"I picked Kansas because the way the develop bigs especially with Joel Embiid," Diallo told Rivals.com. "I think I will play a big role there because of my style of play."
One of the premier big men in the class of 2015, Diallo fills a huge area of need for the Jayhawks and gives Bill Self a hard-fought recruiting win.
A native of Mali who played his high school ball at Centereach (N.Y.) Our Savior, Diallo has earned his reputation through the years thanks to his high-energy style of play. The 6-foot-9, 220-pounder runs the court like a sprinter, fights on the glass, protects the rim and has developed his offense each step of the way during his high school career.
The MVP of both the McDonald's All-American Game and the Jordan Brand Classic, Diallo helps to fill the hole left by freshman Cliff Alexander's early departure for the draft. While his non-stop motor has been praised, it has happened at the expense of giving Diallo some of the praise he deserves for developing his offensive game.
Diallo is still a bit herky-jerky on the offensive end and his jump shot needs work. However, he has very good hands and significantly improved his touch as a finisher from 4-10 feet. He can make jump hooks with either hand and learned to pass out of double teams. Defensively, he will need to get stronger but he has proven himself time and time again as somebody capable of protecting the rim and rebounding at a high rate.
The East coach saw a player that was deferential in drills who wasn’t forcing anything offensively. The coaches assumed Diallo might just be a putback guy who would hit the occasional mid-range jumper.
“But in the game … he said in the press conference afterwards that his goal was to win the MVP,” Kelley said. “He came out with that intensity.”
After posting 18 points and 10 rebounds, Diallo won the MVP award in his team’s 111-91 victory.
The performance also led Kelley to say this a few hours after the 6-foot-9 power forward from Mali — ranked fifth in his class by Rivals.com — committed to Kansas on Tuesday afternoon.
“I don’t know how long Cheick’s going to be there,” Kelley said. “He’s good.”
…"It's a good fit,” Rivals national recruiting analyst Eric Bossi said, “because I think Perry's strengths complement where Diallo has some weaknesses, and I think Diallo's strengths complement where I think some people would like to see a little more from Perry in, in terms of being a reckless player who plays with crazy energy.
“I think they're a nice fit for each other, but obviously, Cheick's going to have to come in and work and earn that playing time like Self makes any of the young guys do."
…Kelley also noticed a player who was strong defensively. During the McDonald’s game, the coach had his players trap ball screens, and Diallo showed an advanced understanding of the game.
“Cheick can play defense right away for Coach (Self),” Kelley said. “He fronts the post. He can double the guards if they ask him to.”
Diallo, who announced his decision Tuesday on his Twitter account, also impressed Kelley with his personality. The coach described him as a “quiet, quiet humble guy.”
“All the accolades and attention didn’t affect him at all. He was just him. He was Cheick,” Kelley said. “So many other kids, the attention got the best of them. But not Cheick. He was just a regular guy.”
Why he committed: Diallo had previously cut his list to five, but at the end of the day, this one came down to Kentucky and Kansas. Ultimately, Bill Self’s history of developing frontcourt talent, the immediate playing time the Jayhawks had to offer and the chance to follow in the footsteps of someone like Joel Embiid proved to be the difference makers as Diallo pledged to the Jayhawks on Monday afternoon.
What he brings: Diallo is 6-foot-9 with a 7-foot-4 wingspan, and he's a phenomenal athlete with perhaps the best motor in the entire national class. He is explosive around the rim, has a quick second jump and is extraordinarily fluid and agile for a player his size. He has the capability to dominate a game defensively, not only with his ability to block shots and patrol the paint from wide radiuses, but also by finishing possessions on the defensive glass. Additionally, his quick feet and strong upper body allow him to hedge ball screens on the perimeter and be a physical defender in the post. He's an equally good rebounder on the offensive end and one of the best catch-and-finish players in the country. Combine that with his ability to rim-run and beat other big man down the floor, and he scores the ball in numerous ways.
How he fits: Diallo and Carlton Bragg (No. 21) give Kansas one of the best frontcourt tandems in the country. With those two joining Perry Ellis up front, the Jayhawks have now solidified that frontcourt rotation. Diallo will be the defensive anchor of the group and provide constant energy whether he is utilized in the starting lineup or off the bench. While his offensive skill set is still raw and his low post game still very much a work in progress, he will have an easier adjustment to Kansas' high-low ball screen based continuity offense than he would most others because he has experience playing alongside another big after teaming with Thomas Bryant (No. 20) for the PSA Cardinals. Diallo is a capable high-low passer from the top of the key and will get the vast majority of scoring opportunities inside the paint and facing the basket. The Jayhawks' up-tempo style will also showcase his rim-running abilities as well.
Who he reminds us of: Kenneth Faried is the most obvious comparison. Like “The Manimal,” Diallo is an incredible athlete who plays the game with the same sheer force and reckless abandon that is virtually unmatched. Whether it’s throwing down a huge dunk, blocking a big shot or making an all-out effort play, he has the potential to change the momentum of a game on a dime and plays the game with an energy level that is contagious for his teammates.
“Today is a huge day for our Kansas basketball program,” Kansas coach Bill Self said in a statement. “It has been our focus and our top recruiting priority to try to sign an inside presence and a rim protector to go along with our returning players. We feel like we’ve been able to sign a premier big man that has as much upside any big we’ve recruited in recent memory.
“Cheick reminds me so much of Thomas Robinson, late in Thomas’ college career. Cheick has a great motor. He runs as well as any big guy that we’ve had and certainly has a knack for finding the ball. He’ll bring a toughness and aggressiveness to our program.”
Diallo, whose offensive game is still described as raw, may not be the antidote to what ails Kansas. But he was the best prospect available, another potential one-and-done player with a likely NBA future.
“He will need to get a little stronger for the college level,” said Eric Bossi, a national recruiting analyst for Rivals.com. “But he brings so much to the table. He’s a big-time rebounder and a proven shot-blocker at the high school level. He can be a big-time rim protector with his length.”
…In interviews on Tuesday, Diallo (whose first name is pronounced SHECK) cited the influence of Embiid, who became an NBA lottery pick after one year at Kansas.
“I picked Kansas because they way the develop bigs, especially with Joel Embiid,” Diallo told Rivals.com. “I think I will play a big role there, because of my style of play.”
That style, according to Williams, is best described with one more: Motor.
“When he first came, he was a little raw,” said Williams, who runs the PSA Cardinals AAU program, which is based in New York City. “But you could just see that he had a motor, and he had a passion to succeed and be good. He just kind of jumped out and ran with it, and kept improving over the last two or three years. And here he is now.”
…On late Tuesday afternoon, Williams recalled meeting Diallo for the first time three years ago, just shortly after he had arrived in America. He was a project then, Williams says, but he always worked hard. Now he’s getting closer to a finished product.
“Night and day,” Williams said. “He’s been a delight to coach. He’s an extremely hard-working kid, wears his emotion on his sleeve, he’s all about winning. He’s so dedicated. He’s going to be a joy for Kansas coach Bill Self to coach.”
The big man was ranked by Scout.com as the No. 5 center prospect in the country. More important, Diallo reportedly recorded a 7-4 wingspan and a 9-1 standing reach at the Nike Hoop Summit.
…As with Oubre and Alexander before him, Diallo is already on NBA radars before he enrolls at KU: DraftExpress.com projects the Africa native as the No. 14 selection in its 2016 mock draft.
“He’s very humble, really humble,” Diallo’s mentor, Tidiane Drame, told the Journal-World after the low-key announcement from such a high-profile player. “He’s a nice kid, (but) he’s a warrior on the court.”
“He likes Kansas because they develop so many big men. That’s important to him,” Drame said. “He spoke to Joel Embiid. He gave him good advice about Kansas. He (Diallo) visited the school, liked the coach and liked the coaching staff. That was a big reason for him to pick Kansas. He played against Joel Embiid his sophomore year in high school when Embiid was a senior. He and Embiid have talked over the years.”
It wasn’t just the fact Embiid had success at KU that drew Diallo here.
“I need to work on a lot of things and feel coach Self can help my game. On my visit, the campus was great and the people were nice. I could see myself there. I felt like Kansas was the best place for me. I can earn playing time right away,” Diallo told ESPN.
…According to a story in SLAM Magazine, Diallo, who is youngest of five brothers, came from Mali to the U.S. on Valentine’s Day of 2012. At the time, he was 15 and did not know much English. He enrolled in Our Savior’s international program and now speaks four languages — English, French, Bambara and Kassonke.
“It was so tough,” Diallo told SLAM. “At first, I was thinking, I just want to go back. But one day I said, ‘No, not yet. I want to stay and work hard here before I go back to Mali.’”
His first year at Our Savior he was no match for current St. John’s forward Chris Obekpa.
“I didn’t know what I was doing. I couldn’t make a point. (Obekpa) blocked me every time,” Diallo told SLAM.
He blossomed playing with Team Scan U15 and 16 squads in the summer of 2012. In the summer of 2013 he was named MVP at the NBPA Top 100 camp. He averaged 18.5 points and 11.0 rebounds a game as a junior at Our Savior and became a top-10 prospect nationally.
…Diallo saves the gear he receives at events he has played at during the springs and summers. He gives the gear to youths in Mali.
“I said to my team in Mali, when I come back I’ll bring shoes, balls and clothes,” Diallo told SLAM Magazine. “I think I brought 53 shoes. People can play but they don’t have money for shoes and clothes. They don’t care what it is. If it’s Nike, if it’s big or small. They just want to wear it. (The rest) doesn’t matter. When I retire I want to start a company for low-cost basketball shoes and clothes to help people in Mali. That’s what I keep thinking about every time.”
Diallo doesn’t need to earn All-Big 12 honors to become a difference-maker for a Jayhawks roster that figures to bring so much more maturity, balance and chemistry than the squad that Wichita State bounced from the tournament in the Round of 32.
Look at it this way: Even if Diallo and forward Carlton Bragg don’t bring more than departed one-and-done players Cliff Alexander and Kelly Oubre, everyone else on the roster is one year older. That means a more developed body and basketball brain, a better idea of what to expect, a better feel for what playing hard means and greater knowledge of what isn’t good enough to get it done in the NCAA Tournament.
…Mix in the extra practices allowed in the summer because of the overseas trip, plus the exhibition games at Sprint Center and the World University Games competition in Korea, and the team chemistry that never quite took root this past season ought to develop early and get stronger as the season progresses.
Kansas shapes up as a preseason top-five pick and therefore a legitmate Final Four contender.
After winning the Division III state championship March 28, Bragg and his mentor Mike Graves drove straight to Chicago to participate in the McDonald’s All-American circuit — including finishing second in the skills competition and third in the dunk contest in the Powerade Jam Fest on March 30 before scoring nine points in the MDAA-game on April 1.
The 6-foot-10 Kansas recruit wrapped up a whirlwind week April 4 by participating in the 3rd Coast Hoops All-Star Game at Euclid High School alongside Villa Angela-St. Joseph teammates Dererk Pardon and Simon Texidor.
The 6-foot-10 Kansas recruit also participated in the evening’s slam dunk contest and 3-point contest.
Stopping through at the 37th News-Herald Classic to support teammates Texidor and Mo Johnson, Bragg reminisced about his week to that point.
“It was a big day for me, that Saturday, going to the state championship game,” he said. “I had a mindset of attacking, getting our team together, get focused, playing together. We came out with the win. We had to contain their guards — they were pretty good at playing together.
“After that, I went straight to Chicago for the McDonald’s game. I had practice that morning, so it was pretty tough, competing. I was kind of sore and tired, but I had to fight through it. Overall I think I played well, I competed well. I was out there recruiting, down there with (Stephen) Zimmerman and Brandon (Ingram), so it was good."
Bragg said his most memorable moment in Chicago came off the court on a trip with his All-American teammates to the Ronald McDonald House, where care is given to ill children whose families do not have the financial ability to pay medical expenses.
“(The trip) was more than basketball,” he said. “It really opened my eyes. It was special. I felt their pain, but it felt good (to help.)”
The games will be played June 23 and 26 at 7 p.m. Tickets are currently available for Williams Education Fund members; seating will be based on WEF level and points. A two-game ticket package is available for $50. General public sales will begin on May 13. This will be the first public appearance by the 2015-16 Jayhawks, and will include the incoming recruiting class.
The United States International University Sports Federation (US-IUSF) selected the Jayhawks to represent the United States in the World University Games, which takes place July 3-14. Even though selected by the US-IUSF, all the costs associated with the trip are the responsibility of the institution. The proceeds from these two exhibition games will help fund these expenses.
Big 12 / College News
Howland: Bill Self’s offensive system. He’s won 11 straight conference championships. I was saying on the air, I think it’s one of the most amazing accomplishments in modern day basketball. If you look at the last 50 years, no coach has done more than him. Period. Their system, how they isolate the post, he does a great job at both ends of the floor, defensively. His system is really unique in the amount of success he’s had in it.
SI Q&A with Ben Howland
1. Iowa State Cyclones
Ranking the Cyclones No. 1 here doesn't necessarily mean Kansas is saying goodbye to its streak of Big 12 titles. Since 2005, four of the Jayhawks' 11 championships have been shared -- and it won't surprise me one bit if Iowa State grabs at least a piece of its first regular-season league title since 2000-01.
Everyone is returning for Fred Hoiberg except Bryce Dejean-Jones and Dustin Hogue. That includes first-team All-Big 12 selection Georges Niang, who will have had an entire offseason to reflect on his 4-of-15 showing in ISU's round of 64 loss to UAB. Monte Morris, Jameel McKay and Naz Long also will be back and Marquette transfer Deonte Burton will be eligible as of December, meaning the Cyclones should once again rank near the top of the Big 12 in terms of points scored per possession.
Indeed the only question mark here pertains, as always, to Hoiberg's status. The Iowa State coach will continue to be mentioned for NBA openings, I suppose, until he actually accepts one.
2. Kansas Jayhawks
There is perhaps a 50-50 chance that the summer of 2016 will mark the first time that Kansas hasn't contributed a lottery pick to the NBA draft since 2009. On the other hand, maybe Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk's potential (and age -- at this writing he's still just 17 years old) will be sufficient to extend Bill Self's incredible streak in this area.
That's not Self's only amazing streak, of course. If the Jayhawks are going to claim a share of a remarkable 12th straight Big 12 title, Perry Ellis, Wayne Selden, Frank Mason and Jamari Traylor will have to outscore opponents. Over the past two seasons this nucleus has proved to be a slight step down from what Self is used to on defense, but the KU offense has been more than up to the task. If the talk about Self becoming the next coach of the Oklahoma City Thunder proves to be just talk, the road to the Big 12 title will -- once again -- go through Lawrence.
ESPN ($) Gasaway
Now, via an official release from the NBA, we know all freshmen, sophomores and juniors who sent in paperwork to be declared eligible for draft selection this June. There are 91 players in all who are considered early entrants. Forty-eight of those players are from United States colleges, and 43 are from international lands.
Not all of these players will remain the in the draft, necessarily. The NBA allows players to withdraw their names from consideration by June 15. The catch comes on the NCAA's side of things. For any player that has gone through the process of officially signing an agent, there is no going back. Only players that opt to stay independent while giving the draft process a true trial run can turn heel and head back to campus in the next seven weeks. (This method has become increasingly rare, however.)
The draft will be held on Thursday, June 25, in Brooklyn.
Here are the college players who are early entrants.
List here, includes internationals
According to a recent survey of Division I men’s basketball players conducted by the NCAA, 75 percent believe that they are going to turn pro.
“These aren’t stupid kids, but they’re deluded about the realities of what their future holds in basketball,” Emmert said. “One of the biggest problems that college athletes face right now is that they don’t have objective information about their potential as a professional athlete.“
He cited examples of agents and acquaintances with ulterior motives as some of the primary voices shaping players’ viewpoints at present, acknowledging the detriment of players having to “feel out” NBA scouts on their own or weighing the validity of a coach who may selfishly want to keep his star around.
The root of the problem, though, stems from the fact the NBA’s early entry draft deadline falls before the NBA’s optional combine. In essence, that means college basketball players are forced to make decisions that aren’t fully informed.
One way to remedy that, Emmert said, would be for the NBA to host an invitation-only tryout for professional hopefuls.
“If you don’t get an invite, then that should say something,” he explained.
Silver confirmed that he and Emmert have discussed ways to help student-athletes make better decisions, specifically with regard to the idea of a combine.
"It's something we've discussed," he said.
Byrd, the coach at Belmont, said a year ago that there was a 5 percent chance of the change happening, but he changed his tone Monday.
"Now there's a real decent chance," Byrd said. "It's pretty evident a lot more coaches are leaning that way. The opinion of coaches on the shot clock has moved significantly to reducing it from 35 to 30. And all indicators are pointing toward that."
In the Louisville market, 44 percent of adults report being very interested in the sport, according to research from Nielsen Scarborough released Thursday. The figure is 42 percent in Lexington.
Then again, the high number in Louisville no doubt reflects the presence of large swaths of fans of both the Cardinals and Wildcats there. The biggest question: What’s up with the other 56 percent?
Ranking a distant third is Syracuse at 29 percent. Kansas City is fourth at 24 percent, followed closely at 23 percent by Raleigh-Durham, home of Final Four team Duke _ and North Carolina, and N.C. State. Two other markets in the state, Greensboro/High Point/Winston-Salem and Charlotte, also rank in the top 12 with at least 19 percent.
The national average is 10 percent.
It may have found one in a graduate transfer from Fresno State.
Braeden Anderson, a 6-foot-9, 235-pound forward with an interesting backstory, will enroll at the Hall as a law student, according to ESPN's Jeff Goodman.
A native Canadian, Anderson attended high schools in North Carolina and Massachusetts and originally signed with DePaul in November of 2010. He later was released from that commitment and enrolled at Kansas, but was deemed a partial qualifier and, ineligible for financial aid per Big 12 rules, ended up at Fresno State.
KU has two scholarships to give in recruiting. The Jayhawks are awaiting word from No. 3-rated Jaylen Brown, a 6-7 small forward from Wheeler High in Marietta, Georgia, who has a final five of KU, Kentucky, Michigan, California and North Carolina.
“With the addition of Cheick and Carlton and with what we have coming back, I think this puts us in a great position to be a much improved team next year,” Self said. “We are still actively recruiting a few more players, but this could not have turned out any better for us with the two that we’ve signed.”
Another wing possibility is former VCU commit Tevin Mack, a 6-6 senior from Dreher High in Columbia, South Carolina, who is ranked No. 61 by Rivals.com. Mack’s mom tells Rivals.com her son plans to visit KU.
With the news of Austin Hatch's transition to a medical exemption scholarship, one final spot in the Wolverines' 2015 class is now available. If they have their way, Marietta (Ga.) Wheeler standout Jaylen Brown would likely be the one to make use of it.
…"I got him at (age) 12," said Brown's trainer, Desmond Eastmond. "He was a little bit above the curve. He was about 6-feet, could handle the ball, (and) he was fairly athletic. When he got to seventh and eighth grade he started to sprout out a little bit and got taller. The skill aspect, he always had the guard capabilities. He just had to work on his body and his work ethic. His mom made a great decision moving him over to Wheeler High School, where he got a chance to learn from Coach (Doug) Lipscomb. He continued his growth and understanding of the game to the point where he is now."
Eastmond continued: "The scouting report is he can score like Melo -- anywhere on the floor. He's a 6-7 wing player that can get his own buckets off the bounce. He doesn't need a pick and roll. He can beat his man off the bounce and is strong enough to finish, but he has a great feel and understanding of the game. He knows how to make his teammates better. On his championship (squad) in Georgia not one kid on his team is a top 100 kid."
Scouts learned how serious Brown is about continuing to improve his game when last summer he put competing on the AAU circuit on the backburner so he could focus more on his development.
…After collecting offers from high-major programs from coast to coast, Brown narrowed his list to Georgia, Georgia Tech, UCLA, Kansas, California, Kentucky, North Carolina and Michigan. On Monday, Georgia, Georgia Tech and UCLA were eliminated.
Finding consensus on where things stand beyond that, though, has proven difficult because Brown's recruitment defies convention. Compared to most prospects he is conspicuously quiet about his process, and he places little importance on some of the factors that make or break a school's standing with other recruits. For instance, Brown hasn't been keen on speaking frequently with college coaches. To him, rapport-building complicates the process unnecessarily.
"I don't really need to talk to you about how I'm doing," Brown told Scout.com. "I already know what your school offers. I've been on a visit. I know you want to build a relationship, but I'm not sure if I'm going to your school, so I don't want to build that relationship yet. If we are building a relationship and I go somewhere else, it's a waste of time and a waste of everyone's energy. So I'd rather pick your school and then build a relationship."
…When it comes to the criteria that Brown does find important, the Wolverines appear to acquit themselves quite well. Many often assume one of those to be his background running with an Adidas AAU team, since Michigan shares that affiliation. Eastmond insists, however, that there were other considerations that were of equal or greater importance when he recommended John Beilein's program last year.
"We were going over style of play, coaches, development, and maximizing his talent," Eastmond said. "I said, 'Have you taken a look at Michigan? Their system is unbelievable with the way (Beilein) spaces the floor and his pick and roll. Look at Hardaway, LeVert, Stauskas and Glenn Robinson. None of those kids were top 100. Two lottery picks and one (second)-rounder. Fast forward and you've got to put yourself in their shoes with your game. There ain't no telling what (Beilein) could do with you.'"
…Add to that the family Brown has in the Great Lakes State – a connection unknown to Eastmond prior to that conversation – and Brown's curiosity about the Maize and Blue was sufficiently piqued.
"I believe his uncle made a call to the university and spoke to one of the coaches because he has an uncle who is an alumnus," said Eastmond. "Once his uncle made the call the coaches started talking to him."
A fortuitous bounce to be sure, and the sudden good fortune didn't end there. Brown's mother is a Muskegon native (and Michigan State alum) and many from her side of the family still reside on the west side of the state. What's more, he has a cousin that attends Michigan and is a member of the Maize Rage.
The Wolverines looked to capitalize on those ties during Brown's official visit last month. According to Eastmond it was truly a family affair with mom, uncle, and grandma all in attendance. The likelihood of that resonating with Brown was clear long before he set foot on campus.
"(In) Michigan I have a lot of family," Brown told Scout.com. "I'm based in Michigan so I could deflect a lot of stuff because my family is there, so Michigan is definitely going to be in the front runner of things."
Based on Brown's opinion of the importance of player development, there's a good chance Michigan's position was firmed up upon closer analysis of its recent track record.
"Talking to Coach Beilein, he's like an offensive genius," Brown told Scout. "The way he gets these guys that aren't really ranked high to be lottery picks in the draft is amazing. It's definitely something that drew my attention."
Said Brown in another interview: "I want to develop. People say I'm ready to go (to the NBA) this year. People say I'll be ready next year. To do what I want to do, I think it'll take me at least two years. I don't want to come into a situation like the NBA and have to develop for two or three years. When I come in I want to be a superstar. Coming in I want to be on superstar status. It's going to take development and it's going to take hard work. I know I can make the business move and be a top-five, top-10 or top-15 draft pick if I just had a solid year in college and left. I love the game too much to chase after the money. I know your health is not secure, but I love the game. I just want to develop and be the best player I can be. When I'm ready, I'm ready."
…Michigan assistant LaVall Jordan has been running the point in Brown's recruitment.
"Val is cool," said Eastmond. "He is young and energetic. He knows the game. He is pretty much telling (Brown) what he needs to hear as far as how they would use him. The same thing that we discussed: 'Put you in Tim Hardaway's shoes, you will be pretty much a top-five pick just in the way that Coach (Beilein) will be able to use you.'"
One last appealing characteristic for Michigan is its reputation as a top academic institution. Brown has often placed the Wolverines on a scholastic pedestal with other top suitors Cal, North Carolina, and before being dropped Monday, UCLA.
All that has led to prevalent speculation that even among Brown's whittled-down contenders, Michigan is in an enviable position. Talk about other schools hold that distinction has varied wildly. Last week from ESPN's Paul Biancardi reported sources informed him Michigan and Cal were on top. Others maintain Kansas' longstanding pursuit, impressive visit (during which Brown compared Lawrence to his mom's hometown of Muskegon), and the Adidas affiliation put the Jayhawks in prime contention.
According to Snow, however, neither program presents the biggest roadblock to Michigan landing its highest profile recruit since Mitch McGary.
"I'm officially more confident than ever that the two teams at the top right now are Michigan and Kentucky," Snow said. "I'm not dumb enough to count out Kansas. We'll see. I don't see Cal happening. I tend to think that Michigan and Kentucky are the two schools that have the best chance at this moment in time. The good thing with Jaylen is he's going to keep everybody guessing. It'll be interesting to see how it works out."
…That said, what's clear is with the schools Brown is considering, he is going to be surrounded by great talent no matter where he goes. And if Kentucky really is Michigan's chief competition, his opinion of John Calipari's program won't be easy to overcome.
"Kentucky is probably the best basketball program in America," Brown told Scout late last month. "I took a lot of visits and nobody's basketball program was as good as Kentucky, just with their facilities and how they operate. It's just so professional. Kentucky, I just have so much respect for that program."
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