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Rick Pitino: Gorgui Dieng likely to leave Louisville for NBA Draft

Rick Pitino expects Louisville center Gorgui Dieng to enter the NBA Draft. (Andy Lyons/Getty Images Sport) Rick Pitino expects Louisville center Gorgui Dieng to enter the NBA Draft. (Andy Lyons/Getty Images Sport)

Louisville center Gorgui Dieng will likely leave the Cardinals after his junior season to enter the NBA Draft, Louisville coach Rick Pitino told CBSSports.com's Jeff Goodman.

Pitino said Dieng is "98 percent gone." The junior will take part in Louisville's Senior Day this Saturday against Notre Dame, Goodman reports.

"If he is projected as a first-rounder, he is leaving," Pitino told Goodman. "And I'm almost sure he'll be taken in the first round."

Dieng is a shot-blocking presence, and defense and rebounding could make the 6-foot-11 center valuable to an NBA team.

Dieng wasn't listed as one of the top-20 prospects on Sports Illustrated's Chris Mannix's latest NBA Draft Big Board. There are a number of quality big men that should go before Dieng if they enter the draft, including Maryland's Alex Len, Kentucky's Nerlens Noel and Baylor's Isiah Austin. Dieng may end up competing with people like Gonzaga's Kelly Olynyk for a place in the next tier.

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