Tobias Harris, Terrence Jones, CJ Leslie, Marcus Thornton.
What do all of those guys have in common? At some point or another, UK was heavily involved with each, John Calipari looking to find a guy to play the 4 spot. Looking at UK’s returning roster and list of commitments, there isn’t a single guy who you would call a natural power forward.
With the news today that Marcus Thornton is no longer considering Kentucky, the only player who remains an option for 2010 is Terrence Jones. We all know about Jones and that there’s no better than a 50/50 shot that UK gets him.
The Thornton news was legitimately surprising to me. Particularly if UK whiffed on Jones, Thornton would have been positioned to play next year and play a lot. I haven’t seen anything definite on why he dropped UK, but my bet is that he came to realize that even though he would play a ton next year, he would find himself stuck behind a stud freshman during his second year at UK. It’s an understandble decision.
So, UK is left picking through scraps. Eloy Vargas may or may not be a possibility and beyond that, I didn’t know of anyone else…until today. Enter 6-8 210 pound big man out of Mountain State Academy (Enes Kanter’s first American school), Remi Dibo. Remi has a reputation is a versatile four with a nice stroke and is rated by Scout as a three star prospect.
According to Evan Daniels, he sports offers from Duquense, St. Bonaventure, and Drexel and recent interest from Kentucky, culminating in an unofficial visit recently. He’s not the blue chipper that John Calipari has spoiled us into expecting, but at this point, we need bodies, particularly if Jones sticks with U-Dub. Otherwise, it’s going to be small ball and a heavy dose of a Liggins-Miller-Kanter front court, which is interesting, but far from ideal.
Dibo actually grades out as a 90 according to ESPN, who has this to say about him: “This big and strong power forward has good skill. Dibo hits mid range jumpers off the catch and pick and pop threes from NBA range and without hesitation. He has a great confidence and a quick release. At times he had questionable shot selection but seemed to always compete…”
Dibo has gotten some attention as a sleeper in this class, including a shoutout in SLAM Magazine after his play in the Quality Education Academy Invitational back in November:
After spending the last few campaigns at Stoneridge Prep in California, Dibo relocated to West Virginia with a new swagger to his game. Originally from France, he came to the QEA tourney with a refined jumper and ability to get to the rim off of the bounce. He still has a few holes in his game that he’ll need to sure up before he hits the collegiate hardwood, but don’t be surprised to see this sleeper land at a high-major program this spring.
Did Enes Kanter try to retrace the Frenchman’s prep journey, because Stoneridge is where Big Enes finished up. I’m sure we’ll learn more about Remi Dibo in the coming weeks.