Alpha Diallo’s game is perfectly described by his Instagram handle, “@slowmo.11”, but that’s not a negative by any means. He consistently plays the game at his own pace and uses smooth, savvy moves to put defenders in poor position and get to his spots. Diallo has ideal NBA wing size at 6’7” tall and 210 pounds. He's brings a versatile array of skills that help him gel into a variety of lineups. The 2018-19 All-Big East Second Team wing averaged 16.0 points, 8.1 rebounds, and 3.1 assists, while accumulating 10 double-doubles in his junior season (tied for 1st in the conference). Diallo tested the 2019 NBA Draft waters under the advisement of Excel Sports Management agent, Javon Phillips. Diallo had the opportunity to work out for several NBA teams and receive meaningful feedback from scouts and front office decision-makers, and now he goes into his senior season on a mission to lead the Friars in a run at the Big East title while improving his stock as a future pro.
Tale of the Tape
Diallo has proven to be a 3-level scorer through his 3 years in college. His strongest ability is his scoring around the basket as he looks very comfortable with finishing through or around a variety of defenders. He looks to have a very strong and 210-pound frame that bullies smaller opponents for easy baskets. When going against larger defenders he shows off savvy up-fakes to open up his look at the basket or draw a foul. While Diallo isn’t a tremendous leaper in the half-court, he has solid touch and finesse around the rim that finishing isn’t much of an issue. On the perimeter, Diallo is an opportune cutter who finds openings to get easy baskets at the rim or to show off his mid-range jumper.
In the clip below, we highlight Diallo’s ability to find his spots within the flow of the game to shoot from the perimeter.
What he’ll want to show scouts this season is an improved three-point shooting percentage and range. While his 33% clip from last season isn’t ideal, there is reason for cautious optimism because of his tangible improvement from deep as a junior and his effectiveness as a spot-up / catch-and-shoot jump shooter (68th-percentile and 71st-percentile, respectively).
Around the Basket
Diallo sets up shop in the mid-post quite frequently for a wing prospect. While it’s something you don’t often see anymore and you can’t expect him to have that kind of role on the next level, it is encouraging that he has this mid-range self-creation package in his arsenal. Having a Swiss-army-knife kind of player with versatility as a scorer will always have value. He has also proven himself an effective offensive rebounder from the wing. He's capable of establishing position to carve out space to snag a teammate's miss and convert a putback and also excels at reading the likely trajectory of a miss, flying in from the perimeter, tracking the ball, and high-pointing the offensive rebound.
In the clip below, we highlight a few examples of Diallo’s activity in crashing the offensive glass.
When looking at Diallo’s traditional box score stats, what jumps off the statsheet is the 8.1 rebounds per game he averaged last season. It’s very impressive to see a guard/wing crash the glass to this extent, which serves as a testament to his reactionary athleticism, instincts, and ability/willingness to do anything to help his team win.
Diallo’s calling card will continue to be his versatility going into this season and the 2020 NBA Draft. Having a player that can be a positive on multiple areas of the floor can be beneficial to any professional team. This season, scouts will be on the lookout for continued improvement in his shooting percentages and better decision-making skills. If Diallo, a likely Portsmouth Invitational Tournament shoe-in, can show improvement as a handler, decision-maker, and efficient scorer, he'll certainly garner plenty of NBA team workouts.
Based on Diallo’s size and “do-it-all” nature, he is able to shine at both wing positions, and given his rebounding productivity, may even be able to hold his own as a small-ball four if he can add some strength. Diallo projects as a likely Exhibit-10 recipient who will get some run at Summer League and eventually land in the G League.
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