To say Kansas coach Bill Self is excited would be an understatement. The Jayhawks landed a premiere big man in five star big man Cheick Diallo. The 6-9 forward who possesses a 7-4 wingspan is a game changer.
“Today is a huge day for our Kansas basketball program,” Self said in a statement. “It has been our focus and our top recruiting priority to try to sign an inside presence and a rim protector to go along with our returning players. We feel like we’ve been able to sign a premier big man that has as much upside any big we’ve recruited in recent memory. Cheick reminds me so much of Thomas Robinson, late in Thomas’ college career. Cheick has a great motor. He runs as well as any big guy that we’ve had and certainly has a knack for finding the ball. He’ll bring a toughness and aggressiveness to our program.”
The addition of Diallo is even bigger when paired with the signing of forward Carlton Bragg. The duo now makes the once weak Kansas frontline very formidable and could now make the Jayhawks a national player next season.
“With the addition of Cheick and Carlton and with what we have coming back, I think this puts us in a great position to be a much improved team next year,” Self said. “We are still actively recruiting a few more players, but this could not have turned out any better for us with the two that we’ve signed.”
Diallo is a dynamic presence, as he averaged 19 points, 14 rebounds and four blocks as a senior. He made waves a few weeks ago in the McDonald’s All-American Game and then the Jordan Brand Classic, where he poured in 18 points and 10 rebounds and 26 point and 11 boards respectively. He earned MVP honors in both affairs.
“Personality-wise, I would compare him much closer to Joel (Embiid) but from a playing standpoint, I think he’s much closer to Thomas, the same size, same body, same type motor,” Self said.