Diallo Selected No. 33 in NBA Draft
BROOKLYN, N.Y. – Kansas center Cheick Diallo was the overall No. 33 choice of the Los Angeles Clippers in the 2016 NBA Draft at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn on Thursday night. Diallo was later traded to the New Orleans Pelicans.
Historically, Diallo becomes the 78th player to be drafted in Kansas men’s basketball history and the 20th in the Bill Self era.
“I was surprised Cheick didn’t go in the first round based on preliminary reports I got,” Kansas head coach Bill Self said following the draft. “The big thing is he was able to go 33 and that will hopefully put him in a position to sign and get a guaranteed contract.”
A Kayes, Mali, Africa native, Diallo averaged 3.0 points and 2.5 rebounds shooting 56.9 percent from the field in 2015-16. He tied for third-most on the KU team in blocked shots with 23 in 27 games played. Diallo missed the first five games of the season before being cleared by the NCAA.
Diallo entered the season as the Preseason Big 12 Player of the Year and was one of 14 student-athletes named to the Wayman Tisdale Award Watch list for the outstanding freshman nationally. He was also was on the Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Award Watch List by the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame for the nation’s outstanding center.
Three Jayhawks went undrafted – Perry Ellis, Wayne Selden Jr., and Brannen Greene. But with seasoned perspective, Self said the trio may still have a good chance to make an NBA roster in the fall.
“I am confident I will see them on a roster,” Self said. “Perry had an exceptional career, as did Wayne. Both were three-year starters. If Brannen can get in the right situation, a lot of teams liked him. I do believe they are not in a bad position.”
Kansas posted a 33-5 overall record in 2015-16 and won its 12th-straight, 16th Big 12 and NCAA-leading 59th overall conference regular-season championship with a 15-3 league record. KU won the 2015 Maui Jim Maui Invitational, the postseason Big 12 Championship and entered the NCAA Tournament as the overall No. 1 seed. The Jayhawks had one of the toughest schedules in the nation in 2015-16 and its 12 victories against Associated Press nationally-ranked teams at tip were the most for KU in a season. Kansas faced 16 ranked foes at tip which tied the previous season for the most ever against ranked teams.
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