Damon Wilson, a classmate of Cheick Diallo at Our Savior New American, cleared to play at Pitt

  • “Pittsburgh freshman Damon Wilson has been academically cleared, sources told ESPN. Spent the past two years at Our Savior New American.” Jeff Goodman (@GoodmanESPN)

    Everyone is saying that’s good news for Cheick, including Jesse Newell.

  • @ParisHawk Glad you brought this up. I followed up on the Fancaster tweet from last week since my deadline for BS detection had passed and it turns out their alleged source isn’t someone with any say in the decision but someone who claims to have seen the transcripts of Diallo and several of his teammates that have cleared. Fancaster claims that their source informed them that Diallo’s coursework is similar to other players who have cleared and that he got good grades, therefore it was likely he would be cleared. The ‘soon’ part was just over-enthusiasm on their part.

    I don’t know if any of these claims are true, but either way, the prior tweet certainly overstated what they’re now claiming. The website for Fancaster is mostly just interviews with fans and occasionally celebs or players. The twitter account mostly just retweets stories from other sources. I haven’t made up my mind between this story being truish, but overstated, or simply being a fabrication that they’re trying to back out of gracefully while hoping it works out, but I’m leaning towards the latter. Too bad.

    But on the plus side, Diallo may well clear. Goodman did caution, however, that Wilson was only at OSNAS for two seasons to Diallo’s 3.5, so we can’t really draw a 1-1 comparison out of this. Still, it’s a small feather in the cap until we get final word.

  • I feel like our whole season depends on this ruling, I know it doesn’t but if feels like the difference between a sweet 16 ceiling and no ceiling for our season…

  • @clevelandjayhawk

    Diallo affects both the ceiling and the floor for this team because of his skill set.

    Defensively, Diallo should be good enough from day one that KU is assured of being a 25 win, top 2 seed. Without Diallo, KU is much softer in the middle, which could expose them to being a 3 or 4 seed if things break wrong. So the floor is raised if Diallo is cleared.

    However, Diallo also raises the ceiling for this squad. If he can be effective offensively, the ceiling is absolutely national title.

  • Good News indeed.

  • Without Diallo, and with Mickelson actually playing, and playing to the level he played at during the WUG, we are a serious NC threat.

    With Diallo, it only gets better.

  • SERIOUS.png

  • @HighEliteMajor I am with you. If Diallo never gets cleared we are still a Final 4 / National Title type team. If he does get cleared and plays to the level we think he could (we have to be reasonable with expectations after Cliff’s OAD season) I feel we may be in for a season of very few losses.

  • @ParisHawk

    Finally, some positive on Diallo. Needed it.

  • @HighEliteMajor

    Here is a serious question for you.

    if Mick is good enough to make us a FF team this year, then why in the flip wasn’t he racking up BIG minutes last season?

    WTF was going on last season?

    Now this is an issue to question Self on?

    Bill, WTF were you thinking playing injured players instead of Mick?

    What was that REALLY about?

    Did Hunter run his mouth and get the RR EXILE TREATMENT, or what?

  • @jaybate-1.0 As I remember, in the middle of the year, he had some “To the naked eye - highlighted by video replay,” horrible back to back moments on defense during a critical time. DOG HOUSE FOR DEFENSE is Modus operandi for Coach Self. Also, he had not proven that he was not going to be a deterrent during a game. He did win a game for us at the end of the Conference season and started to get playing time after it appeared to be over for Cliff. Jamari was the favorite, to the dismay of HEM. Before the WUG, Self started talking about Hunter getting lots of playing time. So whatever changed happened in the gym after the season ended.


  • @jaybate-1.0 Good question. Mick sat the season before, and presumably learned the system. So I can’t believe it was mental. He clearly offers a different type of player than Lucas or Traylor.

    Self, last preseason, said that Ellis and Mick were both 4s and likely wouldn’t play together. He referred to needing something down low, that those two together could offer. I have the quote somewhere. I thought that was odd, given the “poor man’s Withey” comment – Withey being a strict 5. I think the 4 comment on Mick might have been because of his step out ability.

    But maybe Self so him as a soft, movable object down low? I don’t know. But Self seemed convinced that Mick and Ellis weren’t a good match together. And because Ellis was the big minutes dude, that meant Mick, well, wasn’t.

    I do know that there were times when Mick looked really bad defensively last season. A couple laughable moments, really.

    Then the WUG thing changed everything.

    I guess I fell in this camp with Mick – I trusted Self on that judgment, but for playing Traylor over him (yes, “dismay” @wrwlumpy).

    But now, we shake our heads. We saw Mick in the WUG. There is just no denying that over those 8 games, he was the better post choice when compared to Lucas or Traylor. He could score, he was nimble, he fought for boards, he was solid defensively, and he offered rim protection. It was very impressive.

    Unfortunately, Self said Mick’s performance was Fool’s Gold at the WUG, did you miss that? – SORRY. Couldn’t resist. No, he didn’t say that.

    Really, though, Self seemed complimentary to Mick, but then he did bench him for a long stretch vs. Germany – that was pretty unnerving. I was literally begging for Mick to play. We won the gold, so Self made the right decisions there. But that worries me now on Self’s ultimate opinion on Mick.

    He wasn’t the “comfortable” choice.

    I think it might be this simple – it’s one of those judgment calls Self makes as head coach that we don’t understand. Much like (to me) playing Traylor so much. There’s not much, objectively, that supports the decision. It’s his subjective choice.

    I suspect Mick has now ascended in the pecking order; perhaps he’s built a little (gold) equity with the coach.

    Here’s a post you did last year on Ellis/Mick.

  • @HighEliteMajor

    Self had said that WUG offered us a great training tool. I believe him on that… enough to where he would risk losing the goal to better help our team for the upcoming season. I believe this to be true, especially when thinking of the championship game with Germany. I believe Self benched Mick because Mick had already proven himself in WUG, and had already gained what he was going to gain. Whereas… for the most part, Lucas’ WUG performance had been a disaster and Self didn’t want Lucas coming away with negative energy from WUG. He needed Lucas to end on a high note to help give him some esteem for the coming year. That is the way I look at it. If the game was life or death, I feel certain we would have seen plenty of Mick.

  • I am on board with others who think Diallo will be the difference-maker in our coming year.

    I’m certain he will get plenty of rebounds and most 50/50 balls. He will be a defensive deterrent to some degree, hopefully more than we anticipate. He will offer up some offense and will help add points to our game totals.

    But I feel the BIGGEST DIFFERENCE from adding in Diallo is the increased pace he bring to this team! I feel that one factor alone is reason to give him the majority of PT minutes in his slot. He offers not only energy, but hustle. Hustle is part energy, the rest attitude. His hustle attitude is bound to rub off on our team. I’m thinking he will most impact Wayne Selden. Wayne is a guy who can bring NOTHING to a game and be INVISIBLE. However, when Wayne is jacked up, he can OWN a game… DOMINATE a game… help LEAD in a game… BRING VICTORY to us! I also hope Diallo’s attitude will bring more (and constant) hustle out of Perry. No more games where he disappears!

    I feel like we are a Sweet 16 team without Cheick and a Final 4 team with him!

  • @ParisHawk F*&^ YAH!! Rock Cheick Jayhawk!

  • @HighEliteMajor I agree 100%. If on the off chance Diallo doesnt get cleared in time, Coach Self absolutely HAS to recognize that Hunt is our best big next to Perry. Big Hunt has a game in him, he proved that during the WUGs.

    I also think Bragg will give us some big minutes and big hustle plays. Kid played with a broken nose the whole time this summer!

  • @jaybate-1.0 Good question. One that I bet only Coach Self knows the answer too. No doubt Hunter can play!

    If I had to guess, maybe Hunter was dealing with an unspecified injury of sorts. One that let him continue to practice on but not be in game shape for. Either that or Coach Self just did not trust him enough to put him out there. I think he earned it this summer.

  • @HighEliteMajor said:

    Unfortunately, Self said Mick’s performance was Fool’s Gold at the WUG, did you miss that? – SORRY. Couldn’t resist. No, he didn’t say that.

    HEM, I admit that I literally laughed out loud at that.

    And thanks for the link to Jaybate’s post about Hunter. That unnerving photo @wrwlumpy posted had almost faded from my brain.

  • @HighEliteMajor

    I recall that post. It conveyed my profound bafflement at the situation even as I tried to understand it.

    The most interesting part was body language. Sometimes guys just cross a line with Self as RR ONCE DID. And he has an all season dog house.

    Maybe Mik and him really just were at loggerheads for a season over some conduct code crossing.

    And WUG marked his release from Selfenworth Penitentiary with time served.

  • @wrwlumpy

    You present as good of case as any…and a good pic as usual.

Log in to reply