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Newcomer Diallo practices with Cats for first time

Hamidou Diallo joined the UK men's basketball team Tuesday

Hamidou Diallo joined the UK men’s basketball team Tuesday

The newest member of Kentucky’s roster joined the team earlier this week and practiced for the first time Friday.

Hamidou Diallo, a 6-foot-5 guard from Queens, N.Y., enrolled in classes Tuesday and has been getting used to campus before joining his teammates on the practice floor.

“He’s probably anxious and nervous.” Kentucky coach John Calipari said. “I gave him a couple of things that we’re doing so that when we go up and down he can play those things and we can go against him. What I would imagine is that he’ll look a little lost.”

Calipari doesn’t intend on using Diallo in a game situation and plans to stick with his current rotation.

“I wouldn’t do it for the program or me,” the Kentucky coach said. “The only way that would happen would be if it were in his best interest,” he said. “The situation wouldn’t matter – up, down, sideways – it wouldn’t matter. It would be about him. What I know, what’s in his mind, and what I see – he needs to get squared away, get his base set and come back and do his thing. That would be my recommendation if you ask me.”

Although it’s doubtful Diallo will play this season, Calipari said the early enrollment will pay dividends next season.

“This is great for him,” he said. “He’s going to get to workout all the stuff that he needs personally – we can be about. You can focus on what he needs. Then kind of shove him into this stuff, let him get a feel for it and go for it.”

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