Just two weeks ago it seemed like Hamidou Diallo committing to UConn was a strong possibility. How quickly things can change.
Jerry Meyer of 247 Sports called it “quite likely” that Diallo would come to Storrs for the second semester, and those rumors only got louder when he took his first official visit, to UConn starting on Dec. 22nd.
After the UConn visit, he said he would also be visiting Kentucky and Arizona. After making the trip to Lexington, he canceled the Arizona visit and announced that he would be making his decision.
In a ceremony in Queens, Diallo has now chosen to play for the Wildcats. He will reportedly sit out the remainder of this season and begin playing in 2017-18.
Kentucky is an obvious choice for a player like Diallo. The Wildcats, at least right now, are certainly in a better place than the Huskies, highly ranked in the polls, and specifically cater to players who don’t want to stay in college for long.
But they also have a bit of a logjam, with a lot of talent on hand and a lot more joining with Diallo in the class of 2017.
The Wildcats’ top five scorers are Malik Monk (22.6 points per game), De’Aaron Fox (15.6), Isaiah Briscoe (15.3), Edrice Adebayo (13.2) and Mychal Mulder (7.0). Adebayo is the only non-guard on that list. Monk, Fox and Briscoe also lead Kentucky in minutes per game and are the only guys averaging more than 25 minutes per game.
Kevin Ollie is very comfortable with a three-guard lineup and will lack a true shooting guard. Though there are scholarships remaining on the board, UConn will have Jalen Adams, Makai Ashton-Langford, Alterique Gilbert and Christian Vital on the roster at the guard spot for next year. None of those players are shooting guards. He could have been the Huskies’ go-to guy.
This is a disappointing blow for UConn, especially given how much time and effort went into Diallo’s recruitment. However, Kevin Ollie and the Huskies are still in very good shape with the signees for the class of 2017 and the future of the program remains bright. This would have been nice, but the news certainly isn’t surprising.