Kansas received word yesterday that five-star prospect Cheick Diallo will be eligible to play college basketball beginning December 1. Diallo, the nation’s fifth-ranked prospect, according to Rivals, had been under investigation for his time at Our Savior New American High School as well as possible benefits violations. His high school’s academic credentials have been questioned by the NCAA’s Eligibility Center on more than one occasion — Alabama lost 2015 recruit and Our Savior New American graduate, Kobie Eubanks, because he failed to academically qualify. Eubanks, however, appears to have had additional academic issues that prevented him from playing. Diallo’s case was bolstered by an independent investigation into his course history and nearly six figures of funding from Kansas.
The Kansas compliance department was deliberate in its approach to Diallo’s eligibility and the recently-crowned Maui Invitational champions should now be able to reap the rewards of that patience. The freshman really impressed his head coach during summer workouts, and is likely to force his way into the starting lineup at some point. “We’ve never had a big guy that could run like this,” Self told reporters. “It’d be nice to have a mindset to play at a much faster tempo than we have in the past. […] Cheick forces a pace that nobody has ever forced here. He can create pace better than any point guard we’ve ever had here. Just because the dude from rim to rim is as good as I’ve seen. I didn’t say the best offensive player, but running rim to rim I think he’ll drag everybody along with him.” Given that sort of evaluation, it appears that Diallo’s presence on the floor is likely to push Kansas to play at one of the fastest paces a Self team has ever maintained (Kansas is already playing the 37th-fastest tempo nationally). Read the rest of this entry »