And in the past five games, he's shown it on the floor for the Cardinals.
The 6-foot-11 Mathiang only played two minutes in a win over Central Florida but since then has turned the corner and "is really improving," according to U of L coach Rick Pitino.
"Once I figured out what coach wanted from me, I think I've gotten better," Mathiang said. "I think I'm doing what he wants me to do now."
Pitino said Mathiang is one of the more improved players on the team and said, "he's still only going to get better and better."
Mathiang has his averages up to 4.3 points and 3.7 minutes in 15.4 minutes a game. He leads the team with 38 blocked shots and has scored and grabbed a rebound in each of the five games.
"I feel like I am getting better and I have to to help the team," Mathiang said. "I just need to do my part to help the team win."
Splitting time with Stephan Van Treese, Mathiang had three points, two rebounds and two blocks in 18 minutes against Houston in the game after sitting and watching much of the UCF game.
And then it was four points and five rebounds against Temple and eight points, four rebounds and one block in the win over Rutgers. In the win over South Florida, Mathiang had nine points and six rebounds for the Cardinals.
It was last Saturday against Cincinnati when his improvement really showed. He came into the game and in four minutes had two points, four rebounds, one block, one steal and one assist.
"It was one of my better games, except for fouls," said Mathiang, who fouled out after four points, five rebounds, three blocks, one assist and one steal and a lot of aggressive play.
"He played well," Van Treese said. "He's really starting to come around for us."
And that's what the Cardinals need.