BERKELEY -- In the midst of his press conference about the upcoming Maui Invitational, California head coach Mike Montgomery took a moment to speak about his recently-signed big man, Idrissa Diallo, and to say he spoke in glowing terms about his new forward would be an understatement, which is understandable, given the fact that he's been recruiting Diallo for more than a year.
"Fabulous athlete, he's off-the-charts athletic," Montgomery said. "He's been hurt, so I can't tell you that we've seen him a lot. We saw him early – John [Montgomery] and Gregg [Gottlieb] really liked him. I saw him and you just kind of go, ‘Woah!'"
Diallo is a well-toned jumbo athlete with long arms and a raw athleticism. Diallo plays hard and is a conscientious defender.
"This guy can really run and jump," Montgomery said. "He's like a 6-3, 6-4 guy in a 6-10 body and 230. He doesn't look 230 at all, if you look at him. He carries that weight so easily. He's probably a little rusty right now. He hasn't played for five months, because he broke his elbow, but boy, can he motor."
As far as how he will fit into the current squad, Diallo could fill in well for Richard Solomon, who will be gone after this season.
"We lose Richard, and I think he stacks up favorably," Montgomery said. "He's strong, he pursues the ball, he can really rebound, he's obviously a little inexperienced. He's another one of the African kids that grew up playing soccer, like most of them, but he's competitive, and if we can focus on getting him to just go get every ball, we can lob to him and all those kinds of things. Those kinds of athletes are tough to come by."
Monty Talks New Signee
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