Hamidou Diallo is in Chicago with NBA scouts trying to get an idea of his draft status.
John Calipari is also in Chicago and spoke about Diallo to SEC Country's Kyle Tucker.
Right now, Diallo's draft projections are all over the board. Some have him in the lottery, others place him at the end of the first round, and some have him in the second round.
Calipari said his job in the process is to protect Diallo from outside influences and false information.
“He’s got to let it play out, and I tell him, ‘Don’t get crazy on anything. Let the stuff play out. Let the interviews play out.’ He’ll work out for three or four teams next week. You know what I’m going to do with those teams: ‘You taking him? Where is this?’ ” Calipari said. “The [NBA] guys aren’t going to lie to me. I won’t let them back in my gym. My job is to protect him so he doesn’t get fooled by somebody not in the NBA, outside of this, saying, ‘You’re going to be a first-round, you’re going to be a lottery pick,’ and it’s not true.
“My job is get him the information. And then I’ve had guys that said, ‘Look, if I’m in the second round, I’m good.’ I give them a hug.”
Calipari also spoke about Diallo's decision not to play in the 5-on-5 scrimmages.
“They don’t know. Well, don’t show them,” Calipari said of NBA scouts who aren’t sure exactly how polished Diallo’s game is right now. “They all like you right now without watching you. Good. The more you don’t play, the more they like you. So don’t play. Then if someone takes him in the lottery, I will retire. There’s nothing more I could do. Four months, doesn’t play, lottery pick, I’m done. I’m stopping.”
Diallo has fared well in measurements, with an astounding 6'11 wingspan and a 44.5 vertical jump.
Hopefully Diallo's draft status will become clearer after the combine so that he can make an informed decision that will be best for him and my family.
He has until May 24 to make a decision on whether to stay in the draft or return to school.