Providence College Senior Alpha Diallo has been named to the Julius Erving Preseason Watch List for the upcoming 2020 NCAA basketball season. This is the sixth year that the award will be given out to the top Small Forward in Men’s Division I college basketball and a national committee has put together the following list of 20 players.
|Xavier Sneed||Kansas State|
|Tres Tinkle||Oregon State|
|L.J. Figueroa||St. John’s|
|Chris Clarke||Texas Tech|
|C.J. Elleby||Washington State|
It should be noted that players can play their way onto or off the list at any point during the season.
Diallo is one of four Big East players named to the Preseason watch list along with St. John’s L.J. Figueroa, Villanova’s Saddiq Bey, and Xavier’s Naji Marshall. For those mathematicians at home, that would make 20% of the nominees coming from the Big East.
Of the first five winners of the award, Villanova has been the home of two of them with Mikal Bridges winning in 2018 and Josh Hart in 2017.
Alpha led the Friars in basically every statistical category last season averaging 35.5 minutes per game, 16.0 ppg, 8.1 rpg, 3.1 apg, & 1.6 spg. Diallo currently stands at career totals of 1,155 points and 592 rebounds. If he were to just match last year’s averages of 16.0 ppg and 8.1 rpg, he would finish with 1,698 points and 868 rebounds. Those totals would put him 10th in all-time scoring (just ahead of MarShon Brooks and just below Ernie D) and 10th in all-time rebounding (just ahead of Billy Eason and just below Otis Thorpe) in Providence Friars history. I think he will improve in both of those categories and it will just end up being about where in the Top 10 Diallo lands when all is said and done. His 3-point shooting will definitely be improved from last year when he averaged 33.3% from distance. He improved his 3-point percentage almost 12% from his Sophomore to Junior year, so an improvement of a couple of percentage points would make sense for his Senior campaign. He would join Ryan Gomes, Marvin Barnes, and LeDontae Henton as the only players to be in the all-time Top-10 in both categories for the Friars.
Amazingly, if he matched last year’s output in steals, he would also end his career with 173 total steals, coming in 11th on the all-time Friars steals list. Gomes is the only Friars player in the Top-10 in points, rebounds, and steals for PC.