Mangok Mathiang has officially been added to the Louisville Cardinal men’s basketball team for 2012-13. Earlier in the week it was rumored he was cleared academically by the NCAA.
The process of Mathiang joining the Cards has fascinated me from the beginning. He seemingly came out of nowhere when he committed – I definitely had never heard of him – which is somewhat amazing considering the level of attention people spend on recruiting and what not in this area.
Mathiang’s height, weight and foreign descent will make the comparisons to Gorgui Dieng abundant. Luckily for Mathiang, he will have Dieng around for at least one – and hopefully two – more seasons before anyone will really expect him to step in the role Dieng serves now.
That is, if Mathiang even has that potential. Being tall and foreign doesn’t mean you’ll necessarily be good. There’s been plenty of cases of that happening right down the road recently (*COUGH* Shagari Alleyne *COUGH*) so it’s important to see where this guy is at ability and talent wise before giving him too much hype.
I’ve heard whispers that Mathiang would redshirt this season, which makes a ton of sense. Louisville will be loaded on the front line, and there probably won’t be a ton of minutes to go around. If the Cards lose a couple of those guys to early departures, it would be nice to have a near seven foot freshman waiting in the wings, especially one that had spent a year practicing with the team.
Mathiang’s name and similarities to Dieng will likely make him an instant fan favorite either way. Here’s hoping the guy can play a little ball as well.
Filed Under: Basketball
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