Friar Basketball

Alpha Diallo Continues to Produce for PC

Diallo White Uni

Ed Cooley wasn’t disappointed walking away with a 91-79 victory over an Iona team that wins 20 games seemingly every season, but the Friar head coach expressed frustration with his team’s defensive execution in the second half.

“We didn’t play the game I wanted to play,” Cooley remarked early in his post game press conference, noting that he needs to do a better job of coaching his team on stopping ball screen situations.

Where Cooley did heap praise was on his veterans. He called junior guard Maliek White a “really, really big plus” following a six assist, zero turnover effort off of the bench. He went with a veteran group midway through the first half, with White, Alpha Diallo, Isaiah Jackson, Emmitt Holt, and Kalif Young on the floor together.

A 20-19 first half lead was extended to a 44-27 advantage late in the half — a run kicked off by Cooley’s most experienced players.

White played perhaps his best floor game of the season, with the aforementioned six assists and zero turnovers combined with a pair of makes from beyond the 3-point arc in 22 minutes. The young AJ Reeves was once again an offensive force, dropping 20 points on 4-7 from deep as well.

Yet, what shouldn’t go overlooked through six games this season is the step forward Diallo has taken in his junior year. No, this isn’t a surprising development after a terrific sophomore campaign and being named 1st Team All Big East in the preseason, but there isn’t much Diallo hasn’t done at the highest level at this point.

He’s averaging 18.5 points, 9.3 rebounds, and over four assists per game. Diallo has extended his outside range, making two 3-pointers a night and shooting at a 46% clip.

“That’s the one thing I give Alpha Diallo a lot of credit on,” Cooley noted after the win. “He’s really improved is perimeter shot, so it makes him a weapon all over the place whether it’s interior, handling the ball.”

Diallo was particularly effective in the first half against Iona, with 15 points, six rebounds, and a pair of assists in 15 minutes, before finishing the afternoon with 23 points and nine boards.

As Cooley has continues to sort through his rotation early in the season, Diallo has been the constant — and even better than advertised so far.

One Comment

  1. Derec Lamendola

    November 25, 2018 at 5:36 pm

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