With Malachi Richardson bound for the NBA, the Syracuse basketball team is looking pretty thin at the guard position heading into the 2016-2017 campaign. Right now, the Orange will rely on only John Gillon, Frank Howard, and Tyus Battle to provide minutes at the two guard spots. But another extremely enticing option may yet emerge: Hamidou Diallo.
If you follow hoops recruiting at all, you know that right now Diallo is one of the most highly sought after guard prospects in the class of 2017. However, this weekend the 6-foot-5 guard, rated as the top shooting guard prospect in the country in ’17 by Scout, actually graduated from Putnam Science Academy.
Congrats to the Graduating class! Saul Phiri, Hamidou Diallo, Jaheam Cornwall, Brandon Hurst, Kevin Smith, Tyreek Perkins and Yunis!!
— Putnam Science Acad. (@PSAhoops) May 15, 2016
Diallo has offers from basically every major program in the nation, with UConn, Duke, and Kentucky among those thought to be the prime competition for the human highlight reel. However, if Diallo were to reclassify, Syracuse has a couple of things that not a lot of other schools can offer right now: a slot in the starting lineup (now that Richardson is gone), and an open scholarship. For a lot of schools, there won’t be that open spot this late in the 2016 cycle, which is where Syracuse having just eight guys currently on scholarship comes in handy.
If I’m being honest here, it’s pretty unlikely that this actually happens. In all likelihood, Diallo will go the prep route next year, before deciding what his future holds. Still, it’s intriguing to imagine the Orange not just landing the incredibly explosive Diallo (who struggles a bit with his jumper, but is a phenomenal athlete with a solid all-around game), particularly if he’s suddenly available for next season.
Keep an eye on this one, folks. If Diallo reclassifies to 2016, the Orange will be right there at the head of the pack as one of the favorites to land him.