|NBA Draft’s Potential Celtics: Louisville C Gorgui Dieng||06.15.13 at 11:46 am ET|
As part of WEEI.com’s coverage of the 2013 NBA draft, here is one in a series of profiles of players who could be available to the Celtics when they make their lone selection at No. 16.
Weight: 230 pounds
Achievements: All-Big East first team (2013), Big East Defensive Player of the Year (2013), Big East All-Tournament Team (2012)
Key 2012-13 stats: 9.8 points, 9.4 rebounds, 2.5 blocks
What he brings: Dieng has the size to be a strong defender at the NBA level. With his 7-foot-4 wingspan, he is a blocking machine who averaged 3.2 blocks per game his sophomore year of 2011-12 at Louisville. As a defender, the main thing he needs to improve on is his strength, while he could improve his defensive discipline as well.
Offensively, Dieng is an excellent passer for a big man, averaging 2.5 assists per 40 minutes last season. He is strong around the rim, converting 66 percent of shots from in close last season. However, he is not a great shooter, hitting just 28 percent of his shots from the post last season.
At 23 years old, Dieng is among the oldest players who are expected to be taken in the 2013 NBA draft. While he is more likely have an immediate impact than some players slated to be taken in the first round, his potential for growth is a bit limited.
Notes: Dieng was named MVP of the 2009 Basketball without Borders event in South Africa before enrolling in Covenant Christian Academy in Georgia. … The Senegal native missed the draft combine due to a sprained ankle.
Video: Here’s a highlight video of Dieng in the national championship game.