The last high-profile player to publicly decide whether he would return to college or stay in the NBA Draft was the only college player who has never played a college game. Fortunately for UK fans, Kentucky freshman Hamidou Diallo has opted to return to Lexington and play next season with the Wildcats. The news came via CBS Sports' Gary Parrish on Wednesday night, all of 17 minutes before the 11:59 p.m. E.T. deadline. Diallo's decision all but ensures Kentucky will be a preseason top 10 team, as the Wildcats will have six former five-star recruits enrolled. UK could be flawed but nonetheless will be a lot of fun to watch. John Calipari has annual turnover with his roster, but he's never lost as much production year over year as what he's in the midst of handling from 2016-17 to 2017-18. They will likely need a lot out of Diallo to ensure Kentucky takes home another conference title and competes for a Final Four. By choosing to return to Lexington, Diallo dodges becoming the rare none-and-done in the age of the NBA's age-minimum rule. Diallo's decision comes one year after Thon Maker opted out of his expected route to college and wound up being picked 10th overall by the Milwaukee Bucks after never playing a game in college hoops. Diallo wouldn't have sniffed the lottery this year, though, and reports are that no team gave him a guarantee that he would be selected in the first round.
Hamidou Diallo passes on the NBA Draft to return to Kentucky; Wildcats are top-10
CBS Sports | May 25