LEXINGTON, Ky. – Kentucky basketball added another class of 2017 five-star recruit when Hamidou Diallo chose the Wildcats over Connecticut at a ceremony near his home in New York City on Saturday.
Even for John Calipari, this is uncharted territory in Wildcats recruiting.
Diallo, an explosive 6-5, 195-pound shooting guard, graduated high school last year and plans to enroll at UK when spring semester classes begin Jan. 18.
The plan, according to ZagsBlog and multiple reports, is for Diallo to practice and not play in games this season. The No. 1-rated shooting guard and top-10 overall prospect according to the 247Composite, Diallo is eligible to enter the 2017 NBA Draft. He is not listed on the ’17 or ’18 mock drafts at DraftExpress.com.
If he elects to stay in school for the 2017-18 season as expected, Diallo will have jump-started his career by practicing against De’Aaron Fox, Malik Monk and Isaiah Briscoe for months this season. And the move represents another credit for Calipari, who has assembled what was already considered the No. 1 2017 recruiting haul.
Diallo is the sixth member and fifth five-star of the class, joining center Nick Richards, forward P.J. Washington, small forward Jarred Vanderbilt, point guard Quade Green and four-star shooting guard Shai Alexander.
The top 2017 recruiting classes behind Kentucky: UCLA, Arizona, Washington, Alabama, Duke, Louisville, Auburn, Xavier and Miami. No teams appear able to catch Calipari, who has signed the No. 1 or No. 2 recruiting class every year since he arrived in Lexington in 2009.