Analyzing Hamidou Diallo in a 2016 FIBA Basketball Game

April 25, 2017

By Alan Lu

Recently, Kentucky’s 6-5 freshman guard, Hamidou Diallo submitted paperwork to declare himself eligible to be selected in the 2017 NBA Draft.  He has not yet hired an agent, and he had redshirted this past season.  It was hard to find game tapes of him playing a full game recently, so I decided to see one where he played last year.  Thanks to YouTube via FIBA, I was able to see a July 23rd, 2016 match between the United States and Canada that was played in the 2016 FIBA Americas U-18 Men’s Championship for the gold medal game.

Hamidou Diallo is a gifted athlete that can really excel at scoring on hustle plays.  He will often score off cuts, put backs, as well as in transition.  He can catch lob passes to throw down thunderous alley-oop dunks, and he can make quick, athletic tip-ins off of his teammate’s misses.  Diallo will run the floor hard to make himself available for scoring chances on the break, but sometimes, he can miss shots wildly around the basket, as he may not always play under control.

Also, Diallo possesses a good ability to garner scores off the dribble.  He has a solid first step, as he can score on quick, strong drives with either hand, and he can really elevate to get scores and free throws around the basket.  Plus, he also showed adequate low post scoring skills.  On one play, he managed to use a drop step move as he lowered his shoulder, and he drew free throws on a strong jump hook towards the basket.

However, he will need to improve his jump shot.  For the positives, he showed a decent mid-range shot when he was on the floor.  Though he missed a contested pull-up jumper badly early in the game, Diallo did end up making a quick, pull-up jumper from the right elbow on the break.  On the other hand, he did not take any three-point shots, and he struggled to make free throws when he was at the line.  Therefore, he may likely need to extend his range and improve his shooting stroke in the future.

Plus, he may also possess adequate playmaking skills.  Diallo is an unselfish player that will look to make the extra pass, and he is a good ball handler that can bring the ball up the floor.  He will find the open man to set up scoring chances for his team, and he will also chase down loose balls on offense to help his team retain possession of the basketball.  However, Diallo can sometimes play too wildly at times, as he may commit charging fouls or struggle to protect the basketball on occasion.

Diallo also is a very good rebounder.  He will especially crash the offensive glass, as he will aggressively leap up to haul in boards due to possessing great athleticism and motor when he is on the floor.  He can score quickly off of put backs, and he can push the pace after grabbing defensive rebounds.

Moreover, he is also an adequate defensive player.  In addition to possessing very good physical tools, Diallo also has adequate footwork to defend either backcourt position.  He will quickly fight through screens, and he will apply considerable ball pressure when he is on the floor.  Plus, he also will make timely rotations, and he will contest shots to force some misses.

However, Diallo sometimes can over-rotate, which can lead him to being position.  As a result of this, this can lead his team to allow scores.  In addition, Diallo tends to sag off of shooters, but in this game, his opponents did not make jumpers often even when they were given space to take the shots.  But Diallo did get beat off the dribble once that led to a scramble amid quick ball movement that led to an eventual score.

Right now, Hamidou Diallo is a very athletic swingman that is an intriguing talent, and he may even have some point guard skills, though he did not get much of a chance to be a primary facilitator on the floor.  But Diallo also will need to improve his jump shot and refine his position defense, as he may not be quite ready for the NBA.

Diallo would likely benefit by playing at Kentucky if he decides to withdraw from the draft.  If he keeps his name in the draft, Diallo would likely have a very good chance to be drafted in the late first to the second round range as his vast athleticism and upside could be too much for teams to pass up later on in the draft.