University of Louisville basketball coach Rick Pitino has said several times since he graduated that he certainly wouldn't mind sometime landing another player in the same mold as former U of L center Gorgui Dieng.
Well, Pitino and his staff might be onto something.
Florida Prep Academy power forward Lahat Thioune has become a top target for the Cardinals in the Class of 2018. He's a 6-foot-11 center from Dakar, Senegal, and his high school coach said the prospects favorite player "is Gorgui."
"Gorgui always goes back to Senegal and does his camps," Florida Prep coach Peter Munch said. "Every coach that comes in and sees him thinks he's more of a natural four than a five. Coach Pitino has been in twice to see him.
"Coach (Mike) Balado was in two times before he left, coach (Kenny) Johnson was in and that's when they offered him and coach (Jordan) Fair was just in last week. A lot of schools have been in but Louisville has turned their focus to Lahat. They said they're all in."
Munch said the U of L staff originally came in to see Thioune and 6-10 center Mbacke Diong, who they were trying to get to reclassify into the '17 class. Diong has since decided to stay in the '17 class and committed to UNLV.
"But they are still very interested in Lahat," Munch said.
U of L and Pittsburgh are the schools after him the hardest, while Connecticut, UNLV, Memphis, Florida Gulf Coast and Central Florida are all showing a lot of interest.
Munch said other schools have expressed interest and will see him this month with 1 Family on the adidas Gauntlet circuit.
"His recruitment is picking up," Munch said. "Down the road when he’s more mature - he just turned 17 - he'll be able to play the four in college and be a mismatch nightmare. He can shoot the ball as a pick-and-pop guy and can catch and shoot."
Thioune has been in the U.S. since last summer.