“Get to Know Samba Diallo” is the second part of a multi-article interview series with incoming players in the A10. The series will give fans a chance to get to know their newest stars before they take the court. Big thanks to @UmassRecruiting for his input and assistance with the questions.
Last year, the Minutemen finished 13th in the A10 and mustered only one win against the top half of the conference. Umass, and their fans, expect this season to be different though. With a now experienced squad of returning players and nice crop of entering freshman, they’re eying a top four finish. Recently, I got the chance to catch up with incoming recruit Samba Diallo, and to pick his brain on the recruiting process, next season, his game, and more.
JR: What made you choose UMass?
SD: I felt like it was the right place and environment for me, and they showed more interest than any of the other schools.
JR: What’s your relationship with the coaching staff like?
My relationship with the coaching staff is great. They are good people and I know they are not going to take it easy on me. I like that because it’s the only way I’ll get better.
JR: Have you met all of your teammates, including incoming freshmen Tre Wood and Sy Chatman?
I met all my teammates when we had dinner together on my official visit. I talk to all of them now, and we talk about getting on campus and get started.
JR: You were injured last fall, what was it like to miss some (all?) of last season? How is the rehab/recovery going?
It’s been a long season for me. I’ve never had that kinda injury before, so it was hard to just sit and watch, but I was there to support my teammates. Everything is going well thanks to my host family.
JR: Do you model your game after any particular NBA or college player?
I would say Russell Westbrook because of his aggressiveness, how hard he goes to the paint, and how he never take a play off.
JR: What part of your game is your biggest strength?
My motor, my ability to use the screen and roll, and attacking the basket. I’m all over the floor with my athleticism.
JR: What part of your game is your biggest weakness?
Probably my choices in the game, but that will come with experience.
JR: What position/role do you see for yourself on the team, both this season, and in future seasons?
I’m just looking to buy into what the coaches have in place for us this season, as well as the future seasons.
JR: What are your goals at Umass?
I want to help my team get an opportunity to be at the top.
JR: Is there anyone you’re trying to convince to play basketball at UMass (this season, or next)?
Not that I know of.
What do you plan on studying?
Favorite basketball player?
Favorite basketball team?
Favorite pre-game snack?
Welch’s fruits snacks
Favorite pump up song?
Ice melts ( feat. Young Thug )
Yanny or Laurel?
Favorite TV show?
Adventure of Merlin
What’s something people don’t normally know about you?
I speak 3 languages, French, English and Wolof.
What’s something you want Umass fans to know about you?
I’m friendly, kind and humble