This week’s breakdown features five-star shooting guard and Kentucky commit, Hamidou Diallo. Although he’s classified as a 2017 recruit, Diallo graduated early and enrolled at Kentucky this spring. This allowed him to participate with this year’s team while working out and sitting on the bench. I expect this extra experience to pay dividends as he’ll know the system and the expectations before the remaining 2017 recruits arrive this summer.
As he finished up his high school career, Diallo was ranked 10th in the country overall and 1st at the shooting guard spot. He’s extremely explosive and has the ability to make tremendous impacts on both ends of the floor. He is dominant in transition and able to fill lanes or push the ball himself. He’s a natural scorer and is best when attacking the basket. However, he’s not just an athlete. He has a very consistent mid-range game and he’s quickly improving from beyond the arch. He can get to his spots off the dribble or by catching with his back to the basket. He’s very comfortable in both the mid and low post and he has great touch around the rim. He also has a quick second jump which allows him to rebound his own misses and tip them back in. This past summer he averaged 19 points, 6 rebounds, 2 assists, and 2 steals for New York Rens on the EYBL circuit.
On the defensive end of the floor, Diallo has all the tools to be an elite perimeter defender. He’s got great length (measured at a 6’10” wingspan) to go along with elite lateral quickness. When he’s playing off the ball he’s able to rotate over and block shots due to his explosive leaping ability. He does a good job on the glass as well and is able to push the ball on defensive rebounds.
As mentioned earlier, the experience that Diallo was able to gain this semester should push him forward into a leadership role for Calipari. I also believe it allowed him to gain strength as well as get a ton of skill development. He was really good in high school, but he’s going to be even better for Big Blue Nation.
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