When Idrissa Diallo talks about learning the California offense, watching the way Mike Montgomery orchestrates a basketball game -- and in particular, the big men down low -- he uses a very telling word.
"After watching a couple of videos and tape, he said that I would have a big role to play in the offense, and that the offense is run through us," Diallo said. "Big men are actually involved in the game."
Diallo spent the better part of two days in Berkeley, talking with the coaching staff and on Thursday morning, spending an hour with the academic advisory staff.
"I met with the academic part of the school and they told me all about the academics, classes, tutoring, grades, all that stuff," Diallo said. "8We had a talk about the expectations and classes and courses. They asked me my expectations, and what I want to do and take. We talked for about an hour, and then we went up to the football stadium, because I wanted to see it."
Diallo had already heard so much about the new stadium and the weight room, that he wanted to see it for himself.
"They'd been bragging about it, so I had to check it out," Diallo said. "It was actually really nice."
Beyond just seeing the weight room and facilities, Diallo also got to see what the campus was like with students around – at least during the first summer session.
"I wanted to see how the campus was when students were there taking classes, because last time I came, it was in the summer, so I wanted to see life on campus and see how it is on a school day," Diallo said. "I walked around a lot, talked with the staff, the coaches and got to know them better. I got used to walking around the school and trying to see myself being in that situation, feeling if it was right. That was mostly what I did."
It certainly helped that the last sight he saw was the panoramic view of the Bay Area from atop Memorial Stadium.
"I'd never seen anything like that before today," Diallo said. "I just like California, I like the weather, I like everything. It's a place I can see myself in ... I felt like I could definitely see myself in blue and gold, yeah."
Diallo wants to return to Berkeley at some point, relatively soon, and that visit will be official, though the date isn't set in stone just yet.
"[Gregg Gottlieb] actually asked me if I could make it to the Ohio State game in September," Diallo said. "I don't know yet, because it'll be in the beginning of the school year for me. I've got to think about it and talk to Coach about it."
Iddy Does It
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