Bao Xishun is not walking through that door, but Remi Dibo emerges as a PF option for Calipari


by Paul Jordan

Is that Kentucky blue that  Bao Xishun is wearing?  Hrmmmmmm

The pieces were there for Bao Xishun to become the power forward that John Calipari so desperately wanted.  Calipari had taken off on his trip to China last year and spotted Xishun dominating what passes for an AAU Tournament over in China and the vision of title number eight in his first year as Kentucky coach was too appealing to not talk to the guy.  At 7’9, it was too easy to imagine Xishun dominating Jarvis Varnado in the SEC and even leading Kentucky to the NCAA Title over championship caliber centers such as  Brian Zoubek.  After a lengthy process trying to clear Xishun through the NCAA Clearinghouse, Calipari had to give up his dream of Xishun and settle for Patrick Patterson and DeMarcus Cousins in the frontcourt last year.

Things seemed to look up and it appeared that Jon Hood and Josh Harrellson were headed to China to pick up the big prize when things fell apart.  It turned out that Xishun was actually now 59 years old and preferred to stay home in China with his 30 year old wife.  Xishun had also received a new calling in life and felt he would be better served using his long arms removing foreign objects from the stomachs of dolphins.  Plus he was rumored to be a fouler who could not hit his free throws.

Oh, come on.  If I was a 16 year old and wrote this on a different blog and claimed I had a source, ESPN and Adam Zagoria would be reporting on this. 

Meanwhile, on a more serious note, the search for a PF does continue this morning.  I was able to find some printed documentation that Marcus Thornton had indeed dropped Kentucky from his list of suitors.  It’s a tough break for sure.  I really wish that Kentucky would grab Eloy Vargas, but I seem to be in the minority and don’t know how much Vargas is on Calipari’s radar.  However thanks to the great Dustin Rumbaugh, we now know of another player that Kentucky may be targeting for their PF position. 

Remi Dibo adds more of an international flair to Kentucky’s frontcourt as he hails from France.  He has also, at one time, been a team mate of Kentucky’s Enes Kanter, so that seems to be a good sign.  At 6’8, he is a little smaller than I would like, but we know how players can play much bigger in the right system, so I am not going to knock him for his size. 

As of now, the is a three star player …. and I’d like to comment on that for now.  I think way too much emphasis is placed on the star rankings.  If you take a three star player and put him on a team of five star players, obviously he is going to have a better supporting cast and out perform his rankings.  Likewise, putting a three star players on a team of one and twos is not going to elevate that team.  In short, a three star recruit is not going to drag down a team of four and five star players and most recruiting pundits consider Dibo underrated as he is from France and has not had the attention of the scouts for several years,  I’d love to see Dibo a Wildcat and am pretty pumped about what ESPN has to say about him:

This big and strong power forward has good skill. Dibo hits mid range jumpers off the catch and pick and pop threes from NBA range and without hesitation. He has a great confidence and a quick release. At times he had questionable shot selection but seemed to always compete and play with great urgency. Dibo is an excellent passer as well. He has great touch and passes over or around opponents. Dibo is a match up problem because he can play inside and out. He can power over smaller defenders as well. Dibo is a decent rebounder especially defensively because he has good hands and uses his great size when the ball comes off the rim in his area. Dibo could be one of the most sought after players during the late signing period.

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