Know the Prospect: Gorgui Dieng

Here's that tall man. - Andy Lyons

The draft is tonight. Here is a tall player the Knicks might draft. Tall is good, right?

On Wednesday, June 26, viva_morrison drank three craft beers and then nursed a Bud Light. Then he tried to write a prospect profile. This is the first episode of 'Drunk KTP' (like 'Drunk History) but with basketball!)

P&T. First off, let me apologize for my absence around these parts as of late. The build-up is usually the time that my star shines the brightest, but I definitely faded like a white dwarf here (astronomy joke, y'all). I did a little boozin' to drown away the sorrows of disappointing everyone. But here's my last-ditch effort to save face: a Know the Prospect of Louisville Center Gorgui Dieng.

Also, here are a few players I would have loved to do write-ups on but didn't find the time. I'm also listing them here in case the Knicks happen to draft one of them. That way, I can say "I TOLD YOU SO (but not really)."

  • Michael Carter-Williams: The Knicks really like this guy, and those rumors about them being interested in the Mavericks pick could have been centered around their desire to draft him.
  • Giannis Adetokunbo: I really just wanted a 6'9" foreign PG named Giannis. Is that too much to ask?
  • Ricky Ledo: If the Knicks want shooting, this guy definitely fits the bill. Character issues abound, but not many guys shoot the rock like this kid.
  • Jamaal Franklin: I'm a huge fan of this San Diego St. prospect. Plus, if he continued to wear long sleeves in the pros, we could call him "Sleeves."

But let's quickly move on to the man of the hour: Louisville center Gorgui Dieng.

The Rundown

Measurements: 6' 9.75" (w/o shoes), 6' 10.75" (w/shoes); 230 lbs.; 7' 3.5" wingspan; 9' 3.5" standing reach; 5.4% body fat.

Projected Draft Position (as of right now): 26 at Draft Express, 20 at NBADraft.net, 22 at SI.com, 22 at ProBasketballDraft.com

Actual Draft Profiles/Stats: SB Nation, Draft Express; NBADraft.net; Stat Sheet, Louisville Player Page

Amateur Take - Offense: Offense is the area of Dieng's game still very much in development. He does show promise on that side of the ball, even though he was never called on to do much scoring with Louisville's high-octane lineup. He lacks strength to be a true banger down low (he might be able to add more weight to his frame, as he's added 50+ pounds to his frame since arriving in the US), but he makes up for that with his great size, length and athleticism for the position. Guys that are 6' 11", agile and long don't grow on trees. Dieng has solid body control as well, and that helps him around the basket and in the paint.

Dieng can't create much offense for himself. He scores mostly off the penetration of his guards and put-back opportunities via crashing the glass. He does possess a decent little mid-range jumper with a lovely, high release point and he shot 67% and 65% from the FT line the last two seasons. It might be inconsistent, but the form is there for sure. Get him in a gym with Coach Hopla and the guy could be a threat. And while he isn't a great option with his back to the basket, Dieng isn't completely hopeless in that area.

Dieng happens to be an adept passer for a big man. He averaged two dimes a game last season, and a passing big could be a very useful addition in high low situations. Dieng is a very capable offensive rebounder as well. He grabbed 3.5 a game last season and his OReb% clocked in at 12.8% (good for top-100).

Amateur Take - Defense: Dieng's bread and butter is on the defensive side of the ball. He possesses the necessary size and length to be a rim protector, and he averaged a solid 2.5 BPG last year. A more representative figure is the 3.2 BPG he averaged as a sophomore. He broke his wrist early on during his junior year, and he was still able to come back and anchor a defense that won a national championship. That's impressive (and shows toughness).

In addition to the numbers he put up blocks-wise, Dieng has strong instincts and is a smart defender around the rim. He can use his length to defend a great deal of shots without fouling. He is a more capable defender near the basket, but his lateral quickness and athleticism make him a passable defender out on the perimeter.

Dieng isn't as great of a defensive rebounder (6.0 per game as a junior) but that, combined with his 3.5 ORebs, gets him right up near double digits. I'll take that.

From the Scouts: Here's a snippet from Draft Express' profile:

As a one-on-one defender, Dieng shows impressive intensity and held his own at and away from the rim at the college level. He still bites on fakes and gets beat on quick, powerful post moves on occasion, but does a very good job of battling on the block on the whole. He also had some impressive moments defending the perimeter this season as well, doing a good job of getting low and moving his feet when switched onto a guard. Moving forward, Dieng would benefit from getting stronger and more disciplined to help him make the transition to defending the bigger, more skilled post scorers he'll encounter in the NBA, but he's clearly on the right track.

Sounds good to me.

Random Red Flag: No serious red flags to report here. He's still relatively new to the sport and still needs seasoning in several areas, but Dieng is certainly a known quantity on defense.

The Clyde Factor: It's far too late to come up with the appropriate Clyde-isms for Dieng, but here goes:
Gorjee Deng
Gourd Deeyeng
Corgi Dieng
Jordy Nelson
"Gorgui was gorgeous on that put-back slam!"
"Dieng is D-ING up tonight!"

Knick Knacks

  • Dieng was the Big East DPOY this year. For a conference that sees plenty of defensive-minded games, that's means something.
  • Dieng hails from Kebemer, Senegal. Kebemer is part of the Louga Region of Senegal.
  • His parents names were Momar (father) and Seynabou (mother). SWEET.
  • His favorite NBA player is Kevin Durant. That's cool. His favorite NBA team is the Lakers. Not so cool.
  • The man is clean and tidy. He says you might think he is too clean and tidy. I assume nothing, Gorgui.
  • Dieng chose the number 10 at Louisville because, like in soccer, the best in their sport wear that number. He wouldn't have that opportunity with the Knicks, but his thinking is right.

Let's Get Reel

Gorgui Dieng 2012-2013 Highlights (via okaniamtheman)

Gorgui Dieng 2013 NBA Draft Scouting Report Video (via DraftExpress)


Gorgui Dieng Interview: The Meaning of Life (via Adam Lefkoe)


Nordstrom Men's Shop: Gorgui Dieng in Joseph Abboud for Nordstrom (via Nordstrom)

What We Learned:

  • I love that little turnaround jumper he showed off in the highlight video. And don't get me started on that touch pass.
  • Dieng seems like he has his head on straight and has a terrific, grounded world view.
  • Dieng needs to go shopping for suits with Clyde. Enough said.
  • Did you see him totally school fellow prospect Steven Adams, who is slated to go much much higher than Dieng in the draft?

Conclusions: Dieng might not be available by the time the Knicks select, but he would be an ideal fit. He's a player that would be able to contribute on both ends of the floor immediately (more defensively, obviously) but still with plenty of room to grow. His size and defensive presence would help the Knicks a bunch on defense, and he seems like a high character guy that just wants to help his team win.

Winning a championship and being part of a winner certainly doesn't hurt either. I would certainly want Dieng on my team and would be plenty happy with him at #24. What do you guys think?

Well P&Ters, it was another fun draft cycle. HUGE props to Paul Chillsap and anyone else who pitched in for picking up my large amounts of slack, and let's go draft us a winner!

Ross Bernhardt is the managing editor of CHARGED.fm the Magazine. You can check out his Internet writings on music, sports and movies there and follow him on Twitter:@ross_bernhardt

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