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Dieng will be doing this a lot for the Louisville Cardinals
This will likely be the battle of the nation's leading shot blockers by the end of the season, but who wins in a head-to-head?
It is going to be arguably the most evenly contested and entertaining matchup on the court when Louisville and Kentucky play against one another later this year. Dieng and Noel possess similar body traits and physiques, with each of them standing above 6'10" but weighing under 240 pounds.
Therefore, each player is tall and big enough to be a great defensive anchor, but also possesses above average speed and quickness to run up and down the court on fast break opportunities.
For Gorgui, he is the more experienced of the two and is also a more polished player on offense. Dieng surprised everyone last year with his improved touch around the basket. Granted, he is by no means an advanced post scorer but he is further along than expected.
He came to Louisville with little hype and was only expected to be a shot blocker on defense. Although that is his biggest strength, he has quickly developed into an all-around force at both ends of the court.
There is a lot riding on Gorgui's shoulders as he leads the team into a season full of hype and excitement for Cardinal fans. Many expect him to be a game changer on defense and will be the team's anchor on that side of the ball. According to The Kentucky Blog, Dieng needs to step up for the team to reach its full potential,
Finally my prediction is that Gorgui Dieng averages around 14 points, 10 rebounds and leads the nation in blocks. He will be the leader of the front court again alongside Chane Behanan. This maybe the best frontcourt in the country, but it will be up to Dieng to step up if that is to be the case.
As for Nerlens Noel, he should be a revelation in college as he is expected to challenge Anthony Davis' school and NCAA record for blocks by a freshman. That is a monumental task for any player to overcome, but he does possess the length, instinct and talent on that end of the court to challenge and potentially break Davis' mark of 186 blocks in a single season.
However, Noel's strength on defense is counterbalanced by his weakness on offense. He is raw on that end and desperately needs to improve his ability to catch the ball and navitage the post without getting stripped.
Noel figures to convert on multiple lob opportunities, offensive rebounds and putback slams. If he can simply contribute ten points per game and clean up the boards, he will be just fine and should be a force in college.
Therefore, these two players are in a dead heat and it will be an intriguing matchup when the Cards and Cats face off this year. Dieng is the more experienced player and is more effective on offense.
Meanwhile, Noel is arguably the more skilled defensive player and should absolutely wreak havoc on opposing college offenses. However, he is very raw on offense and has a long way to go before becoming an impact player.
This should be an epic battle in the paint, but at this time I am giving the slight edge to Louisville and Gorgui Dieng because of his prowess on offense.
Slight Advantage: Louisville