NBA teams are 'bullish' on Dieng

University of Louisville junior center Gorgui Dieng will put his name in the June NBA Draft and his former coach – Rick Pitino said the interest level is high. A former U of L great who played in the NBA believes Dieng will be a success. Cardinal Authority has the story on the native of Senegal.

University of Louisville basketball coach Rick Pitino said since the Cardinals won the national title earlier this month, he's been generating potential NBA Draft information for some of his players.

Russ Smith used the information to make his decision to return for his senior season and Gorgui Dieng was likely headed to the NBA no matter what the NBA folks told Pitino at the end of the season.

But the feedback on the 6-foot-10 junior center was favorable.

"Everybody is very bullish on Gorgui," Pitino said. "They love his passing skills, they love his mid-range jump shot, shot-blocking ability, his basketball IQ. They think he has great upside to get better. We're real excited for Gorgui."

Dieng averaged 9.8 points and 9.4 rebounds and was named Big East Defensive Player of the Year despite missing seven games with a broken wrist.

His stock has risen in the eyes of the NBA scouts.

NBA now has Dieng going in the No. 22 spot in its mock draft, while he's No. 15 in one by Draft Express.

Former U of L great Felton Spencer, who spent 12 years as a center in the NBA, told Cardinal Authority that he believes Dieng will be a success in the pros.

"He has a tremendous upside," Spencer said. "His offensive game is going to continue to get better. He will need to put on some weight to bang with some of those big guys in the NBA, but he has tremendous upside.

"If he keeps working hard, Gorgui has no where to go but up."

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