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Hamidou Diallo owns up to his struggles

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Hamidou Diallo has been up and down, and he knows it.

NCAA Basketball: Kentucky at West Virginia Ben Queen-USA TODAY Sports

The excitement for Kentucky fans ready to watch Hamidou Diallo this season was paramount. The potential none-and-done guard decided to return to Kentucky after not quite getting a guarantee that he’d be drafted in the first round, and his first season of actual action has been a bit of a mixed bag.

He has done things like this:

And this:

And this:

But then he also has only scored in double figures twice in the last eight games and scored zero points against Tennessee. At times he shows too much aggression on the floor, and when things aren’t going his way he makes it visibly clear that he’s unhappy.

But Diallo realizes his struggles, and he’s working on it.

“Me, myself, I have to do a much better job on defense and a much better job on offense,” Diallo said. “It’s been a roller coaster for me. It’s been up and down and I’ve still been trying to identify myself within this team.

“I haven’t been playing well, have been playing terrible on defense and I just need to pick it up. I need to pick it up to a different level of play for myself and for this team.”

Diallo has also been critical of the team effort and consistency as a whole.

“It looks terrible on the film, to be honest. We all look terrible, including myself, and it’s just things we’re going to have to get better at. We see it on the film now and now it’s all about correcting it,” he said. “Yeah, 100 percent. We’ve seen it multiple times. We’re not good enough to let any team just come out and score a bunch of baskets on us, hit a bunch of shots and think that we’re going to be able to play our way back every game. We’re just not that good.”

Diallo, and the Cats, will need to improve fast if they want to avoid finding themselves in the NIT. No. 10 Auburn is next, Alabama has proved its toughness by going 5-1 against ranked opponents and the Cats take on Florida on the road to close the season.