University of Louisville basketball notebook

Gorgui Dieng

Here's a look at the weekly of the Sunday edition of the University of Louisville college basketball notebook. It will feature items on the U of L team and other schools in the Big East Conference.

GORGUI WORKING HARD ON IMPROVEMENT

Junior center Gorgui Dieng drew a lot of rave reviews from his play recently at the adidas Nations event in Southern California.

And it wasn't really a surprise.

Dieng is expected to be one of the top post players returning in the country and he recently told Cardinal Authority that he has "really worked hard" in the offseason.

"I've worked on my left hand, the whole summer," Dieng said. "I had to get better with my left hand. I had to get stronger and just better.

"I have a lot of high goals and wanted to make sure I am better."

Dieng has moved up to the No. 24 projected NBA Draft pick by NBADraft.net after averaging 9.1 points and 9.1 rebounds as a sophomore.

With 128 blocked shots last season, Dieng set a new Louisville season record. He had 26 more than Pervis Ellison's previous record of 102 blocks in 1987-88.

Ellison is the all-time shot blocker at U of L with 374. Dieng has 184 for his career and ranks fourth all-time at U of L.

CARDS WILL PLAY AGAINST ‘THE BULLET'

Former U of L backup guard Elisha Justice, who was nicknamed "The Bullet" by Rick Pitino, will play against his former team next season.

Justice, the former Kentucky Mr. Basketball from Shelby Valley, transferred to Pikeville College for his final two seasons of eligibility.

Pikeville's schedule released recently has the Bears playing in the KFC Yum! Center for an exhibition game on Nov. 1.

U of L beat Pikeville 74-55 last season in an exhibition.

Justice played in 25 games as a sophomore. He scored 23 points, had nine assists and six steals in 4.9 minutes per game.

KURIC SIGNS TO PLAY IN SPAIN

Former U of L standout Kyle Kuric, who was a senior leader on last year's Final Four team, has signed a professional basketball contract.

Kuric signed a two-year deal to play in Spain for Madrid club Asefa Estudiantes.

He leaves for Madrid on Monday and the team has training camp that is slated to begin on Wednesday afternoon.

Kuric also has interest from other teams in Spain, Turkey, Greece and Italy. Ech club in Spain's top league play a 34-game schedule.

Kuric led the Cardinals in scoring last season at 12.6 points a game.

A FEW LEFTOVERS

*Big East media day will be held on Oct. 17 at the New York Athletic Club. The women will hold media day on Oct. 18.

*Every Big East team, except South Florida, will play in at least one in-season tournament during the upcoming season. U of L is headed to the Bahamas to play in the Battle 4 Atlantis.

*After the Cardinals made it to the Final Four last season the Big East now has had a team in the event 18 times in 33 years of competition. There have been six Final Four appearances – by five different teams – in the past seven years.

*Providence's Vincent Council has the highest career point total of any player returning in the Big East – conference games only - with 598 career points. Council also leads in assists (283) and steals (77) in conference games.

*The Big East is the only league in the country with at least one Elite Eight team every season since 2002.

* Freshman Montrezl Harrell is listed as No. 24 on the U of L roster.

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