Minnesota Timberwolves center Gorgui Dieng led the Senegal Men’s National team to a major FIBA World Cup upset over a well-respected Croatian squad, 77-75. Dieng led the Senegalese squad with 28 points, 8 rebounds, and 2 blocks. This is a game after an 18 point, 13 rebound performance in a win over Puerto Rico. The Croatian team is touted with NBA talent such as 2014 Philadelphia Sixers first round draft pick Dario Saric, Brooklyn Nets’ Bogdan Bogdanovic, and Pacer’s F Damjan Rudez. Senegal came into the FIBA World Cup tournament ranked as the No. 41 team in the world, while Croatia a more perennial power on the international basketball scene comes in ranked at No. 16. Senegal has opened the door for themselves with a great opportunity to make it out of their Group B play with a win in one of their remaining 2 games against the Philippines or (basketball world power) Argentina.
This Senegalese team is quietly turning into the feel good story of the FIBA World Cup. The Minnesota Timberwolves also have to be very happy with the development of Gorgui Dieng’s game, the 2014 NBA All-Rookie second team player will definitely serve as a bright spot for the post-Kevin Love era.