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Vice: Hamidou Diallo is a Win/Win for Kentucky

Photo: UK Athletics

Photo: Chet White | UK Athletics

This headline caught my eye this morning: “Will Hamidou Diallo become college basketball’s first semester-and-done player?”

An early departure for Diallo was shortly discarded from my brain after his announcement.  After seeing Diallo at this summer’s Peach Jam, I didn’t think he could accomplish all he needed to in just one semester to be prepared for the NBA.  Still, the Vice Sports headline got me thinking, “So you’re saying there’s a chance?”

The column laid out the case for Diallo to leave for the NBA after just one semester.  He has the frame, the raw skill-set, and even though the ’17 draft class is loaded, the talent pool is not deep at his position.  There’s a solid case to be made for Diallo to pull the trigger.  Even if he does, it’s a net-positive for Kentucky.

For Kentucky, helping Diallo is a no-brainer. If he ends up deciding to go pro, no big deal. The school had an available scholarship, and coach John Calipari will get credit not only for helping develop yet another NBA player, but also for “innovating” a new development strategy.

Meanwhile, if Diallo stays in school, the Wildcats will enjoy an elite player being all the more ready for college basketball when he first suits up next season. Also, there’s the added benefit that if an unexpected injury happens this season–say, Monk goes down–Diallo is around as a “break glass in case of emergency” option. (After Fox injured his ankle last weekend, Calipari insisted that he would play his son, a walk-on, before Diallo). Even if Kentucky stays healthy, it’s not completely out of the question that the Wildcats could break him out as a secret March weapon; in fact, the team could use a wing athlete who’s taller than 6-foot-3.

If the Big Blue Nation never gets to see Diallo play in a Kentucky uniform, it’s not necessarily a bad thing for John Calipari’s program.

[Vice Sports]

Article written by Nick Roush

"Look upon the doughnut, and not upon the hole." @RoushKSR

25 Comments for Vice: Hamidou Diallo is a Win/Win for Kentucky



  1. Mc12
    12:50 pm January 24, 2017 Permalink

    The only downside would be if a potential recruit chose elsewhere thinking the spot was already filled at Kentucky.



    • a21CATSfan
      2:13 pm January 24, 2017 Permalink

      We are down to Trae Young, Kevin Knox and Mo Bamba. If Young doesn’t pick the CATS, which is expected, Cal may go after an in-state guard for depth. We could really use Knox, who could end up playing some 2-guard with Vanderbilt or Gabriel at the 3, but his position is a bit crowded. Bamba knows he will play over anyone else we have already. So, his decision to stay will not affect recruiting.



    • Mc12
      3:41 pm January 24, 2017 Permalink

      My point was essentially towards Trae Young. If he is considering Kansas even though they’ll also have Malik Newman, he may have thought his situation wouldn’t be much different at Kentucky. However, it’s also more likely that Young runs the show at Kansas with Newman playing the two vs. running the point at UK with Green at the 2.

      If Young decides on Kansas because Diallo is going to play the 2 (one could argue Diallo could play in a three guard lineup which seems trickier with the front-court depth next year) then that is the only downside I can think of for having Diallo if he does leave after this season.



    • a21CATSfan
      4:10 pm January 24, 2017 Permalink

      Devonta Graham is back and so is Svi Mykhailiuk. Along with Malik Newman and LaGerald Vick, so Kansas will be more crowded than the CATS. But, once again, just like Wiggins, Bragg, and possibly Trae Young, Kansas will get the leftovers that can’t fit at UK or dUKe.



    • a21CATSfan
      4:12 pm January 24, 2017 Permalink

      Also Josh Jackson, but when you offer literally every guy in the Top 50 every year, you should be able to get 3 or 4.



  2. david8577
    1:09 pm January 24, 2017 Permalink

    Love that he picked UK, and I’ll be rooting for him to do well for the university and himself, but no way this kid is on any NBA radar right now.



    • damage_control
      3:55 pm January 24, 2017 Permalink

      Where have you been for the last decade? Some juniors in high school are “on NBA teams’ radars”.



  3. Biglaw Dawgin'
    1:11 pm January 24, 2017 Permalink

    So, why is he not in uniform yet? I doubt he cares if he loses a season of eligibility, since he’s not staying 4 years anyway. Even if he only plays 5 minutes per game in the beginning, it’s still beneficial to all.



    • 4everblue
      1:34 pm January 24, 2017 Permalink

      The kid is a high school kid who has played not even one college game, he needs to practice with the team this season and be ahead of the game next season for everyone’s benefit especially his.



    • Han
      4:22 pm January 24, 2017 Permalink

      Because if he comes out and plays like a regular freshman, people will crap all over him.

      The way things are now, he gets to adapt to college life, practice and condition, and learn the system with no pressure to produce in game and very little media spotlight on him.



  4. Shane523
    1:18 pm January 24, 2017 Permalink

    It is not beneficial to the fans of UK, however



    • Booby Petrino
      1:54 pm January 24, 2017 Permalink

      Cal has made it clear he’s in this for the kids, not fans. And one could argue that it is beneficial to us, bc he’s helping make the team better by having another talented player to practice against. If he’s making the team better, that’s beneficial to the fans.



    • 4everblue
      2:07 pm January 24, 2017 Permalink

      I agree with Booby Petrino. Cal promised to do what is best for the players. How bout what we don’t do is turn into Duke and become a team that wins without integrity.



    • Sentient Third Eye
      2:11 pm January 24, 2017 Permalink

      Kentucky benefited a log from having Kanter on the team even with him never getting to play a game. He helped make Josh Harrellson into a pro.



    • 4everblue
      2:16 pm January 24, 2017 Permalink

      Oh wait…Duke is losing without integrity…..lmao!



  5. 8xchamp
    1:27 pm January 24, 2017 Permalink

    He was in uniform last Saturday.



  6. runtsfan
    1:54 pm January 24, 2017 Permalink

    First Enes, now a player who might NEVER play for the school, and this is a good thing for the program? It just gets nuttier and nuttier.



    • secrick
      2:28 pm January 24, 2017 Permalink

      You would have to know something about basketball to understand.



    • EdC
      3:31 pm January 24, 2017 Permalink

      Walk on players might not almost never play minutes that matter for the University. They are practice players. He CERTAINLY gives the team more valuable than a 6’0″ walk on even if he never plays a single second.



  7. leon singleton
    2:42 pm January 24, 2017 Permalink

    Playing Diallo will take playing time away from Brad. Diallo will sit.



  8. za
    3:02 pm January 24, 2017 Permalink

    I just want to win



  9. AGSlater
    5:07 pm January 24, 2017 Permalink

    Why not give him some pt while Mulder is out? Even if its a couple minutes?



    • Peas and Carrots
      6:53 pm January 24, 2017 Permalink

      It might be beneficial for UK but not for Diallo. If he does choose to leave after this semester he’d still likely be a first round pick and guaranteed millionaire based off potential. Practicing with the team will improve his game and won’t effect his draft stock. Playing a few minutes a game gives scouts game film that they can pick apart, which would most likely not be beneficial for him since he’s a high school kid that’s six months behind. I doubt Cal plays him under any situation this so the kid can improve his game and still keep his options open.



  10. 2thepoint
    7:52 pm January 24, 2017 Permalink

    What would be his draft stock be now if he jumped, and what would it be one year later? I think it would be a huge difference. There would be millions at stake within his first contract, and better positioning, time wise, right away in the pros. I also don’t think he should play this year, because if he doesn’t do well the pros will have a negative opinion for him to overcome if he stays or goes.