(WARNING: ANNOYING VIDEO AD AUTOPLAYS PRECEDING HIGHLIGHT REEL. SUGGEST MUTING AUDIO ONCE READING THIS.)
With Justin Cobbs and Richard Solomon in their final seasons at Cal, it makes sense for the Bears to land a point guard who can handle the ball and an athletic big man who can rebound and provide interior presence. Cal already signed one on the dotted letter with point guard Ahmaad Rorie a week ago, and they appear to be getting their big in the form of Cathedral power forward Idrissa Diallo.
The Compton Magic center, who's expected to play power forward in college, gives the Bears' 2014 class a unique combination of size and speed: At 6-11, Diallo has the foot speed and maneuverability of a guard, something he attributes to his years of playing soccer in Senegal.
"I've compared him to Dwight Howard in the past," Diallo's AAU coach William Middlebrooks told GoldenBearReport in April, "but he's really improved his shooting so I can definitely see him as a Dirk Nowitzki-type player."
And his video highlights.
Diallo is a big man who can run the floor and should be excellent in the fullcourt game (a la Solomon). What's tantalizing about Diallo is that he's still growing as a player, has the ability to play inside and out--he has a developing outside shot--and seems to fit the Cal profile perfectly of a student-athlete who can succeed in Berkeley.
Here are the rankings on Diallo.
- Rivals: 127th nationally, three stars
- Scout: 30th overall center, three stars
- 247 Sports: 155th nationally, 38th power forward, 15th overall California recruit, three stars
Outside of Cal, Diallo holds offers from schools like Colorado, DePaul, Oregon State, UCLA, UNLV, USC, and Virginia Tech. With Thomas Welsh committing to UCLA, it seems like Diallo was ready to make the move to Berkeley.
It remains to be seen whether Cal will try and land another recruit. With the departure of Khalil Johnson and Jeff Powers also graduating, the Bears should have space to take on at least two more scholarship players (depending on the status of Garrett Galvin).
There is the Sami Elerkay situation. The Danish big has floated around the community college circuit (he was at Barton Community College in Kansas last year but couldn't play due to various circumstances) and is currently at San Francisco City College. How will Monty handle the rest of his scholarships?
Cal definitely has at least one big they want in Diallo, and appear to have landed another solid recruiting class two years in a row.
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