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BTI’s Rants and Ramblings: If Diallo Leaves, Do We Count Him As One of Our Own? (Like Enes)


It’s gonna be an interesting week around UK land following the announcement of Hamidou Diallo entering the NBA Draft without hiring an agent.  Many suggest this is nothing more than “testing the waters” and he’ll likely be back in Lexington next season.  But certainly many in the UK fanbase are simply upset about the principle of the matter that a guy practiced with the team this year, was technically eligible and not played because the assumption was he was going to play next year, and then decides to maybe try out the NBA Draft.  If Diallo does leave, there is no doubt his popularity among fans will be one of the lower ones in the Calipari era.  And frankly, Cal would take a hit too.  But at the end of the day it is his life and not ours.  If he can makes serious money in the NBA next season, more power to him.  We don’t own him in any way.  And he really doesn’t owe us the enjoyment of playing for our team.  He is not cheating the system in any way and everybody should have the right to make a legal living without judgement from the public.

What I wonder is if Diallo leaves, and then becomes a good-great player in the NBA, do we claim him?  If/when his name is announced at the NBA Draft this summer, it will be followed by “from the University of Kentucky”, so in that regard he is just like the other approx. 520 NBA draft picks under Calipari.  The same thing happened to Enes Kanter, who was selected 3rd from UK (technically) even though he never played a single game in Lexington.  Now of course Kanter’s story was different than this one because the NCAA got involved and Kanter actually wanted to play, but nonetheless Kanter made no actual impact on the UK program.  But I get the sense that the fanbase still claims him as a UK alum.

Would Diallo get the same treatment?  I’ve heard nothing but good things about what kind of kid he is.  He has caused no problems off or on the court that we know of.  The players on this year’s team had nothing negative to say about him.  And he has a real shot to be a very good NBA player.  Considering the climate we are currently in where schools take their NBA success seriously, and no coach does that more than Cal, you have to wonder what will happen.

Now, this all becomes moot if Diallo returns.  But if he doesn’t, it will be one of the more interesting sagas to play out within this fanbase, especially if Diallo has success in the NBA.

Article written by Bryan the Intern

34 Comments for BTI’s Rants and Ramblings: If Diallo Leaves, Do We Count Him As One of Our Own? (Like Enes)

  1. WatchutalkinboutWillis
    8:06 am April 24, 2017 Permalink

    Enes practiced with the team which assuredly made Harrellson a better player. Diallo may have also contributed to our guards getting better in practice too. If Diallo leaves I will be glad he was a Wildcat for 1/2 a season. I would prefer him to return and I expect him to as well since this year is loaded with more proven guards…but if he doesn’t it is his decision and I will still claim him.

  2. Mathlete
    8:15 am April 24, 2017 Permalink

    From a recruiting standpoint – yes, we definitely take credit for Diallo. “He got drafted and didn’t even play a live game for us, that’s how much he improved just in practice!”

    From a fan perspective – Once a Wildcat, always a Wildcat; but he’ll never be as loved by BBN as the guys who played in front of the Rupp crowd, which I’m sure he’ll cry about into stacks of $100 bills as he goes to sleep each night.

  3. Sentient Third Eye
    8:16 am April 24, 2017 Permalink

    Enes Kanter, who never played a real game, was a Cat.
    John Stewart, who never played a game, was a Cat.

    I don’t see any reason to look at Diallo differently, if he actually leaves.

    • TBW3011
      9:15 am April 24, 2017 Permalink

      Neither Enes or Stewart chose not to play a second here. Get real if you don’t see the difference.

  4. shelby
    8:24 am April 24, 2017 Permalink

    I will always consider him a cat; he definitely made other players better during practice.

    • Angelo
      10:01 am April 24, 2017 Permalink

      Hell yes!! And he risked injury doing it! He is a Cat!!

  5. kjd
    8:33 am April 24, 2017 Permalink


  6. LongRoad2017
    8:35 am April 24, 2017 Permalink

    We should change our name to the Kentucky Sluts. Cause we be getting screwed by all these thugs.

    • Mathlete
      8:43 am April 24, 2017 Permalink

      I’ll probably regret asking but…

      How do you figure we’re getting screwed? And what “thugs” are you referring to?

    • CatstopWontstop
      8:52 am April 24, 2017 Permalink

      I’ve lost some of the passion I once had for Kentucky Basketball because of situations like this one, but you are way out of line with this comment LongRoad…

      You can be disenchanted by the process, but not one of the kids who has come through the program under Cal has really been a bad person, come on!

    • 4everblue
      9:01 am April 24, 2017 Permalink

      I think longroad got his sites mixed up and thinks he’s on the UofLittleBro site.

  7. Peas and Carrots
    8:37 am April 24, 2017 Permalink


  8. theoph
    8:37 am April 24, 2017 Permalink

    I long for the day when the world was so much simpler.

  9. Glenn Fohr
    8:43 am April 24, 2017 Permalink

    no. getting ridiculous.

  10. Shagaris Sock Puppet
    8:45 am April 24, 2017 Permalink

    He will definitely be considered a cat! We dont want to bash the young man for making a decision to better his life, but tell me this, when you have a fan base that adores their players and would literally do anything for these young men, literally anything in their power, that grew up watching guys for 4 years who they would later say they loved (literally loved), this kind of stuff just feels weird to us. I grew up watching guys like Ron Mercer, Tony Delk and then later went on to adapt to this accelerated lifestyle when Cal came along and learned how to accept a John Wall for one year and a Demarcus Cousins and guys like Karl and Jamal, which we all understand. But this right here, its different and you almost as a fan feel like you’re not given a chance to learn about this kid, and then he could be gone! You want to at least get to cheer them on in blue and white and in Rupp for a season before sending him on his way. I know that’s a selfish view point, but its a view point that we as fans of this program love to experience. This young man especially to me, ive been looking forward to seeing his game. I wanted to last season, and thought to myself how would the fan base take it if he bolted to the NBA this summer, because hes that good. Best of luck to Diallo!

  11. WatchutalkinboutWillis
    8:50 am April 24, 2017 Permalink

    Is anyone else wondering what the cheetah picture has to do with this story?

    • Mathlete
      8:59 am April 24, 2017 Permalink

      It’s a picture of Enes Kanter with a wild cat. Not a wildcat (which is a distinct species), but a wild cat.

    • WatchutalkinboutWillis
      9:04 am April 24, 2017 Permalink

      I didn’t really notice it was Enes…either way, it’s a stretch.

  12. WatchutalkinboutWillis
    8:52 am April 24, 2017 Permalink

    Why is everyone shocked by this? I would only be shocked if he hired an agent. He didn’t. He is just doing his due diligence and if he finds out that he is a lottery pick he would be stupid if he came back to UK. But if he finds out he may not even be drafted in the first round (that is what he will find out) then he will come back to UK with a mentality to improve (that is what we want).

  13. DerBaron
    8:54 am April 24, 2017 Permalink

    From the analysis of this year’s draft I just read don’t expect him back 😕

  14. JusSayin
    8:54 am April 24, 2017 Permalink

    If he becomes an NBA star and wants to rep UK and give back I won’t complain.

    But I also won’t feel the same desire to see him do well. I’m indifferent.

  15. silverado
    8:58 am April 24, 2017 Permalink

    This is a step too far. None and done will damage our brand. If “players first” means that there’s no assurance to the fans that the kids we sign will play for us, then “Kentucky on the shirt” will mean nothing. Besides that, the idea that Diallo has to declare for the draft in order to get “feedback” is absurd. Any number of smart basketball people have and will give him plenty of information about his game. “Getting feedback” is just another bs phrase meant to calm the fans down. He’s not coming back.

    So where are we now? Even when OAD works, we are essentially renting out our program for a year to kids who are only loyal to the coach who trained them for the NBA. Think about it. When Cal ends his tenure at UK, do you really believe that all of the NBA stars he trained will continue to come back to dear old UK for homecomings? Not likely.

    OAD does make each year exciting. But we can’t bring in kids who don’t play for us. John Stewart signed with us, then passed away – and we all consider him one of us. But Kanter is already just an ineligible footnote and now we have Diallo, who was eligible but never intended to stay if he could leave. It makes our program look like a joke.

    • Sheeeeeiiit
      9:09 am April 24, 2017 Permalink

      I am not anti Cal at all. This is a interesting point. When Cal leaves do all these players come back to UK? Will Karl, Wall and Davis still claim UK? Or will they start to claim Cal wherever he is? I am actually a little concerned they may follow Cal and not credit UK with their success.

    • timewilltell
      9:21 am April 24, 2017 Permalink

      The price for bringing in top level talent is the players will most likely only be in Lexington for 1 year. If we don’t ink them someone else will. However, this case is different. The one n done players gave us a year of great college basketball. This past season they were within a last second shot of going to the FF. This kid never dawned the KY Jersey. Afraid we may be moving from one n done to a Junior D League. Yes it is the young man’s life and I wish him well. But let’s keep College Basketball in Kentucky.

  16. Jiminy Crickets
    9:10 am April 24, 2017 Permalink

    Funny how both UK and U of L are proving to just be pimp programs. To me it’s just as hard to root for one than the other. Diallo NEVER had intentions to play here, unless he was forced to. This was always the plan. Every major school recruits OADs. We are the only one that loses 7-8 players every year. It’s just getting old. Cal has sold the “players first” to the fans, but I am not sure how long it lasts. Next year could be crucial for the whole thing. Zero experience coming back with Gabriel the only returner that played last year, And the could be Cals first class with no elite recruits ( none in top 10). A bad year and the BBN will not t be cool when they all declare for draft next June.

    • WatchutalkinboutWillis
      9:22 am April 24, 2017 Permalink

      And if they succeed? Then watch out because they won’t the next year…but if they do then watch out, because they won’t the year after that for sure…but if they do, then they better watch it because they can’t do it forever…blah blah blah blah

  17. TBW3011
    9:14 am April 24, 2017 Permalink

    Absolutely not

  18. macattack
    9:29 am April 24, 2017 Permalink

    I grow so tired of all these people complaining about one and done or how if players leave without playing it’s somehow hurting fans. I’ve got news. They owe you nothing. The program owes you nothing. You are a fan, not an owner. Get over yourself. When Cal says “players first” he means it. That means whatever is in the players best interests, not the fans. I’m 100% behind it. If a kid can come here for 4 months and it helps him enough to get drafted and making money, then good for him and I support him 100%. I love that this program has become about helping kids, and not just catering to fans and what the program needs. If youre looking for that, theres a school about 70 miles west of here that would love to have you

    • silverado
      10:19 am April 24, 2017 Permalink

      How arrogant we’ve become. If there is one truth about college basketball success, it is: NO fans = NO program. Fans make our program possible. They fill up Rupp Arena, pay HUGE dollars to the athletic department, finance the recruiting budget, buy the products of the advertisers who pay for our broadcasts and publications, and pay their own travel expenses in every city where we play. In short, they pay for the whole deal and they are responsible for most everything good to be said about UK athletics.

      The most loyal payers are UK alumni. Do you contribute to UK? Are you a Rupp seat-holder? If not, it’s “fans” with your attitude that are owed nothing. And if not, you will never have a say in how the program is run.

      The reputation of the basketball program reflects either well or poorly on the reputation of our school. And the reputation of our school reflects either well or poorly on us, the students and alumni. So if you see fans getting upset about None and Done, just understand that the payers are not all happy to watch the basketball program turn into a NBA-wannabe welfare program. Get it?

  19. 8xchamp
    9:33 am April 24, 2017 Permalink

    Don’t care who stays or who goes, we have cal. He’ll have whoever wants to be here and is here ready in march. I wish them all well when they leave. I don’t watch the nba, so if you don’t win a title here I could care less.

  20. BobNWeaver
    10:03 am April 24, 2017 Permalink

    UK helped Diallo! THAT is what UK does! If he leaves without every playing, he is still a Cal Cat!

  21. bhb71
    10:16 am April 24, 2017 Permalink

    I absolutely will. I won’t quite be as active in watching his games like I do some of the other guys that I have fond memories of at UK, but he has taken classes in Lexington and helped make last season’s guards better players. He doesn’t owe any of us anything. While I understand the rules and why we have them, the fact of the matter is that all of these players are being monetarily exploited by UK and the NCAA. The NCAA makes about a billion dollars every year from the tournament alone, yet all we can provide these kids are tuition waivers and stipends for a meal plan and housing. If he can go out and make money in the NBA and make a life for himself and the people he loves, he should do it, and he shouldn’t have to feel like he’s a traitor for doing so. Our enjoyment of Kentucky basketball is insignificant compared to what is going to make his life and the lives of the people around him better.

  22. sp
    11:05 am April 24, 2017 Permalink

    Enes wasn’t allowed to play by the NCAA. He would have played.
    Diallo set himself up to not have to play in college and went with probably the only program that would allow him to come practice and then leave. Which is seemingly what he had planned all along. Just like Bam, in a few weeks he will have heard enough from scouts to stay in the draft and hire an agent. More power to him if he does.

    Enes: would have played = Cat
    If Diallo leaves: used our program for exposure and practice = not a Cat

  23. Glenn Fohr
    2:01 pm April 24, 2017 Permalink

    Ah, the kid is looking at it like a business. Who cares. I won’t remember who he is and he won’t remember who UK is. Does it really matter?