Hamidou Diallo will take his first official visit to UConn beginning this week and will be on hand for Friday’s game against Auburn in Hartford, Putnam Science Academy (CT) head coach Tom Espinosa told ZAGSBLOG.
Diallo and his Putnam Science Academy (CT) teammates are currently in Florida and will play IMG Academy Wednesday afternoon. After that the plan is to take a flight home and for him to visit UConn.
UConn has been recruiting the 6-foot-6 Putnam Science shooting guard for several years and went three deep to watch him on Tuesday at the City of Palms Classic. With head coach Kevin Ollie, associate head coach Glen Miller and assistant Dwayne Killings watching, Diallo went for 21 points and 7 rebounds in a loss to Mohamed Bamba and Westtown (PA). School. Bamba is also a UConn target.
UConn, which has former Putnam Science and Diallo buddy Mamadou Diarra on its roster, is considered among the frontrunners for Diallo, along with Kentucky.
“Coach Kevin Ollie is great with player development,” Diallo, who runs with the NY Rens AAU program, said recently. “He runs a great program up there and it seems like a family atmosphere. They just have a great program with great fans.”
Diallo is looking at taking several other official visits before making his choice, sources said.
Kentucky-bound point guard Quade Green is also close with Diallo and has been recruiting him to Kentucky.
“Great program and great players,” he said of Kentucky. “I haven’t really got to visit so I haven’t really got a feel for Kentucky itself but it just seems like they’re great people up there. I meet with Coach [John] Calipari and [assistant Tony] Barbee a couple times and they seemed like great guys.”
Diallo is also considering Kansas, Arizona, Syracuse and Indiana, and coaches from all of those schools watched him at City of Palms.
Because he has already graduated high school and is doing a postgraduate year, Diallo is eligible for the 2017 NBA Draft — Celtics GM Danny Ainge recently scouted him at Putnam Science — yet Diallo has said he’s “100 percent” set on attending college for at least a year.
Diallo said that no school is recruiting harder than the other and he’s taking his time with recruiting.
“I think he’s ready to move on and make a decision,” Espinosa told the Norwich Bulletin before the UConn visit was set up. “He hasn’t made any official visits yet, so I don’t think it will happen until the spring, but enough is enough. His phone blows up every second with brand names, coaches, reporters. I get tons of calls. I think it’s time. He needs to focus on basketball and school.”