Kentucky's Diallo to return, opts out of draft
- Author: Zachary Reyes May 25, 2017,
May 25, 2017, 8:08
A five-star prospect in the 2017 class, Diallo graduated high school early and enrolled at Kentucky in January. In fact, hoops insider Adam Zagoria and The Vertical's Adrian Wojnarowski both reported Wednesday that Diallo didn't receive a first-round promise from a team drafting in the 20s-which sealed his decision to return to school.
Diallo will be one of the biggest leaders on a United Kingdom team that will have a host of freshmen playing key roles next season, and we could see an all-freshman starting lineup (if you count Diallo as a redshirt freshman). He didn't play in any games, though, and redshirted the spring semester.
The shooting guard did not play a minute for the Wildcats this season, which would have made for an interesting early exit - even by modern-era Kentucky standards. He didn't play in any games before the Wildcats were eventually eliminated in the Elite Eight by North Carolina.
With five underclassmen entering their names in the NBA Draft (Fox, Briscoe, Bam Adebayo, Malik Monk and Isaac Humphries) and three graduating seniors (Dominique Hawkins, Mychal Mulder and Derek Willis), Kentucky will be tasked with replacing 92.6 percent of its scoring and 76.6 percent of its rebounding from the 2016-17 team.
"I'm really proud of Hami", head coach John Calipari said. He could be quite a steal if taken in the second round, but overall he does seem like a player who'll need some time before he will make a serious impact in the National Basketball Association.
After a long wait, Solid Blue fans can sigh in relief. "He's a special player and a special person". Good. The more you don't play, the more they like you, the more they're impressed.
Diallo enrolled at United Kingdom in January and practiced with the 2016-17 team, but did not appear in any games. Killeya-Jones had 12 points on 6-of-8 shooting against UT Martin and 10 blocks over his first nine career games.