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Sports >  WSU basketball

Four-star 7-footer Adrame Diongue signs with Washington State

UPDATED: Tue., May 3, 2022

By Colton Clark The Spokesman-Review

PULLMAN – Washington State’s frontcourt, depleted by the NCAA transfer portal this off-season, restocked with a blue-chip recruit.

The Cougars announced a significant recruiting victory Tuesday in the addition of 7-footer Adrame Diongue, a four-star prospect and a top-50 player in the class of 2022, according to ESPN.

The Senegal native and AZ Compass Prep (Chandler, Arizona) product is one of the nation’s 15 highest-ranked centers and WSU’s No. 2-rated recruit since 2000, per 247Sports.

Diongue took an official visit to WSU last month and committed to the Cougars just before he signed Tuesday morning. He chose the Cougars over a host of other major suitors, including Kansas, Texas Tech, Kentucky and LSU.

“I decided to commit to Washington State because they have a great program and know how to develop players like myself,” Diongue told ESPN. “The offensive style they play, along with their tough defense, makes me feel I could really fit in and help the team.

“They did a good job with Mouhamed Gueye, one of the players I know personally, and they’ve been recruiting me for over a year now. The coaching staff and head coach Kyle Smith have been tremendous from the start.”

Diongue, born on the outskirts of Dakar in Senegal, might be in line to replace his fellow countryman in the Cougars’ lineup.

Gueye, a 6-11 former four-star recruit from Dakar, entered his name into the NCAA’s transfer portal Monday after starting 33 games during his freshman season at WSU. Efe Abogidi, another highly regarded Cougars forward, is also pursuing a transfer following an impressive sophomore season. In Diongue, the Cougars have found a big man of similar caliber.

Although predictably raw in some facets of his skill set – considering he’s only been playing basketball competitively for three years – Diongue is expected to make an immediate impact at the Pac-12 level.

“A few NBA scouts I spoke with are high on Adrame Diongue’s upside,” ESPN recruiting director Paul Biancardi tweeted. “He shrinks the floor defensively & protects the rim with quick bounce. Finisher & facilitates too. A lot to work with if healthy.”

Measuring at 7-foot and 185 pounds with a 7-6 wingspan, Diongue is an ideal fit for the Cougars, who emphasize disruptive defense and rebounding

.

“I run the floor well, grab rebounds and block everything,” Diongue told recruiting site On3.com earlier this year. “I’m reading the game better now and showing more on offense. I watch (NBA legend) Kevin Garnett, the way he tries to dunk the ball every time he touches it – I’m trying to do that.”

A soccer player in his youth, Diongue said his first sport “helped me with being able to get up and down the floor with my quickness and defense.”

He broke out last year in his second season with Compass Prep, an elite hoops academy and a consistent producer of power-conference Division I prospects. The Dragons play cross-country schedules and compete against some of the nation’s most talented high school outfits.

Diongue averaged 11.1 points, 6.3 rebounds and 1.4 blocks per game, according to his MaxPreps profile, while playing alongside eight other power-conference commits, a group headlined by five-star recruits Mookie Cook (Oregon) and Kylan Boswell (Arizona).

Compass Prep compiled a 24-5 record and ended last season as Arizona’s top-ranked team. The Dragons made a second consecutive trip to the GEICO Nationals in Florida. Playing against other four- and five-star prospects, Diongue blocked nine shots in three games over the past two seasons at Nationals.

“AD is an elite athlete who protects the rim and runs the floor,” Smith said, quoted in a news release. “He is emerging as an excellent offensive player under the tutelage of Ed Gibson of AZ Compass Prep, which has rapidly become one of the best prep programs in the country.

“He is an excellent talent who fits our brand of basketball and our culture. As talented as he is as a basketball player, he is even more impressive as a young man. He is gracious and humble. His energy and personality light up any room.”

In three years under Smith, the Cougars have won a number of recruiting battles over more established schools. Smith’s staff has signed eight of WSU’s top-20 recruits of the past two decades, per 247Sports. Diongue outranks everyone except Klay Thompson.

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