The Kansas Jayhawks have been a basketball powerhouse for most of their existence. All-time great Wilt Chamberlain once led this team to national glory. Many other great players followed him.
The Jayhawks, under Head Coach Bill Self, produced lots of wins in the 2014-2015 Season. But the team lacked a quality big man, a player who could serve as a power forward or, more importantly, at the center position. According to the Coach, that kind of player could lead the Jayhawks to “March Madness” tournament success.
The University of Kansas may have gotten the player it so badly has needed. His name is Cheick Diallo. Ranked as the fifth best prospect by several rating services, this 6’9” two hundred twenty five pound Power Forward (his position in high school) is expected to provide the rebounding and shot blocking ability that Coach Self believes can turn his squad into a national champion.
That remains to be seen, of course. The young recruit, who was born in the African nation of Mali, has to prove his worth on the hardwood. But most pundits believe that Diallo, who only began playing basketball a mere five years ago, will be a difference maker.
Based on past performance Cheick Diallo will provide the Jayhawks with a major low post presence and will be a dominant rim-protector. Importantly for the University of Kansas and for Coach Self, Diallo will be joined by another “Five Star” recruit, 6’8” Forward Carlton Bragg.
These two new players will unite with the squad’s leading scorer from the 2014-2015 Season, Power Forward Perry Ellis. The three players, each dominant in his own way, should give the Jayhawks one of the best “front lines” in all of college basketball.
The 2015-2016 Season may turn out to be a memorable one for the Jayhawks and their rabid fans, especially if Diallo blocks shots and rebounds at a high level. The team’s defense will then keep it in most games and will allow its offense to score enough points to produce victories.
By any measure, it appears likely that Cheick Diallo will live up to expectations and will help the University of Kansas Jayhawks play deep into March a few months from now. If he does that, this dynamic young player may turn out to be a “one-and-done” superstar, a college player who leaves school early (in Diallo’s case, after his freshman year) to seek the instant riches always available to those who gain entry into the National Basketball Association (NBA).
College basketball analysts believe that Diallo will definitely be one of those players who gets quick and early entry into the professional basketball league. His skill set should get him a high draft position. And if that occurs, this young man from Mali may become an “overnight millionaire” in 2016.
Courtesy of KU Sports