The No. 1 Louisville Cardinals will be the clear cut favorite against the No. 9 Wichita State Shockers in the Final Four. Although the defense and Russ Smith get most of the hype, can Gorgui Dieng be stopped?
Dieng stands at 6’11”. Wichita State’s tallest player is 7’0”, but Ehimen Orukpe is only averaging 15.4 minutes per game on the season. The next tallest Shocker is 6’9”. Dieng averages 30.9 minutes per game on the year and he is going to have a serious advantage in the post on both sides of the ball.
Dieng had his best game of the 2013 NCAA Tournament against the No. 2 Duke Blue Devils in the Elite Eight, dropping 14 points, 11 rebounds and four blocks. He was also 6-8 from the field. What a beast. Anyways, who is going to be able to guard him? Seriously. Duke had Mason Plumlee in the post and Dieng was still able to do work. Plumlee was only considered as one of the best centers in college basketball all season.
Smith may lead the Cardinals in the scoring department, but if Louisville decides to go to Dieng more in the Final Four, it would be a very wise move. Sure, the Shockers have a great defense and have proved it in the Big Dance so far, but Louisville arguably has one of the best defenses in the nation and Dieng is a big reason for that.
Just by standing in the paint Dieng makes a huge difference. He rebounds, he blocks shots and he can be a threat in the scoring department. He may just be unstoppable in the Final Four.