Diogu Looks Forward to New Team

Ever since Ike Diogu worked out for the Indiana Pacers, they were impressed with the ex-Sun Devil. Because he was picked 9th in the 2005 NBA draft, they didn't have to chance to land his services. That all changed following an eight player trade that sent Diogu to one of the better teams in the Eastern Conference. Devils Digest talked to the forward following the trade announcement.

The Golden State Warriors traded Diogu, along with Troy Murphy, Mike Dunleavy, and Keith McLeod to the Indiana Pacers, and will get in return as part of this eight-player deal Al Harrington, Stephen Jackson, Sarunas Jasikevicius and Josh Powell.

"It definitely caught me by surprise," admitted Ike Diogu. "I really didn't see it coming. But that's just the business side of the NBA – anybody can be traded at any time. I don't know too much about the Pacers, but they traded a lot of players so I should have a good opportunity to play there. I'm looking forward to it, and they told me they're excited to have me."

It has been a rough two years for the former Arizona State star and one of the best players to ever don the maroon and gold. The 6-8 255 Diogu started his rookie year on the injured reserve, and played in 69 games averaging 7.04 ppg and 3.32 rpg playing an average of 15 minutes a game. Injuries, as well as coach's decisions caused him to miss already 22 games, but his stats are literally the same as they were last season.

Diogu doesn't blame his woes solely on injuries, and feels that he was fairly productive for the number of minutes he played. "I just wasn't out there taking minutes from someone else and I did display what I'm capable of doing," he commented. "Now playing in a conference where teams play more of a slow-down, half court game, where there are more post-up opportunities…it's definitely a style that can be good to me."

The ex-Sun Devil has always been a model of class, and consequently had no ill feelings whatsoever towards his old employer. "I was lucky to play for such a great franchise such as the Golden State Warriors," he noted, "being around great players and being coached by someone like Don Nelson. Now I'm going to a new team, but because they were so many players in the trade I still get to be with some of my old teammates and that will help me in the transition."

While Diogu braces the changes he's about to go through, he knows that former teammates Allen Morill and Serge Angounou, whom he talks to on a regular basis, have it much rougher these days. That duo and the rest of the Sun Devil squad are in the midst of a seven-game losing streak and still without a Pac-10 win. "It's definitely not how they scripted their last season at ASU," he remarked. "But they both of their degrees and on the court they're just trying to end it on a good note. The team has a lot of young guys so it's tough right now, but when I talk to them they're always upbeat and look forward to finishing the year on a good note."

On the same token, Diogu will certainly want to reverse his fortunes in the NBA and utilize this trade to enhance his play and increase his contribution. "That's the plan," he said. "I'm panning to go out there every night for the Pacers and show them what I'm capable of doing."

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