In my first article on this site, I wrote 12 questions about 12 prospects. My first question was about how Hamidou Diallo’s jump shot would impact his freshman performance. His two biggest concerns heading into the season were his shooting ability and his feel for the game, which have both played a role so far in his season. Through his first 17 games, Diallo is averaging 13.8 PPG, 4.5 RPG, 1.7 APG, 1 SPG, and 1.6 turnovers per game on 45% shooting from the field, 36% from 3, and 63% from the free throw line.
Hamidou Diallo is a 6’5/190 SG with a 7’0 wingspan. His frame and athleticism are his biggest assets and those alone warrant a first round selection. More specifically, here’s how I break down Diallo’s strengths and weaknesses:
- Elite athlete- incredible vertical; explosive athlete
- 7’0 wingspan
- Great rebounder for position
- Elite in transition- quick with the ball in his hands and explosive towards the rim
- Good at drawing contact and getting to the line
- Intense defensively
- Good timing on chasedown blocks
- Can fall in love with midrange
- Has a hitch in jump shot
- Lacks a great feel for the game
NBA comparison: Floor: Archie Goodwin; ceiling: Will Barton
Overall: Diallo shows promise as an open-floor player and as a defender. Diallo is still very raw, but his physical tools give him upside that may be higher than Will Barton. Diallo’s NBA future relies on how well his shooting translates. His form right now needs work, and his hitch in his jumper has hurt his shooting percentages. Whichever team drafts him must make it a priority to remove his hitch in his jumper, improve his shot selection, and teach him more about how to be a successful NBA defender. Diallo’s weaknesses and concerns can almost all be rooted to his weak feel for the game. Diallo often has poor defensive rotations, he loves taking inefficient pull-up mid-range jumpers, and he often rushes shots by taking the first available shot he sees rather than finding the best shot for the offense. He often settles for bad shots, which hurts his offensive output.
As for his strengths, his physical attributes and freak athleticism pose the most value. He is also adept at getting to the line, and has shown to be a strong finisher through contact. He has a high motor and focuses on the defensive end. While he needs to sharpen his selection on when to go for blocks, his timing on chasedown blocks is impeccable, as shown here. Additionally, he is an explosive athlete, especially in transition. His game currently needs filling in, but the unteachable physical aspects of his game are elite.
Projected draft range: Late first round