March 11, 2013
LOUISVILLE, Ky. - University of Louisville men’s basketball’s Gorgui Dieng has earned his fourth individual award since Sunday after helping the Cardinals earn a share of the BIG EAST regular-season title over the weekend.
On Monday, the junior center was named the BIG EAST Defensive Player of the Year, making him the Cardinals’ first major league award winner since the team entered the BIG EAST in 2005-06. The awards were based on a vote by the league’s head coaches who were not permitted to vote for their own players.
The Kebemer, Senegal, native averaged a league-best 10.8 rebounds per game in BIG EAST play and finished second in the conference with 2.8 blocked shots. Dieng also was tops in league play in defensive rebounds per game (7.2) and second in offensive rebounds (3.6).
One of two Louisville players selected to the all-BIG EAST first team on Sunday, Dieng was named the BIG EAST Player of the Week as well as the ESPN.com National Player of the Week. In the team’s two wins last week, he averaged 15.5 points, 10 rebounds, three blocked shots, and two steals and shot 68.4 percent from the field.
Three other awards were distributed on Monday as well, consisting of the most improved player of the year (Kadeem Batts, Providence; Michael Carter-Williams, Syracuse), sixth man award (Davante Gardner, Marquette), and sportsmanship award (Junior Cadougan, Marquette).
Louisville, which earned the No. 2 seed in the BIG EAST Tournament, returns to action on Thursday, March 14, and faces the winner of St. John's-Villanova at 7 p.m. ET on ESPN.
BIG EAST Defensive Player of the Year
Gorgui Dieng, Louisville
BIG EAST Most Improved Player
Kadeem Batts, Providence
Michael Carter-Williams, Syracuse
BIG EAST Sixth Man Award
Davante Gardner, Marquette
BIG EAST Sportsmanship Award
Junior Cadougan, Marquette
* Note: The BIG EAST Player of the Year, Rookie of the Year, Coach of the Year and Scholar-Athlete of the Year will be announced Tuesday, March 12, at 5 p.m., at a press conference at Madison Square Garden.