The Maryland staff is involved with numerous touted class of 2017 talents, and one of them made his way down to College Park, Md., Feb. 21 for his initial look at the Terps. Five-star shooting guard Hamidou Diallo, a Queens, N.Y., native attending Putnam Science Academy (Putnam, Conn.), said he had a great time taking in the Maryland-Michigan hoops game, which the Terps won 86-82.
“It was a great experience, just the whole ‘gold rush’ with the fans. The Maryland fans are really supportive, and it was fun to see the Xfinity Center,” said the 6-foot-5, 175-pound Diallo, who holds offers from UMD; UConn; Kansas; St. John’s; Louisville’ Indiana; Syracuse; Minnesota; Providence; Temple; Alabama and others. “I liked the Maryland pride there, and I liked the coaches a lot too. Coach [Mark] Turgeon and Coach Bino [Ranson] treated me really well, and all the other Maryland staff too.”
While on campus, Diallo had a chance to check out a few of the facilities, sit down with Turgeon and meet several current Terps in their locker room. The five-star noted that he felt comfortable on campus, enjoyed talking to the coaches and thought the players were “pretty cool.” Diallo said Turgeon let the shooting guard know how much he coveted his services, the opportunity for early playing time holding primary appeal.
“The main thing that stands out about Maryland is the freedom Coach Turgeon gives his guards,” Diallo said. “That’s the main thing I took away from the game. I like how the guards like Melo [Trimble] and [Rasheed Sulaimon] are involved in the offense and can create.”
Diallo let on the Terps had been making a concerted effort to get him on campus. The New York native, who suits up for the New York Jayhawks’ Under Armour-based AAU program, said he has a “great” relationship with Ranson, the two in touch quite often. Apparently Ranson, Turgeon and Co. are among the staff’s pushing the hardest for Diallo’s services.
“At this point I really like Maryland and what the coaches are saying to me,” Diallo said. “Coach Bino is a cool guy. I like him and we have a good relationship. He’s been talking to me for awhile now.”
Next up for Diallo is a trip to Syracuse Feb. 21, the Orange making a potent push for the in-state product as well. Diallo has no other visits scheduled after SU, however.
The five-star has previously visited UConn, the presumed front-runner, multiple times. He has also been to nearby St. John’s, which has Diallo’s ear as well.
Meanwhile, programs such as Kentucky and Kansas could become more involved. Coaches from both schools have been monitoring Diallo closely, trekking up to Putnam to watch the five-star perform.
“But at this point I don’t have any schools higher than others,” Diallo said. “I still have a lot to think about and visits to take.”
Diallo will probably go through the entire recruiting process, complete with officials. More than likely, he will be signing during the later period in 2017.