LEXINGTON, Ky. — Any speculation that Kentucky 5-star shooting guard Hamidou Diallo sees the floor this season looks doubtful at best, as the early arrival has yet to play a regular role in practice.
Diallo, one of five 5-star prospects in Kentucky’s 2017 class, enrolled for the spring semester but his plan has always been to sit this season out and be ready for the 2017-18 campaign. It’s experience and not eligibility that’s keeping him out this year.
“He’s here for the right reasons, to become his best version, and he knows that it’s a process and you can’t skip steps,” assistant coach Joel Justus said Monday. “And sitting and watching and learning is a big part of that. Hami is an extremely bright, inquisitive young man, and I think these next couple months are going to be critical for his development and being the best that he can be.”
Justus said they won’t have a sure feel for the type of player they’re getting in Diallo until he starts to practice in full. Diallo has only contributed in a few drills so far.
“I think as we get into these next couple weeks where he starts to feel a little bit more familiar with the system and what we’re wanting from him, I think you’ll really start to see, we’ll start to see a little bit more of what he is and what he can do,” Justus said.
Diallo is the No. 1 shooting guard prospect in the 2017 class and Kentucky’s top commit. Freshman Malik Monk, a former 5-star prospect, hasn’t had too much time to see what Diallo brings to the team.
“I’ve seen him in a couple camps,” Monk said. “I knew he could play defense and be an active player. He really hasn’t done that much with us. We didn’t scrimmage with him or nothing like that so I ain’t really seen him.”
— DraftExpressContent (@DXContent) November 19, 2016
One thing Monk and Diallo have in common? Prolific dunking skills.
So, Monk was asked who would win a dunk contest between he and Diallo.
“Me, of course,” Monk said with a smile. “Yeah he can dunk, but I’m gonna win for sure.”