Gorgui DiengHt/Wt: 6-11 / 240 lbs
2013 Draft Profile - Gorgui DiengA native of Senegal, Dieng played for Huntington Prep for a year before attending Louisville. At 6'11", Dieng has filled out quite a bit over the past two seasons and now is a pretty solid 240lbs. He is reported to have an astonishing 7'4" wingspan, so not surprisingly his calling card is shot blocking. Dieng is now 22, and will be 23 by the time the draft takes place. So the Junior is a year or more older than most in his class. What you hear about Dieng's game is, in some ways, what one heard about Festus Ezeli last year. Nice defensive game, good shot blocker, but terrible hands. In fairness, Dieng's ball handling has actually improved noticeably over the last two seasons, but it's still a problem.
Dieng's size is going to make him a first round pick, almost certainly. But there are red flags that go beyond just stone hands. He isn't a great shooter at all, and even in close, his percentages have gone down. Maybe this is to be expected with an increase in touches, but it's still a worrying stat. In traffic Dieng often seems to lose focus. On the defensive end, however, he has progressed into an elite rim protector. He moves well, rebounds instinctively, and has shown no aversion to contact. He understands nuances of the pick n' roll that he didn't in as a sophomore, and can drive to the hoop with some authority now, as well as understanding the defending of it. Ezeli's success for Golden State suggests Dieng can work out his deficiencies and be a valuable big man four at the next level. He has elements of Larry Sanders to his game, too. Dieng broke his wrist in November, but is expected back for the Big East tourney.
Player profile submitted by: John Steppling - Dec. 6th 2012
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