Kansas Jayhawks head coach Bill Self is no stranger to coach speak. He’s quick to praise his players, but what he said this week about incoming freshman Cheick Diallo is beyond the normal cliche phrase.
Diallo, a top-five recruit in any rankings, is 6-foot-9 and 218 pounds, but Self told Jesse Newell of The Topeka Capital-Journal Tuesday, “We’ve never had a big guy that could run like this.”
That’s high praise for the McDonald’s High School All-American game MVP, but Self took it one step further.
“He can create pace better than any point guard we’ve ever had here, just because the dude, from rim to rim, he’s as good as I’ve seen,” Self said.
Somewhere former Jayhawk point guard and all-time Big 12 assist leader Aaron Miles is shaking his head, but when it comes to evaluating talent, there is no reason to doubt the championship-winning coach.
Here is some video that may lead credence to Self’s evaluation.
While the future looks bright for the Jayhawks and Diallo, Self also talked with Newell about Diallo’s NCAA eligibility status. The freshman, despite being accepted by KU, has not been cleared by his sport’s governing body. Newell reported that classes he took at Our Savior New American HS in Centereach, N.Y. are in question.
From Newell’s story:
“I’m confident (he’ll be cleared),” Self said Monday. “I know with others we’ve had and other schools have had guys that it takes time. This is certainly one that is no fault of his. He goes to a school for 3 1/2 years and finds out after he graduates that, ‘Hey, we could have a potential problem.’ Hopefully it can be rectified.”
Jayhawk fans have to be on pins and needles knowing they have one of the most talented players in the country on campus who might not ever step foot on the court in storied Allen Fieldhouse.
When dealing with the NCAA, expect a decision later rather than sooner.
*Featured Photo (above) credit to Getty Images