Hamidou Diallo’s time at Kentucky was uneventful.
The six-foot-five swingman arrived in Lexington in January of 2017 but had an agreement with the team that he wouldn’t suit up right away, as he planned to declare for that year’s draft straight out of high school. Diallo was hoping to get a promise he would be picked in the first round but once that promise wasn’t made, he opted to withdraw and play one season of college basketball instead.
Arriving in school half-a-year ahead of his teammates should have given him a leg up to become the most prominent player on last season’s team but that didn’t materialize. Diallo never got the chance to run offense and wasn’t much of a priority in the half-court, getting the eventual touch on ball reversals, curling off staggered screens and posting up smaller matchups but more often than not just standing in the weak-side as a floor-spacer.
On the other end, Diallo was a just a guy for the most part. He proved himself able to execute the scheme when it asked him to switch on the fly but an athlete like him is expected to be an above average individual defender or create events all over the place, neither of which was particularly true at the highest level of college ball, as Kentucky ranked 12th in the country in strength of schedule.
In 37 appearances, the 19-year-old posted a 13.3 PER and averaged 16.2 points per 40 minutes on a below average 47% effective shooting, with the bulk of his 22.5% usage-rate coming in transition. He also had the second worst defensive rating on the team among rotation players.
Based only on his 912 NCAA minutes, Diallo wouldn’t be highly thought of but he has 212 minutes of experience with the United States National Team at the 2016 U18 FIBA Americas and the 2017 U19 FIBA World Cup, as well as 305 minutes at the 2015 and 2016 adidas Nations – events where he was more impressive and built a reputation that maintain him a prospect with a shot to be picked in the 20s, despite the fact his performance in college was underwhelming.
(Check the rest of the post at RealGM)