Former Kansas forward Cheick Diallo will remain in the NBA Draft and sign with an agent.
A top ten recruit before he enrolled at Kansas, Diallo ran into some issues with the NCAA Clearinghouse before he was allowed to suit up for the Jayhawks. He eventually missed five games and, as he told multiple outlets this weekend in Chicago, essentially missed “three or four months”.
“I came late and I was behind everybody. There was nothing I can do, nothing to help the team. It was too late,” Diallo told The Sporting News. “So I said, ‘You know what? I am going to keep working hard and my time will come.’ It was not coach’s fault I was not playing. It was not my fault I was not playing. Because I came late. It was the NCAA’s fault.”
Diallo, who will reportedly sign with Bill Duffy, ended up averaging just 3.0 points as a result, meaning he wasn’t necessarily expected to be a first round pick. That was before he was one of the most impressive performers at this year’s NBA Draft Combine, which really shouldn’t have come as all that much of a surprise.
The setting isn’t all that different from the high school all-star games where Diallo won MVP trophies. The competition level is, obviously, much higher, but this was not a situation where we’re looking at team-oriented defenses and complex offensive sets. Diallo’s biggest strength is his motor. He plays hard, he runs the floor hard, he attacks the glass hard, and all of that shines through in that setting. Throw in the fact that he can be a rim-protector with his 7-foot-4.5 wingspan, and there’s a good chance he’ll end up getting picked in the mid-to-late first round as teams look to land the next Bismack Biyombo, if you will.