Rick Pitino

Louisville shot-blocker Gorgui Dieng likely to sit out with injury until after New Year’s Day

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Louisville center Gorgui Dieng will likely miss at least another two weeks with a wrist injury, Cardinals’ coach Rick Pitino announced Tuesday, as reported by Kent Taylor of NBC affiliate WAVE-TV in Kentucky.

Dieng has already missed five games after falling awkwardly and injuring the wrist Nov. 23 against Missouri in the Battle 4 Atlantis tournament. His absence was felt most strongly in Louisville’s loss to Duke, when Blue Devils’ center Mason Plumlee went for 16 points and 7 rebounds.

The 6-10 native of Senegal was averaging 8.2 points, 8.0 rebounds, and 2.0 blocks at the time of his injury.

Reports over the weekend said that Dieng was looking to return early from the injury, with the cast being taken off his wrist. He was already slated not to dress for Friday’s match-up with Florida international, but Saturday’s game against Western Kentucky seemed like a possibility.

“He could play in the Western Kentucky game if he’s in shape,” said Pitino at the time. “That’s the biggest thing, not the hand, if he’s in shape to play.”

That is now not the case.

Pitino reportedly is aiming for Dieng to return Jan. 2 against Providence, which would be within the original 4-6 weeks that Dieng was expected to miss.

Daniel Martin is a writer and editor at JohnnyJungle.com, covering St. John’s. You can find him on Twitter:@DanielJMartin_

UConn commit tears ACL for second time

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UConn commit Juwan Durham, a four-star big man in the Class of 2016, has torn the ACL in his right knee for the second time in seven months. The Florida native committed to the Huskies and head coach Kevin Ollie back in September. The 6-foot-9 forward is regarded as the No. 31 overall prospect in the national Class of 2016, so he can really be a force when he’s healthy.

In a report from Tampabay.com’s Bob Putnam, UConn was notified of the injury immediately and there is no change in plans with the commitment. The Huskies also own commitments from four-star point guard Alterique Gilbert and three-star power forward Mamadou Diarra in the Class of 2016. Having Diarra, an active, rim-protecting presence, helps with Durham’s recovery, since he can provide some more front court depth.

If Durham rehabs back to full speed, UConn has a very talented power forward who was just hitting his stride in the Florida state playoffs last February. UConn has a nice class so far with this group, especially if Durham can recover, With a year to recover until next season, Durham can hopefully play during his freshman season in 2016.

VIDEO: Arizona State’s Torian Graham dunks over teammate

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Arizona State fans won’t get a chance to see Torian Graham take the floor this season, but he did sky over fellow teammates (and transfer) Shannon Evans on Friday night at the team’s Maroon and Gold Madness. The 6-foot-4 Graham is a former Buffalo commit — Evans also came from Buffalo — and both players will have to sit out the 2015-16 season due to NCAA transfer regulations.

Graham hasn’t had a chance to get into a Division I game, but he’ll be able to play for the Sun Devils next season. For now, fans can look forward to Graham’s athleticism on the wing in pregame dunk routines.

A former top-100 prospect, Graham also pulled off this ridiculous move in the dunk contest.