Cheick Diallo to keep name in NBA draft pool

Cheick Diallo told ESPN he will sign with an agent and leave Kansas after just one season.

The 6-foot-9, 220-pound Diallo came to Kansas as one of the most heralded freshmen in the country, but his short stint with the Jayhawks never got on track.

The NCAA suspended him five games to open the season for receiving a limited amount of impermissible benefits. He only averaged 3.0 points and 2.5 rebounds in 7.5 minutes per game the rest of the way.

"My time at Kansas was hard; the beginning was really hard," Diallo, who wrapped up his final game at the NBA combine Friday, told ESPN. "The NCAA stuff made it difficult for me, but even though I didn't always play a lot, I loved being at Kansas and loved supporting my teammates."

"It's not Coach's fault I wasn't playing," Diallo said, referring to Bill Self. "I'm not blaming anyone. I was hoping I'd play more time at Kansas, but it didn't work the way I wanted."

Diallo, who moved from Mali to New York midway through his freshman year of high school, said the plan entering his freshman season at Kansas was to remain for one year.

"This is the time for me to go to the next level," he said. "And I'm trying to show the NBA the things I do well: block shots, rebound and run the floor. I can guard multiple positions."

Diallo finished with 18 points in front of NBA executives on Thursday. He also helped himself with his measurements, registering a 7-foot, 4½-inch wingspan and an 8-foot-11½ standing reach.

Diallo said he still hopes to be selected somewhere in the first round of the June 23 NBA draft. He interviewed with 12 teams in Chicago while at the combine, and likely will go and work out for eight to 10 teams beginning next week.

"I'm so appreciative of the opportunities I have," said Diallo, who has only been playing organized basketball for five years. "I never could have imagined all this five years ago."