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Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Diallo conveys thanks to fans

Kansas forward Cheick Diallo (13) looks for an outlet as he is defended by UC Irvine forward Brandon Smith (13) and center Mamadou Ndiaye (34) during the second half, Tuesday, Dec. 29, 2015 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas forward Cheick Diallo (13) looks for an outlet as he is defended by UC Irvine forward Brandon Smith (13) and center Mamadou Ndiaye (34) during the second half, Tuesday, Dec. 29, 2015 at Allen Fieldhouse.

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Kansas University freshman Cheick Diallo issued a “thank you” letter in announcing on Twitter on Monday he’d officially decided to sign with an agent and enter the June 23 NBA Draft.

The agent, according to ESPN, is Bill Duffy of BDA Sports Management.

“After spending the last couple of weeks thinking about my future, I took the decision to enter the 2016 NBA Draft and signed with an agent today. It was not an easy call, but (the) time has come for me to take that step up to the next level and make my goal of joining the NBA come true,” Diallo wrote.

“Five years ago, I was living in Kayes, Mali, with my family and playing basketball with my friends in the neighborhood. NBA was then a word I would not have dared to pronounce. I would like to thank all the people that have been helping me, showing unconditional love and support since the beginning. Adding to the hard work and determination, they have been helping me to be where I am today:

• My parents and family for the love and support, even being so far away.

• My lovely host family and all the friends I have met since I arrived in the U.S., always having my back.

• My coaches, back in Africa, and here in the USA, that I’ve met in the different camps and teams that I’ve played for. In Our Savior New American High School and Kansas University, where I had the opportunity to learn so much about the game. My classmates and teammates.

• All the fans, the ones I have shared some words or smiles with; the ones who sent me great and supportive messages, including during the clearance process #FreeDiallo! :)

“I am a Pioneer and Jayhawk for life,” he added in his letter.

“I would also like to give a shoutout to my people in Mali and Africa that encourages me to always give the best. I never forget where I come from. Being Malian, representing my country and Africa is an amazing pride and responsibility. I will always work as hard as I can to make Africa proud.

“My dream of going to the NBA has never been that close. They say everything happens for a reason and you are a big part of it. This is the first step of many more to come and I am looking forward to the new challenges with confidence and determination.

Much love,

Cheick

The 6-foot-9 Diallo, who has a 7-41⁄2 wingspan, appears to have secured a spot in the first round heading into the 1-on-1 workouts with teams. ESPN’s Chad Ford has him the 28th pick of the first round.

“Diallo was the big winner at the Combine,” Ford wrote. “He measured with a terrific wingspan and a 35-inch vertical, and when he got on the floor he looked like the prospect we once had ranked as a potential top-10 pick. He was active on both ends, rebounded, blocked shots, defended and even showed off a few nice offensive moves. He’s still raw. He’ll struggle some in a rigid offensive system, but he’s the type of guy who clearly looks better now than he showed at Kansas. It’s very hard to project his range, but No. 20-40 seems fair. If he keeps playing well at workouts, he has a chance to exceed that range.”

KU coach Bill Self told the Journal-World: “We’re so happy and proud of him. I believe without hesitation his best play is to remain in the draft. I think he’ll be a guy people will look at and say, ‘This guy will play in the league a dozen years if he stays healthy.’”

Ellis fares well at Combine: KU senior Perry Ellis’ draft stock might be rising as a result of his performance at last week’s Combine in Chicago.

“Perry proved he was one of the fastest guys at the Combine,” Self said of the 6-foot-8 Wichitan, who recorded the second-fasted three-quarter-court sprint of the 70 players (3.13 seconds). Syracuse senior Michael Gbinije was first in 3.12.

Ellis caught the attention of ESPN.com’s Ford, who still lists Ellis’ status as “second round pick/undrafted,” which could change after Ellis’ upcoming individual workouts with NBA teams.

“Kansas’ Perry Ellis, another non-athlete by NBA standards, tested surprisingly well, including a 38-inch max vertical and the second-fastest three-quarter court sprint,” Ford wrote at ESPN.com.

ESPN has Ellis as the 73rd best prospect heading into the 60-pick draft. Draftexpress.com does not have Ellis being taken. NBAdraft.net has Ellis the final pick of the draft, by Utah at No. 60.

“He plays 5-on-5 over a 2-day period and probably didn’t get a chance to fully show what he can do,” Self said of a pair of Combine scrimmages. “NBA people have been watching him four years. I don’t think that (scrimmages) would have much of an impact at all.”

Ellis, who had fourth-lowest body fat of all the players at the Combine (4.6 percent), put up decent numbers, scoring 15 points off 5-of-10 shooting (1-for-1 from three, 4-for-5 from line) with six rebounds, four turnovers and no assists in Friday’s scrimmage. He had 11 points off 3-of-10 shooting (1-for-3 from three, 4-for-4 from line) with two steals, one block, four turnovers and one assist in Thursday’s initial scrimmage.

He’s currently listed as 12th-power forward overall in the draft by nba.com’s David Aldridge, who also has Ellis honorable mention on his list of top power forwards.

Greene workout: KU junior guard Brannen Greene has an upcoming workout with the Golden State Warriors, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

Comments

Reggie Flenory 4 years ago

I'm not mad at you 1 bit diallo go get paid thank you for being a jayhawk!!!!!!

Mike Mills 4 years ago

Totally agree! Could have definitely benefited another year in college but if you're a lock for the first round/guaranteed money you go.

Yonatan Negash 4 years ago

Greene in a Golden State uniform, now that's a great fit for a pure shooter.

Tony Bandle 4 years ago

The DeBruce Center is fantastic. Learned that Doctor Naismith not only inventyed basketball but helped the guy who invented volleyball.

He is truly the Father of Basketball and the Grandfather of Volleyball!!!.

Benny Armstrong 4 years ago

I believe he is also credited with creating the first football helmet. Quite the impressive and visionary man.

Marius Rowlanski 4 years ago

You are correct Benny..nice job of finding arcane knowledge that is now at page 1 in studies being conducted to expand the life expectations of those who have had several such hits.

Jonathan Allison 4 years ago

Way to go Perry! Most teams will waste their second round draft picks. Whatever team selects Perry Ellis will get big time value with the pick. 38 inch vertical, second fastest 3/4 court sprint, stretch 4 with skills, and an even better person off the court. Would be a perfect fit for a successful, winning franchise who needs depth and range and a small-ball PF.

It's obviously very easy to see him fitting in with the Spurs. Aldridge plays the 5 and Ellis would play the 4. Kawhi and Danny Green team up with Tony Parker, or maybe someone like Mike Conley Jr. if the Spurs feel that Tony Parker is no longer a #1 option at PG.

Bryce Landon 4 years ago

NBA is still not a word you have any business pronouncing. Not if you aren't good enough to see more than five minutes of playing time a game at the D-I level.

Kurt Eskilson 4 years ago

I wish there was a "thumbs down" option on this board.

John Randall 4 years ago

Bryce sounds like one of those "entitled" kids who believe everyone else's purpose in life is to increase his own enjoyment. Life has some tough lessons for this young-un.

Jay Scott 4 years ago

One minute you're bashing Self because he didn't play this transcendent talent. The next minute he's a bum.

NBA is an acronym, not a word...

Are you intentionally ridiculous or actually that clueless?

RJ King 4 years ago

"He’ll struggle some in a rigid offensive system." That was probably one of the reasons he didn't shine in his first year at KU. That, and the "first year" part.

I don't know each and every NBA team offensive structure, but there are certain teams that would offer a more rapid rise to minutes and productivity than others. I hope CD gets picked up by one of these teams, or at least is allowed a couple of years master it, if complex.

Steve Macy 4 years ago

Isn't hind sight wonderful. On different articles on this site, we wasted money on him, he's no good, he's great and Ciach Self wasted him, or a combination of. Truth of the matter in today's world he has to go, he was not a fit, yet, at KU. I wish him luck, he had not been a distraction it a problem. RCJH

Armen Kurdian 4 years ago

Good luck CD. I think you need time in the film room more than anything. I wish you had made more of an impact here at KU. I don't think you are making the right decision, personally, but want to see you racking up some double-doubles next season, so prove me wrong!

Harlan Hobbs 4 years ago

Good sentiments, Steve and Armen. Time will tell about his decision, but his prospects seem to be improving. Therefore, I am happy for Cheick and hope that he fulfills his dreams.

Bill Self is unabashedly supportive of him, and that is always good enough for me. Someday, Coach Self will be regarded as one of the best to ever coach the game, if he isn't already.

Layne Pierce 4 years ago

I have a gut feeling, that Jackson, is going to pay off even more than Andrew , why because he has a total game. Look out world, because KU is revving up, the jayhawk is spreading its wings, and preparing for take off. Diallo, alas, we did not know him too well. Bets are that Azu also ends up in the NBA. We don't rebuild, we just reload.

Rock Chalk

Anthony McDowell 4 years ago

My comments are not to be in any way taken as a negative by Cheick or his fans. I wish him all the best. However I have to ask, was all the money/time/effort spent on him worth it from a university standpoint? Not just him but all the other O&D's. O&D's imo are a total waste of all three. They obviously are more interested in their upcoming future, and put out at best a minimal effort on court. Not sure if this will ever change unless the NBA changes it's draft policies to at least a 2/3 year college stent. How many NCAA titles has KU won with a O&D in the lineup? They don't guarantee championships and I'll never understand why they are pursued as much as they are.

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