New Cheick Diallo Article

  • New article with some interesting quotes from Diallo. Link and article posted below: [](link url)

    The quote about wanting playing time and wanting more than 20 minutes makes me think he is looking beyond Kentucky and the platoon. I really like this guy and think his energy can be contagious. I think back to Kevin Young and how he used to be able to get up and down the court like a gazelle, flying around, dunking, etc. and miss seeing that on this team. Diallo can be that guy, can start from day one, and could be here multiple years. All great things for the program.

    CHICAGO – New York power forward Cheick Diallo filled out his NCAA Tournament bracket with two of the teams on his recruiting list meeting in the final. Diallo is looking good with one of those picks, and not so good with another.

    “I had Kentucky and Iowa State, but Iowa State lost, so I was kind of sad about it,” Diallo said at McDonald’s All American Games media day, one of the few times Diallo has done interviews. "

    Diallo predicts UK will complete an undefeated season in Indianapolis this weekend.

    “They’re going to be the champions, I know for sure,” Diallo said. “They are not going to lose because they have good bigs, good point guards, too.”

    But can Kentucky, generally seen as trailing for Diallo, prevail in his recruitment? He said he’s getting close to a college decision and expects to make one around or soon after the Jordan Brand Classic game on April 17.

    Diallo, a native of Mali who attends Our Savior New American School, continues to consider the same five schools that he has for months: UK, Kansas, Iowa State, St. John’s and Pittsburgh.

    He’s had the coaches of all of those teams but Kentucky visit him in the past two weeks, and he doesn’t expect he’ll be able to have a meeting with the Wildcats because they’re still playing in the Final Four and his month is packed with all-star games leading up to the Jordan game.

    But he said UK is equal with all the others, and he has received a text message from coach John Calipari within the past two week.

    St. John’s made waves by hiring alum Chris Mullin as its coach this week. Diallo, however, said, “I don’t even know him,” so he had no opinion on the hire.

    Playing time could be a key factor for Diallo.

    “I’m looking for time,” he said. “I don’t want to go some school where I play five minutes or 20 minutes. I want to play more.”**

  • @RockkChalkk Does his statement about playing time put us at a disadvantage…? Could he see less competition for playing time at ISU (no true big) or SJU ?

  • @Hawk8086 McKay!

  • @Hawk8086 yeah like Crimson just said, they have McKay who will be a senior. For a team that really only plays with one big at a time, i wouldn’t think he would find huge minutes on that team.

  • @RockkChalkk You never know how they look at these things, but I can imagine they could find minutes for both of them.

  • It seems that St Johns is out for the most part. ISU dropped considerably in his recruitment and was the early favorite for the first half of the season. However, many of the analysts predict he will pick KU.

    Now as for Calipari, I think Diallo is a good kid and respects the game. I think he likes what UK is accomplishing. But, his time at UK will be limited under the platoon system. He will get 20 mins max. Now, Calipari will pull the ol’ bait and switch on him. He promises him all the pt in the world. We all know how Calipari promotes this platoon system. These recruits are on to Calipari. I hope Diallo looks at Dakari Johnson. Johnson led Embiid their entire high school and AAU career. Embiid surpassed Johnson by miles. Johnson has digressed under Calipari’s system. Embiid is in the NBA and Johnson is still playing college ball.

    I think there’s a big difference in favoring a team and respecting them. Diallo almost seems distant with UK. His language doesn’t seem like a recruit that’s about to pick UK. I think Diallo will play 25-35 mins at KU under the circumstances. He has to compete against Lucas and Hunter.

  • @RockkChalkk He could but this is where conference titles will come into play. Diallo knows Self wins. I think Diallo would like to at least win a conference championship. I think KU has a better chance than ISU.

  • Just wanted to say that I don’t think Calipari’s platoon system is part of his some Master Plan. I think he kind of fell into it, when the 2014 team under-achieved and a lot of guys ended up coming back because their draft position wasn’t what they expected. He already had a next group lined, so he spun it the best way he could.
    Not that it can’t become a thing for him and as Jaybate says, the Nike truck dumps another load there, he’ll probably end up with the same situation.

    As for Diallo to KU, who was the last freshman big at KU that averaged 30 minutes?

  • @FarSideHawk there’s always a first! Embiid got all he could handle, as soon as he was ready.

  • @FarSideHawk Good question…I’d say Embiid was on his way. I’d also say Andrew Wiggins was too. We’re talking about a 6-9 PF Farside. Look at his competition, Lucas and Hunter. I doubt he’ll get it right away, but like Embiid, he’ll definitely see that 30 min mark in the second half of the season. Self did a great job with Embiid. He was on track with Alex too, until “Loangate” struck.

    You said bigs. But Wiggins played like a big. Also, I think Self sees the need to bend his tradition a bit too. If you’ve got a big like Diallo, you play him. Self’system makes it really difficult because it’s not a playground system. There’s actually, skill, timing, passing, picking, and technique involved. Heck, I can go to UK pass in the paint, chicken wing a man, and sink a little 5-6 ft skyhook, especially if i’m 7’ plus. Towns had zero resistance in the paint. He dominated ND. It actually made me sick.

  • I was thinking about recruiting. I have a few ideas. The NBA won’t help nor will the NCAA ever agree to such guidelines:

    1. Limit the amount of time recruits have to choose their schools.

    2. Limit the amount of time coaches have to sign their recruits.

    3. Limit the number of recruits any one program can get.

    4. If you go to the F4, you are not eligible for any recruits except what you project is leaving and coming into the program immediately following the F4. This would allow other programs to get top recruits too.

    I would give coaches and recruits until midnight the night before the first March Madness tipoff.

    I would require coaches to recruit their recruits within that allowed time. After that, there would be a one day window when a recruit could choose maybe late in the Summer, say July 1, right before practice starts.**

    This would prevent recruits from taking so long to pick a program. I think these recruits know where they want to attend. They all have a year to enjoy the recruiting process.

    This would challenge coaches to get their prize recruits. It would force coaches to get their players verbalized. This would also limit the number of recruits to any one program. This would bring strict definitions of what “verbalized” means. No recruit could get out of the verbal unless there were extenuating circumstances as predetermined by NCAA.

    Coaches would then be forced to recruit “lesser” known talents, like KU does from time to time and would level the playing field.

    It would be the coach’s responsibility to determine who he needs, and only go after those players. In other words, if Calipari for example, has 13 scholarships and he has 4-5 recruits committed or signed, then he would be responsible to get 4-5 guys off the team. If he signs over the allotted limit, he would be responsible to make changes to his roster or lose a specified number of players and face recruiting sanctions. This would force him to determine who he wants and who he pushes out of the program. No second chances either. He couldn’t take advantage of the “window” because it would only allow a player or two, if at all, based on your F4 status.

    A coach would then have that one day window to sign a recruit. Again, its based on the number of scholarships needed. This would challenge the way coaches get recruits. It would also show the recruiting world how coaches really value their existing players, especially those who don’t/can’t jump to the NBA.

    This is wishful thinking and I don’t think it would hurt KU because Self only recruits what he needs or projects. He doesn’t use the platoon system to recruit.

    **This might be abused by some coaches. They might be tempted to ‘pay’ players or reward players to wait for this ‘window.’ There may not be a window. It’s either all or nothing for the rest of the year once your initial recruits are established. I’d say coaches have to have their rosters complete by the end of the NCAA tourney. Recruits can still play in all the post season games too ie. McDs AA, Nike Summit, etc.

    I think the recruiting process is ridiculous and way too abused.

  • Don’t count out St. John’s yet… his lead recruiter at Iowa St left to join Mullin’s staff. Do I think that has substantial meaning this late in the game, probably not because St. John’s has lost their entire team, maybe more if Jordan leaves. No PG to play with which was another factor for him, but in terms of PT they have it all and it’s in his backyard.

    If PT is the biggest deciding factor then KU is probably out even though I think he likes KU the most. There’s no way Self has told him you’ll get your 25-30 minutes. Self tells everyone they work for what they get…

    Iowa St has only McKay & Niang so PT there is very possible. But his lead recruiter no longer is there so how much will that sway his decision.

    The Kentucky roster turnover should be decided by then. If UK loses Stein, Lyles & Towns then I’m sure Calipari gets involved at the midnight hour again for him. That’s why he’s waiting til around the Jordan game.

  • My question:

    Is this where we blow it because we wait around on Cliff?

    Even if Self is telling Cheick that Cliff isn’t coming back, don’t you all think recruits want to hear less promising words and more actions?

    Every day we go without word on Cliff we are sealing our fate.

    Sorry… but it is time to cut Cliff. Every day he remains a mystery he becomes a monstrous liability. Self should deadline him before the end of the tournament… that would be MONDAY!

    I would hate to see this guy go to ISU. We have enough problems beating their juco guys.


    “Self tells everyone they work for what they get…”

    That was the old Self before the 2012 Finals. He is promising minutes to players now… (for example: Wayne Selden).

  • @drgnslayr why is it taking so long? If they are going to go, announce it! Do you think Cliff is wanting to be cleared to come back? That could take forever! Oubre doesn’t really need to test w/out agent, does he?

  • @Crimsonorblue22

    If I recall… some players just announce and they say they are in the market for an agent. Other players wait and announce after they hire an agent.

    Others in here could better answer our questions.

  • @drgnslayr I mean oubre could test w/out agent and come back, baker did that last year. I don’t think oubre needs to test.

  • @drgnslayr he pretty much told Oubre he would play in Wigs place and that was a quote from oubre. I say cut Alex lose or make him decide because he’s holding up the progress As for Alex I would agree he hasn’t helped and doesn’t seem to help going forward.

  • So Cheick wins MVP at the McDonald’s game. Truly didn’t expect him to have the type of the game he did but he sure is talented. How many people will believe we “need” him now… There’s a reason Self has been on him for so long.

    Hopes to commit around the Jordan game, come on down Diallo.

  • Is Cliff attending classes?

    That seems a key question to answer?

  • @BeddieKU23 I want him!

  • @jaybate-1.0 he must be, I’m still hearing some think he’s not announced cause he’s trying to get cleared to come back. Who knows?

  • @Crimsonorblue22 Now that would really be something if he came back. I would love it for our post play as Cliff has tons of potential. I just can’t imagine that he will be able to get cleared to play another game in college at this point.

    For the sake of KU’s recruiting I hope that the Alexander saga with the NCAA is over with sooner than later.

  • Cheick looked really really good last night. He was always around the ball and his energy proved to be a valuable asset. With all the extra practices and games before the season this year, its realistic to think he could start from day 1.

  • Is Cheick a 5? Can he protect the rim? One of Cliffs problems is that he should’ve been a 4. Bragg sounds like a 4 and Perry’s tying down all of those minutes. Will Cheick complement Perry? Sounds like he’s a stud player and I’m interested in signing him as KU needs more quality bigs. It looks like a shortage of a true 5 next year and a logjam at the 4.

    Cheick really sounds like a player ISU would use to tear KU a new one. I’d like to see him on the KU sideline for the positive he could do KU and to keep from having to play him 2-3 times also.

  • @dylans I’m not sure he is a true 5 but can see him as more of a 4b with Ellis. He looked like a better rebounder than Perry and had a pretty sweet block in the game last night. Tried to find a good pic or video of it to post but don’t think its out there yet. Maybe someone else will have better luck finding it.

  • Cheick passed the eye test last night! He is the cant miss piece that KU needs. Ingram supposedly grew 2 inches during this basketball season and looked SOOOOO skinny but played well. He needs Hudy big time!

  • @dylans

    On offense our 4 and 5 can be considered interchangeable… or… left and right… or… the guy that can handle the ball and shoot from the perimeter is the guy that steps out.

    On defense, the assignments will be based on how who our coaches think match up the best.

    The missing variable in this equation is what other teams think and who they have guard our 4 and 5.

    Cheick is the toughness we need. Wish we could have him for more than one year.

  • Cheick reminded me of A Davis. Zimmerman said Bragg was making KU a desirable destination and was tempting him to leave home. I think they were roommates this week! Ingram was heard saying Bragg was doing the best job recruiting this week as well! Cross your fingers people!

  • @drgnslayr If he’s all that I’d take him for one and a 'ship. '08 didn’t have a true 5(Cole didn’t play many minutes), but Sasha was pretty close.

    I’d like a 7ft center or a wide bodied 6’10" center. It just makes things easier for Bill and Perry to do their things.

  • Cheick is a rim protector. You don’t always have to be 7 ft tall to be a good shot-blocker and Diallo certainly has the instincts for blocking shots. He’s only 220lbs so obviously he may have to bulk up some but the effort that he gives is something you don’t want to limit by laboring him with a bunch of weight. His effort alone will be something that gets him minutes, coaching is not going to have to ask him to play hard because that’s all he knows.

  • @dylans Good point about 08. At least the starting lineup did not have a true 5. Sasha off the bench was a pretty nice thing to have. As was Sherron off the bench. As was have multiple top 15 recruits who just happened to stay 2-3 years.

    We do need more height, though. When you look at the Elite 8 this year height does seem to be a huge factor. All of these teams had tons of height. MSU and Gonzaga may have the least talent in the post of the 8 teams but they are certainly really tall. My guess is that Arizona, Gonzaga, UK (obviously the tallest) and Wisconsin are the tallest teams in the country.

  • @BeddieKU23 If you tell me that Cheick is Kevin Young in Darrell Arthurs body I’m sold.

    I just wish these young men would start signing soon, so I can figure out who I need to care about.

  • @dylans

    “I’d like a 7ft center or a wide bodied 6’10” center. It just makes things easier for Bill and Perry to do their things."

    I hear what you are saying.

    Having the footer in the post gives us our security blanket.

    My heart says yes, but my mind questions if it is the best for us. I remember when Withey became a shot blocking phenomenon. From that point forward, our guards wouldn’t guard any longer. We had capable talent on the perimeter, but no one would guard.

    We had pretty good perimeter defense this year. The guys knew they had to guard.

    Maybe a guy like Cheick is our happy medium. Doesn’t have the height of a 5, but plays with passion and strength. He’s definite going to be a shot blocker!

  • @drgnslayr I don’t know how you keep the guards hungry on defense when they have someone to bail them out. In '14 it didn’t matter they couldn’t guard anyone before they figured out Embiid was a beast. ISU players said he was the difference in the games.

    I’d like an elite 7ft. center. There just aren’t many out there. Maker is not a prototypical center and Zimmerman still appears to be a long shot. So bring on Diallo and Bragg!

  • @drgnslayr sometimes we didn’t match up well w/Withey at 5, ISU and mizzo, had to go w/2 4 guys. Withey was an awesome shot blocker, not so great on D on a 4 perimeter player, but played great at getting TRob some room to do his thing! Diallo might give us both, shot-blocking and offense. Great motor and quicker feet on perimeter bigs. Jmo

  • @dylans that rule change really hurt us last year! Tharpe was a horrible on ball defender. Wigs was terrific.

  • @dylans

    Gosh… I don’t know that I can stomach another poor perimeter defensive team. Perimeter d is something learned over the entire season. We don’t have good perimeter d early on (typically) unless it is the same guys coming back and were good the year before (cough, cough… Releford).

    Withey had record blocks because of the perfect storm… he was a great shot blocker and our guards opened the flood gates to the paint for other guards. Remember how many 3 balls we gave up, too?

  • @Crimsonorblue22 No arguments here. The defense of the last two years teams has been disgusting. Last year was slightly better, but still subpar.

    @drgnslayr I want the guys to buy in on D first. Mason is close to being a good defender. Perry went from being the worst defender on the floor to average. Greene has no clue on D. Graham shows promise. Oubre could’ve been a Defensive stud this year… Lucas is slow and fouls too much. Seldens footwork needs work. Svi plays like a 17 year old. Cliff isn’t coming back I’m afraid, but he has a lot of upside.

    Defensively I think there is room for quite a bit of improvement, but without a personell upgrade at the 5 the team will still be vulnerable. The team could be great defensively with the right line-up unfortunately that doesn’t include instant offense Mr. Greene.

  • I’d like a true 5 shot blocker to IMPROVE our perimeter D. Think if Devonte could feel comfortable applying a little more pressure or even gambling in the passing lanes a little more often. He has great instincts and quick hands. He could average 6 pts a game on fast breaks alone! Remember when he picked VanVleets pocket? He picked a couple of passes late in the year too. Just think if he knew that even if he got beat, there would be someone behind him to back him up. How aggressive could he be?

    That is my dream. I don’t follow recruiting enough to know if that guy exists. I am thinking though with our more experienced perimeter our D will be improved. Self always talks about helping the helper, and I think our guys were maybe starting to figure that out at the end of the year, even if they were a bit slow with it.

    Did I just read 17 of 18 McD AA in the final four were on 2 teams? I knew it was bad, but dang…

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