Following Sunday’s loss to North Carolina, Rick Pitino didn’t shy away from mentioning the obvious weaknesses that his team displayed during the loss. He stated that he really needs to get more production from the front court and also that the team greatly misses Gorgui Dieng’s presence. Apparently he wasn’t lying when he said he misses Dieng. Just a little over 24-hours following the loss, Pitino was in Indianapolis to see his former center.
Dieng’s new team, the Minnesota Timberwolves traveled to take on the Indiana Pacers on Monday night. Unfortunately, the T-Wolves fell to the Pacers and Dieng didn’t leave the bench the entire game.
We all knew just how important Gorgui Dieng was to last year’s team and that he would be missed. However, I think Sunday’s game was the first time this season where it was evident that not having a guy like Dieng to protect the rim hurts Louisville defensively. Even if he wasn’t blocking shots, he was still alternating shots and was a very good rebounder. It’s time for guys like Stephan Van Treese and Magok Mathiang to step up and collectively fill the void, which is much easier said than done.