Saturday’s 102-74 victory over Baylor offered a mixed bag in the development of Kansas freshman forward Cheick Diallo. In 6 minutes of playing time, Diallo had four points, two rebounds and a block that keyed a transition bucket.
He also took three wild shots and showcased, in part, why he’s not a consistent part of the Kansas rotation.
“He doesn’t quite understand what a good shot would be for him sometimes,” KU coach Bill Self said. “But that just goes with playing. He hasn’t played very long. I’ve said all along, he’s raw. And he is ridiculously raw. And he’s going to be good. But he’s got to be able to plug himself in — and the team be better when he’s on the floor, not just him make a basket or get a rebound.”
Diallo entered the game in the first half on Saturday. He quickly fired up a long fadeaway jumper, making the shot. He put up two more jumpers before heading back to the bench. He returned in the final minutes of the game, converting another bucket on a move that drew praise from Self.
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“I love the kid,” Self said. “I think he’s going to be really good. He did some things today that were really nice. That was probably as good a move as he’s made this year.”
Self said he still has high expectations for Diallo and fellow freshman forward Carlton Bragg.
“You watch” Self said, “whether it be six months from now, or a year from now, those two freshmen will outplay everybody else. But they’re just not quite there yet. They’re just not quite ready.”
Greene is OK
Junior guard Brannen Greene had a minor scare in the final minutes, injuring his elbow and returning to the sideline for treatment from KU’s medical staff. Self said he believed that Greene had banged his “funny bone” and that the injury was not serious.
“He’s fine,” Self said, adding: “I’m sure he told you guys he broke his elbow. I think he hit his funny bone. If you ask him, he’ll give you an answer and sometimes we don’t want to know the answer.”
Self excited for atmosphere
Kansas’ matchup with Oklahoma on Monday could be the first No. 1 vs. No. 2 matchup featuring the Jayhawks since they faced Missouri at Allen Fieldhouse in 1990. No. 2 Missouri defeated No. 1 KU 77-71. The prospect of the rare matchup excited Self.
“I thought it was good today,” Self said of the atmosphere at Allen Fieldhouse. “But it’ll be ridiculous on Monday. And it should be. It’s great for our league.”