Friday, May 22, 2015

Mamadou Diarra selects UConn; could Hamidou Diallo be next?

To the surprise of no one, Mamadou Diarra chose UConn over VCU on Friday. We'll have a story here soon. Here's some video and pictures:

A couple of funny and interesting quotes and excerpts:

Woodstock coach Tom Espinosa:

“What’s important to me is that you become a Division 1 person. I can tell you this -- Mamadou is a Division 1 person.”


(on Kevin Ollie)

“I just feel like whatever he says, he means what he says. He believes in his players, and he’ll get the best out of me.”

(on how tough the decision was)

“It was tough, because it’s four years of my life. You see a lot of kids transferring out of school, you don’t want to be one of those kids. It’s a big decision.”

Diarra spoke with VCU coach Will Wade by phone before the presser, because he didn't want him to find out about his decision via social media.

Funny story Diarra told about playing with Amida Brimah during a recent visit to UConn:

“I was trying to figure out why Daniel Hamilton was leading the team in rebounding, and not Brimah. I was on (Brimah's) team, he blocked a shot, the ball was right next to him. He’s looking at me, waiting for me to get the ball, and I was like, ‘That’s your rebond, man.’”

“Deep down inside, I always really knew I wanted to go here. I wanted to make sure it was the right decision. I had a good relationship with (VCU’s) coach, too.”

(on whether Shaka Smart's departure to Texas affected his decision)

“That didn’t affect me at all, because I wasn’t getting recruited by Shaka. I was getting recruited by Coach Will Wade.”

*** Meanwhile, Diarra's Woodstock teammate, Class of 2017 combo guard (and UConn target) Hamidou Diallo had this to say about where UConn stands with him right now:

“Right now, I’d have to say, if I were to commit, I would be going to UConn. That’s the school that’s been showing me the most love, and I have the best relationship with the head coach. For right now, though.”

PC, Minnesota, USC, Iowa State and Wake Forest are among his other suitors.

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