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Kentucky Basketball: 2015's Cheick Diallo Picks Kansas

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2015 big man Cheick Diallo picked blue, all right, but not Kentucky blue.

Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

On the heels the Mychal Mulder commitment to Kentucky comes word that Cheick Diallo, MVP of both the McDonald’s All-American game and the Jordan Brand Classic has committed to the Kansas Jayhawks. Diallo was said to have picked between Kansas, Kentucky, St. Johns, Iowa State and Pitt. In the end, he decided to go with Bill Self.

Unlike the last two misses by Kentucky of Brandon Ingram and Malik Newman, this one stings quite a bit. Kentucky needs more front-court depth, and the best front-court player (in my humble opinion, anyway) left on the board just turned Coach Cal down. Kansas needed Diallo quite a bit more than Kentucky did, and I suspect, in the end, that was the difference.

The only McDonald’s All-American left on the board now is Jaylen Brown, and Michigan appears to be the favorite for him according to many experts. He was also in the mix for Kansas, and event though technically a small forward, I suspect Diallo’s matriculation to Lawrence makes them an even more unlikely candidate than they already were. Unless Kentucky pulls a minor surprise with Brown, Thon Maker will be the only remaining front-court player in 2015. Nobody has a clue what Maker is thinking, apparently but UK still has a good shot at him.

The other possibility for front-court help would be for Coach Cal to ask Tai Wynyard to enroll early, which is a possibility due to the New Zealand high school academic calendar. But no matter what, Kentucky will wind up with a top two or three recruiting class with more than enough NBA talent to compete for the NCAA Tournament championship in 2016. Having said that, we certainly won’t be "platooning" next season.