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100 Things Cyclone Fans Need to Forget Before They Die: Cheick Diallo

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The product from Our Savior New American School didn’t end up being Our Savior.

On September 14, 2013, the 6’9” 218 pound product of Mali unofficially visited Iowa State for the first time. On September 26, 2014, he officially visited and said “Iowa State is a good school. I like the coach. I like the players.”

Jameel McKay guards Cheick Diallo late in the first half of #14 Iowa State’s game against #4 Kansas at James H. Hilton Coliseum in Ames, Iowa, on January 25, 2016. The Jayhawks would lose 72-85. (Photo taken 20:47:44)
Jared Larson/Wide Right & Natty Lite

Heading up Diallo’s recruitment was then ISU-assistant Matt Abdelmassih, who’s been known to often go after some big fish in the recruiting. As the 5th overall prospect in the class of 2015, Diablo was certainly a big fish.

While Diallo did have offers from pretty much every blue blood in the country, Iowa State was thought to be one of his top schools for the large part of his recruitment, and was even thought to be the favorite to land the ultra-athletic forward at one point.

However, as rumors of Fred Hoiberg’s exit to Chicago began to swirl, Iowa State began to fall down his list, with Diallo eventually ending up at Kansas. Fred’s departure to the Bulls is also thought to have been the primary reason that former Michigan State star Miles Bridges didn’t end up in a Cyclone either.

At Kansas, Diallo was plagued by academic eligibility concerns, and was suspended for the first part of the season while the NCAA investigated his case. He was eventually cleared to play, but never really got into a rhythm with the Jayhawks. Following his freshmen season, Diallo departed for the NBA, where he was selected with the 33rd pick of the 2nd round by the Clippers. Through two seasons in the NBA, Diallo has largely struggled to be productive, but did earn playing time in 52 games last season.

Iowa State rarely signs players as highly rated as Diallo, and securing his commitment would have been a huge recruiting boost for the staff, and a piece that probably would have fit and developed quite nicely in the post next to Georges Niang. However, his academic investigation may have proved to large a hurdle to make him a productive Cyclone player.