maybe he could have knocked down and few and , maybe even have helped a one seed. We will never know though, what might have been.

    I like Cal and I believe he can coach, UMASS and Memphis are good examples. However, he and I are not on the same page where the UK basketball program is concerned.

    It’s five AM and I have nothing better to do at the moment, so don’t expect a a rebutt to your rebutt.

  14. BGLawdog
    6:57 am May 12, 2017 Permalink

    I’m like some others in that I’m more confused than anything. We were told all season that he wasn’t ready to play for our squad. The season ended 6 weeks ago, yet now the kid is ready to play against professionals? It seems to me that Cal may have had an internal uprising when the kid arrived in December. Either that was the case or Cal thought he was going to be needed more in 2018 than he was this year. I’m convinced that one of those two things occurred.

    • catsarerunnin
      8:14 am May 12, 2017 Permalink

      “Internal uprising”???….lol

    • 2Dogs
      9:48 am May 12, 2017 Permalink

      Have you heard Internal Uprising’s latest CD? Not as savage as their earlier work, but I wouldn’t go so far as to call it melodic.

    • Mathlete
      9:50 am May 12, 2017 Permalink

      Or… as many scouts have pointed out, his game is fairly raw but his ceiling is incredibly high because he’s a stand-out athlete even among prospective NBA players. Diallo is at least 6 months behind in his ability to keep pace with just the college game compared to his peers so he’d have been torched by seasoned players, but his physical tools – which can’t be taught – are already NBA caliber and he can be taught the rest through practice and D-league action.

  15. WatchutalkinboutWillis
    8:21 am May 12, 2017 Permalink

    Why is this hard to understand for some people? He is a freak athlete but unpolished. He came to UK and didn’t steal anyone else’s scholarship. He is doing due diligence by seeing if an NBA team would draft him and PAY him as is. If they will and it is worth it to him he will go, if he needs more work he will come back. Either way, our program wins because it proves that Cal is for players first. This will land us more recruits in the future, unless those recruits read the comments and realize how dumb half our fanbase is.

    • landongw
      10:06 am May 12, 2017 Permalink

      Thank you! It amazes me that a lot of fans still don’t get it.

  16. Poppschmidty
    8:26 am May 12, 2017 Permalink

    Well…if he leaves this would go down as a huge coaching blunder for Coach Cal in my eyes…worse than some of the late game calls that lost us important games. You have a 1st rounder on the bench and don’t play him??!?! Why? Was it chemistry…or was it not wanting to take Briscoe’s minutes away from him?

    • WatchutalkinboutWillis
      8:28 am May 12, 2017 Permalink

      The knock on Diallo right now is he can’t shoot…so I don’t know how playing him would have helped any.

    • Poppschmidty
      9:15 am May 12, 2017 Permalink

      Briscoe couldn’t shoot…yet he got minutes…if draft stock is any indication of ability I’d say that Hami should’ve played.

    • Mathlete
      9:53 am May 12, 2017 Permalink

      Diallo also lacked the practice time to keep up on defense and switch off the way Briscoe or Hawkins can. He didn’t have enough time to learn how to keep up with the pace of play in college, which is *much* faster than high school or even AAU. Remember that even Willie, another ridiculously athletic player if ever there were one, struggled to keep up with the pace of the game his whole freshman season.

    • landongw
      10:08 am May 12, 2017 Permalink

      Get out of her Popps, you’re making yourself sound like and idiot.

    • Poppschmidty
      11:06 am May 12, 2017 Permalink

      While I appreciate what you’re saying; you can’t get wet if you never get off the boat. The kid seems to be a talent and if he ends up never playing for UK he is a talent that was wasted. His knock is that he couldn’t shoot; not defend. If he could get the speed of the game after a month or so he could’ve been the missing link to a deeper March run. Regardless, it’s all speculation and we’re here with what he have. Hope the kid makes the right choice for him, but I selfishly also hopes it’s the right choice for UK. HAHA

  17. kyle heavy
    8:30 am May 12, 2017 Permalink

    Call me selfish… but if this kid stays in the draft I cannot be a fan of his. This is just dirty. You can’t sand bag for a semester saying you’re not ready and then just peace out. We could’ve used this kid in the tournament this year. Let me actually restate that… we NEEDED this kid in the tournament this year. I don’t care if it was for 10 minutes a game using that 44.5 inch vertical to rebound, defend and put back dunks.

    • kyle heavy
      8:55 am May 12, 2017 Permalink

      Let’s see…


      That could’ve been nice starting in January. Briscoe had to get his 34 minutes a game so he could go undrafted this year though.

    • landongw
      10:08 am May 12, 2017 Permalink


  18. za
    8:31 am May 12, 2017 Permalink

    I guess athletics can do whatever they want with their scholarships, but I absolutely don’t see the point of scholarshipping kids in a situation like this. It was made pretty clear he wasn’t going to play in the half year he was at UK, and now he’s going pro, never playing a game for UK.

    • Mathlete
      10:00 am May 12, 2017 Permalink

      Option B was that he would get to pay UK for out-of-state tuition, lodging, food, books, tutoring, and everything else that goes along with being in college. That was the point. He didn’t cost the team a scholarship, he just bumped Brad Calipari (who gets almost all of that for free anyway) to walk-on status.

      I don’t know Diallo’s family’s situation well enough to say, but I do know that’s a ton of money for most families to come up with. That combined for tens of thousands per year when I was there, and I know it’s gone up immensely since I graduated because of the new dorms and exponential (and not in the hyperbolic way, actually exponential) tuition increases.

  19. Kindergarten Cop
    8:41 am May 12, 2017 Permalink

    Here is the truth that some of you old geezers need to understand. It is obvious that Cal thinks this is a no lose situation. He goes pro (which is more likely) that’s when Cal can go to recruits and say I got a kid to the league without him ever stepping on the floor. If he comes back then we have a great shooting guard next year. Guess what….I am sure Cal knows more about it than any of you keyboard warriors. He has shown time and time again that he knows what he is doing. We will be good every year so don’t worry… You guys can go to Rupp and eat your ice cream while we win every game…so find something else to complain about other than an 18 year old kid trying to make as much money as he possibly can doing something that you were never able to do.

  20. Ken Grizzle
    9:31 am May 12, 2017 Permalink

    Hamidou, in the end it all boils down to what is best for you. As much as I’d love to see you running the floor in Rupp next season, your being drafted high in the first round means that you will be able to live your dream. Not many have that chance. You will always be a Wild Cat. Best of luck to you no matter what path you choose.

  21. BBNDan7
    9:45 am May 12, 2017 Permalink

    I just love how y’all are judging an 18 year old kid for wanting to be a millionaire so that your favorite team will maybe be better next year

  22. Marcus Areolas
    4:12 pm May 12, 2017 Permalink

    I guess the NBA has a right to have a rule that its employees are one year removed from HS before they “hire” them. It just sucks. As long as they keep having success (ratings and attendance numbers) i don’t suspect they’ll change.

    It would maybe suck less if John Higgins hadn’t been the ref in that UNC game 🙁

    • BBNDan7
      8:27 pm May 12, 2017 Permalink

      Everything would suck less without Higgins lol