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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 / June 22.
  • Malik Monk Says Hamidou Diallo Will Take ‘Humongous Step’ at Kentucky

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    CAMDEN, N.J. — With Malik Monk, De’Aaron Fox and Isaiah Briscoe all now gone from Kentucky, Hamidou Diallo will be expected to play a major role during the 2017-18 season.

    And Monk, for one, thinks Diallo is up for it.

    “Yeah that’s my guy,” Monk told me Thursday after his workout with the Philadelphia 76ers. “I think he’ll take a humongous step. A lot of people have seen the player that he is…He’s a leader, just wants to win so I think they’ll be pretty good.”

    The 6-foot-6 Diallo tested the NBA Draft waters, but opted to return to Kentucky after failing to get a first-round guarantee.

    “I think he’s ready for [the NBA] but I think he wanted the experience of Kentucky,” Monk said. “You gotta have that experience.”

    Diallo will begin training this weekend in Colorado Springs, Colo., with the USA U19 team for the upcoming FIBA World Championship in Cairo, Egypt.

    He is one of three Kentucky players among 28 total trying out for 12 rosters spots on a  team coached by Kentucky’s John Calipari. Kevin Knox and P.J. Washington are also in the mix.

    “Having Hami and PJ and Kevin out there, I’m excited about it because I’m going to get a chance to see them against not only our guys – we had a workout last night where I was able to get them all in the gym and work guys out, which made my day,” Calipari said this week. “I went home with a smile on my face because it’s what I enjoy doing. But, to get them out there in that environment will be good for them too.”

    Per, Diallo is now projected as the No. 18 pick in 2018, while Knox and Washington are not on the mock.

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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.