Louisville’s Gorgui Dieng (Senegalese-born) is one of the few real centers in college basketball. His emergence in the 2013 NCAA Tournament has dramatically improved his draft stock.
There aren’t many NCAA centers with the physical ability to play the position in the NBA. At the next level, the paint is the domain of some of the biggest and most athletic human beings in the world. There are plenty of plodding and unathletic centers in college, but an NBA center has to be able to win wrestling matches with guys like Roy Hibbert, Omer Asik and Tyson Chandler on a nightly basis. Half of the guards in high-major conferences are NBA-caliber athletes; there are only a small handful of centers in the country who fit that description.
Gorgui Dieng, Louisville’s junior center, is one of them. That’s why scouts at a Basketball Without Borders camp in South Africa noticed him when he was a teenager, and it’s why he would up at a prep school in West Virginia despite knowing virtually no English. Since he picked up the game later in life, he was still a relative neophyte when he came to Louisville three years ago. Read more