BUTTE — With star senior Taylor England sidelined by injury for a while, Montana Tech head men's basketball coach Adam Hiatt offered a challenge to Sindou Diallo.
"We told him, 'Hey, one of our big horses is down and you're going to have to lead our team,'" Hiatt said. "He stepped up in a remarkable manner."
Through seven conference games, Diallo, a senior guard who was named the Frontier Conference newcomer of the year last season, leads the league with an average of more than 20 points per game. In the Orediggers' most recent game, he put up 35 points against Rocky Mountain College on Sunday.
At the conclusion of last season, Diallo was second on that list with just over 19 points per contest, trailing only Providence's Zaccheus Darko-Kellly.
"My objective is just to have fun and go out and compete to the best of my ability because I don't know how many years I've got left of playing basketball," Diallo said. "So I might as well just leave it all on the floor."
Diallo will look to continue his torrid start as Tech gears up for a lengthy stretch of road games. The Orediggers are in Havre for a doubleheader against MSU-Northern this weekend, travel to Carroll College the weekend after and then face Montana Western in Dillon on Jan. 27.
A Spokane native, Diallo played at Curtis High School where he was teammates with Nate Ward. Diallo would have a few far-flung stops before reuniting with Ward at Tech. He played the 2017-18 season at Mesa Community College in Arizona and spent the following season at Western Texas College. He averaged over 10 points a game both of those seasons.
With a seemingly perpetual smile on his face while playing, Diallo's game is marked by an almost infectious energy that he carries off the court as well, whether he's in the classroom or with his family.
"I'm not scared to raise my hand," Diallo said. "I'll raise my hand so the teacher can answer the question. I'm a good mentor to my little brother. He watches me everywhere I go. He just follows in my footsteps."