The Washington State men’s basketball team added a significant piece to its 2022 recruiting class on Tuesday with the commitment of four-star forward Adrame Diongue. Diongue signed with WSU from a final five that included UNLV, Kentucky, Kansas and Texas Tech.
The 7-foot, 185-pound Diongue is rated as a consensus four-star prospect in the 24/7 Sports composite ranking. His 0.9623 rating is the second-highest rating of any WSU commitment since 2000, trailing only Klay Thompson. ESPN is especially high on Diongue, ranking him as the No. 43 prospect in the 2022 recruiting class.
Diongue visited Pullman in late April, and while he didn’t commit on his trip, the Cougs secured the star prospect less than two weeks later.
Originally from Senegal, Diongue played high school basketball in Arizona at AZ Compass, a school that has produced plenty of college basketball talent in recent years — including Oregon State’s Glenn Taylor Jr. and Colorado’s Jabari Walker. Diongue is relatively new to basketball, having played for just three years. He grew up playing soccer until he outgrew the sport and shifted his attention to basketball.
His length and athleticism are obvious, but his relative lack of playing experience gives him plenty of room to develop.
“I run the floor well, grab rebounds and block everything,” Diongue said earlier this year via On3.com. “I’m reading the game better now and showing more on offense. I watch Kevin Garnett, the way he tries to dunk the ball every time he touches it; I’m trying to do that…I grew up playing soccer. Soccer helped me with being able to get up and down the floor and with my quickness and defense.”
With Diongue in the fold, Kyle Smith and his staff continue the trend of landing impactful high school big men. Diongue follows Mouhamed Gueye and Efe Abogidi in consecutive recruiting classes. The status of Gueye and Abogidi make Diongue’s commitment even more paramount. Gueye and Abogidi both declared for the NBA Draft and are currently in the transfer portal. In the interim, Diongue joins Dishon Jackson in the post with the hope that duo will become a trio or better with the return of Gueye or Abogidi.
He’s far from a finished product, but it’s easy to see how Diongue will help the Cougs next year as another athletic defender who excels running the floor and finishing around the rim.
Diongue is a true 7-footer with long arms, a wiry, 205-pound frame, and some highlight athleticism. Kyle Smith loves his athletic, long, rim-running bigs that are versatile on both ends. Diongue is similar as a high-schooler to past recruits of Smith like Mouhamed Gueye and Efe Abogidi in that he is a defense first, athletic big-man who offers some athletic upside with their movement skills and potential shooting.
Diongue’s defense is certainly the main selling point on him as a prospect. He can do a lot of different things on that end and his size/mobility combination is reminiscent of Gueye. Diongue is excellent at wreaking havoc in the passing lanes, specifically jumping entry passes into the post. He can glide around the court on defense and that stands out at every level for his size.
While departures have been a theme of the offseason for WSU, the commitment of Diongue shows the Cougs are far from being in full-blown rebuild mode. Diongue is not Abogidi or Gueye, but he is as good of a replacement as you could find at this stage at the high school level. There is certainly re-stocking still to do, but Smith and the coaching staff continue to show they can consistently bring high-level talent to Pullman at a rate unlike any recent coaching staff.
With Diongue joining the Cougs, WSU has eight scholarship players penciled into the 2022-23 roster and open spots for five more additions.
Diongue joins Jackson in the frontcourt while the Cougs wait out final resolution on Gueye and Abogidi. Andrej Jakimovski could also see more time as a stretch four. Pending the status of the Cougar big men in the portal, you could see WSU bring in another player to build a similar rotation to last season.
Backcourt additions appear to be the bigger area of need with the graduation of Michael Flowers and the recent transfer portal departures of Tyrell Roberts and Noah Williams. The Cougs have redshirt freshman Myles Rice and 2022 signee Dylan Darling as the only pure guards currently on the roster. TJ Bamba and DJ Rodman are both able to play multiple spots while Carlos Rosario is coming off a redshirt season.
There is plenty of work to do before the Cougs hit the court in October, but securing Diongue is a massive step towards a postseason return next year.