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NBA Draft Profile: Gorgui Dieng

GORGUI DIENG

6-11, 245 lbs.

School: Louisville

Class: Junior

 

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STRENGTHS: Dieng added over 30 pounds of muscle between his sophomore and junior seasons and went from being a stick to a diesel big man inside. He is a shot blocking machine, averaging 3.2 per game in 2011-12 and shattering the school’s single-season record. Gorgui has only played a few years of organized basketball, so he has no bad habits. His floor spacing and passing skills are incredible for his neophyte status. Dieng was a perfect fit in the middle of the key and knew how to distribute the ball well from there. He was one of the nation’s leaders in field goal percentage (61.2%) as a sophomore and has shot 65-plus percent from the free throw line each of the past two seasons. His major impact comes on the defensive end, where his added bulk makes him hard to move around. His length is outstanding, and he’s got good timing.

 

WEAKNESSES: Though he added much muscle in the offseason, Dieng could stand to gain more weight. His post game is about as rudimentary as pre algebra, and there’s not a lot of hope that he’s going to be a threat to score on the low block. You worry about injuries with him because he’s so long and thin. He’s got a decent stroke but will likely never become a real threat with his jumper. He’s also greener than lime jello and though he’s a quick learner, could have trouble against more sophisticated players at the next level.

 

BOTTOM LINE: Dieng is an intriguing prospect because he’s got some awe-inspiring skills that could make him a revelation on the court. He is an elite shot blocker, a surprisingly great passer and has a good stroke. He’s committed himself fully to basketball, putting on muscle and continuing to work on the weaknesses in his game. At the same time, he’s never going to be a big-time scorer in the NBA and has a long way to go to catch up with the seasoned pros at the next level. That said, Dieng is too big and too skilled to pass up on in a draft this challenged for impact players. He won’t be in the green room for too long.

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