Louisville’s Dieng Projected as Late-First Rounder

Louisville junior center Gorgui Dieng is projected as a late-first round or early-second round pick should he enter the NBA Draft.

“Bottom of first round or early second round for someone looking for an off-the-bench interior defender,” one veteran NBA scout told SNY.tv.

DraftExpress.com has the 6-foot-11 Dieng going at No. 28 in the first round.

Louisville coach Rick Pitino told CBSSports.com that Dieng is “98 percent gone” and will participate in Senior Day activities on Saturday when Louisville hosts Notre Dame in the final Big East game for both teams.

“If he is projected as a first-rounder, he is leaving,” Pitino said, according to CBSSports.com. “And I’m almost sure he’ll be taken in the first round.”

Dieng will reportedly not hire an agent, meaning he could return to school if he chose to.

A leading contender for Big East Defensive Player of the Year honors, Dieng is averaging 9.9 points, 10.0 rebounds and 2.5 blocks for Louisville, which still hopes to get a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament.

“I always had NBA on my mind,” Dieng said Friday at a press conference, according to Eric Crawford. “If I do that, a lot of people at my (home) can learn from me, and I can be a role model.”

He added that he’s focused on the Big East and NCAA Tournaments for now.

“I have a lot of goals I want to reach before we talk about NBA,” he said.

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