Hamidou Diallo is Elevating His Game for Kentucky

LEXINGTON, KY - DECEMBER 16: Hamidou Diallo
LEXINGTON, KY - DECEMBER 16: Hamidou Diallo /

Hamidou Diallo returned to Kentucky in order to prove he was an NBA lottery pick and help Kentucky win it’s ninth National Championship. So far this season he’s on track to do both.

Hamidou Diallo decided to reclassify last season and joined the Kentucky Wildcats in January of 2017. Diallo put his name in the 2017 NBA Draft even though he had not played a single minute during the 2016-17 college basketball season. There was a chance that he was going to become a “none-and-done” player at Kentucky. However, Diallo returned to the Wildcats last spring after testing the NBA waters.

Diallo’s decision to bypass the NBA and play for the Wildcats this season appears to be paying dividends. Diallo put up another stellar performance on Saturday against Virginia Tech. The Hokies got a dose of their own medicine when the Wildcats dropped in 11 three-pointers, including 4 from Diallo.

Saturday’s game was the fourth consecutive game in which Diallo has scored at least 19 points. During that stretch he’s shooting an amazing 53.5% from the field and 41.6% from beyond the three-point line.

Diallo’s athleticism has never been in question, as is evidence by his 44.5″ vertical during last year’s NBA Draft Combine. However, his outside shooting was a concern among NBA scouts. If Saturday is a sign of things to come in regards to his perimeter shooting, Diallo is sure to be shooting up draft boards (no pun intended).

Diallo gives the Cats another scoring option outside of Kevin Knox, and someone else the defense must account for. Knox has played well all season, except for the Citi Hoops Classic that saw him shoot 1-for-9. If he and Diallo are able to keep scoring at will against opponents, it’s going to make the Cats very hard to stop.