Coming so soon after Cliff Alexander’s situation, Cheick Diallo’s eligibility concerns are already starting to sting.
No two situations are exactly alike. But it’s hard not to make comparisons, especially when they’re right in front of you.
Last season, Cliff Alexander signed with Kansas. There were high hopes, as Alexander was a top-3 recruit according to ESPN’s top 100. It’s safe to say that at the time, Alexander was the player Kansas wanted and needed.
Then everything fell apart. Trouble finding playing time, perceived worries about his motor and eventually concerns about eligibility ended a career that began with so much promise.
Now, enter Cheick Diallo. The new big man for Kansas is the 7th ranked player according to ESPN. Even beyond his talent and potential, his best asset is exactly what was constantly questioned in Cliff Alexander: his motor. Diallo has, if nothing else, a motor. However, Diallo has his own problem. He hasn’t yet been cleared by the NCAA, and head coach Bill Self told the Kansas City Star, “I don’t anticipate this being cleared up in the near future.”
This is when the uneasiness starts to set in. Another promising player with eligibility issues that are not expected to clear up soon… Not the best news after the disappointment last season was for the Jayhawks.
It’s not uncommon for freshmen to be awaiting clearance at this point in the year. At this time last season, Ohio State’s D’Angelo Russell was waiting to be cleared. But the stakes are too high for Kansas not to worry. Having these problems so soon after last year’s predicament does not help ease the tension.
Cheick Diallo might be exactly what KU needs. He also hasn’t been cleared, and even Bill Self doesn’t expect the situation to change anytime soon. Yes, it’s okay to be worried.
For more on Cheick Diallo’s eligibility concerns, continue to this story.