In a move that should not come as a shock to anyone, Rick Pitino announced that center Gorgui Dieng will play when the Wildcats visit the Yum! Center on Friday. Dieng has been out since the Missouri game on November 23rd with a broken wrist.
Pitino hinted at Gorgui’s return for the Kentucky game immediately after the injury was announced, then backed off that statement, saying the doctors told him that his wrist would not be fully healed in time. But Rick Pitino is notorious for rushing players back from injury, and Gorgui is no different.
This is the best and may be the best chance that Pitino has had to beat Kentucky in years and for a long time to come. A little wrist injury isn’t going to stop him.
Good. I don’t want any built in excuses when Kentucky pulls the upset.
I have always had the opinion that Gorgui Dieng folds whenever he faces a big man of equal ability and I haven’t been proven wrong often. Nerlens Noel is a freshman whereas Dieng is a junior. But lets look at the numbers of the two players thus far this season:
Noel: 10.7 ppg, 9.1 rpg, 3.7 bpg
Dieng: 8.2 ppg, 8 bpg, 2 bpg
Noel has better numbers across the board. And Gorgui wasn’t even present when Louisville played their best competition against Duke and Memphis, and played sparingly against Missouri. Cards fans think that Gorgui is far superior to Noel, but the numbers don’t lie. They might be in for a big disappointment on Saturday.