Ike Diogu Draft Capsule
VITALS: 6-8, 250
OVERVIEW: The 2005 Pac-10 Conference Player of the Year, Diogu became the third player to lead the league in both scoring (22.6) and rebounds (9.8), joining California’s Mark McNamara in 1982 and Oregon State’s A.C. Green in 1985. Diogu also led the conference in blocks (2.34), becoming the first Pac-10 player to rank first in each of those three categories. The junior forward also rewrote the conference record book with 248 free throws made, breaking his own mark of 243 set as a sophomore. The Pac-10’s Freshman of the Year in 2003, Diogu scored 1,946 points in his three seasons with the Sun Devils, reaching double digits in all of his 91 games.
LIKELY DRAFT POSITION: Diogu is climbing past fellow power forwards Chris Taft and Wayne Simien. Now the question is will he continue to climb, above Hakim Warrick, Charlie Villanueva and Sean May? Diogu has at least reached the late teens, and some think he will go quite a bit higher. The highest projection for Diogu might be ninth to Golden State, but more likely he will end up with New Jersey (15), Toronto (16), Indiana (17) or Boston (18).
COMPARATIVE UPSIDE: Elton Brand
COMPARATIVE DOWNSIDE: Gary Trent
ROLE PROJECTION: Dominant forward.
POSITIVES: Diogu always seems to be right where the ball is, and that’s not by accident. He pursues rebounds relentlessly, snatches loose balls out of the air with one of the best sets of hands around and scores inside over taller people with seeming ease. While not the biggest power forward prospect, Diogu has the kind of makeup that creates lunch-bucket stars like Ben Wallace. However, Diogu has offensive talent as well and has begun to expand his face-the-basket game as well.
SHORTCOMINGS: Diogu is a legitimate 6-8, but that is not big for a power forward in today’s NBA. When matched up against Kevin Garnett, Jermaine O’Neal or their ilk, he will have to deny them position on the block and try to deny them the ball. He is very strong and can block shots, but length is likely to give him a big challenge.