On Official Visit, Hamidou Diallo Takes Shots at UConn Practice, Will Attend Auburn Game | Zagsblog
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Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
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Friday / April 12.
  • On Official Visit, Hamidou Diallo Takes Shots at UConn Practice, Will Attend Auburn Game

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    As part of his first official visit, Hamidou Diallo attended UConn’s practice on Thursday at XL Center, took some shots and chatted with head coach Kevin Ollie.

    The official visit — first reported by ZAGSBLOG — will culminate on Friday with Diallo attending the Auburn-UConn game (2:30 p.m., ESPN2).

    UConn already has Mamadou Diarra, Diallo’s friend and former Putnam Science teammate, on the roster although he’s out for the year with an injury. UConn was also three deep with Ollie and two assistants watching Diallo and Putnam Science this week at the City of Palms Classic.

    The 6-foot-6 Diallo is considering enrolling in a college at the semester break but no final decisions have yet been made, sources close to Diallo told ZAGSBLOG. The second semester at UConn begin Jan. 17.

    It also remains undecided whether the high-flying guard would suit up for a college in the second semester.

    Diallo is also considering Kentucky, Arizona, Indiana, Syracuse and Kansas, and is expected to take other officials.

    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.

    If he enrolls in January, he could potentially only be on campus for a few months before possibly declaring for the 2017 NBA Draft.

    He has been watched throughout the season by numerous NBA personnel — including at the National Prep Showcase in New Haven, Conn. last month.

    At that event, most NBA scouts said they thought Diallo wasn’t yet ready for the NBA and should attend college.

    “Based on what I saw tonight and this summer he should attend college and continue to develop his game,” one NBA scout said. “He’s athletic and flashes some skill but has a ways to go from being NBA ready. I think someone would draft him for his talent but it’s not about making the league, it’s about giving yourself the best chance to stick.”

    “[The NBA scouts] were disappointed by the lack of urgency that he showed,” Jonathan Givony of DraftExpress.com said. “He was kind of going through the motions and coasting. His jump shot still needs a lot of work. His body needs a lot of work. If Hamidou is not going to play hard, then he’s just not that interesting a prospect. He’s 6-5, 190 pounds without a great jumper. You can find that a dime a dozen.

    “What I loved about Hamidou before that with USA Basketball, on the AAU circuit, Adidas Nations, every time I’ve seen him play, he was always playing harder than everybody else. He was a monster defensively. He seems to kind of have backed off of that a little bit and that’s not a good sign for him. I think he’s  a much better prospect than what he showed, but when NBA guys come to evaluate you and you turn in that kind of performances, they might not come back. So he has to be thinking strongly about college at this point.”

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    Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle. 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.

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