By MIKE GRIMALASpecial to ZAGSBLOGLAS VEGAS — Cheick Diallo’s first official visit was a good one, but the New York big man doesn’t plan on hitting the road to tour any more campuses until the fall.
Speaking Friday at the LeBron James Skills Academy in Las Vegas, Diallo said that while he enjoyed his official visit to Kentucky in June, his schedule won’t allow him to take another visit until September.
“I think in September I want to go out and visit,” Diallo said. “I visited Kentucky, and that was my first one. It’s a good school and it was a great visit, so I want to go out and visit some more.”
Kansas, Iowa State, St. John’s and Pittsburgh are the other schools working the hardest for Diallo, and those visits are expected to come in the fall.
“I’m not even thinking about [recruiting],” Diallo said. “I have a lot of offers, but I’m not even thinking about it. My coach takes care of it. Right now I’m just thinking about playing.”
Diallo provides excellent rim protection at 6-foot-9 (with a 7-foot-3 wingspan), and that defensive prowess is a big reason why most scouting services have him ranked in the top-10 for the Class of 2015.
Diallo’s play at the LeBron camp has reaffirmed his spot near the top of the rankings, as he’s used his length and agility to defend the paint effectively. Still, he hopes that the college coaches on hand come away impressed with his offensive game, as well.
“I want to prove to everybody what I can do,” Diallo said. “I’ve got to prove I can be a defensive player, I can rebound, block shots. But my offense is important as well. I’ve got to work on my free throws, work on my jump shot. I want to show everyone that I can play.”
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Adam Zagoria is a New York Times contributor and Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.