Steve Hawkins indicated that they would pursue a big man to fill the hole after the graduation of center Shayne Whittington and the transfers of Hayden Hoerdemann and Leo Svete. This afternoon they received their commitment from Khadim Dieng of Grand Rapids NorthPointe Christian.
Dieng is listed by ESPN.com's recruiting service at 7-foot and an ever-so-slender 190 pounds. He was rule ineligible by the MHSAA due to the undue influence regulation. Essentially, it's a rule to counteract those that are transferring solely for athletics and is, in the words of MHSAA associate director Tom Rashid, "the anti-recruiting rule," as quoted in a MLive.com article from January 17, 2014.
Dieng is a native of Senegal and showed what he could do at the AAU circuit at the Grand Rapids Storm Classic earlier in April.
His length and height are legitimate strengths and Dieng featured good hustle and athleticism for someone his size. As you'd expect, he showed very good shot blocking abilities.
He reportedly held offers from Eastern Michigan, UMass-Lowell and Seattle University but will suit up in Kalamazoo. Other schools reportedly interested were Virginia Tech, Kent St., Detroit-Mercy and Oakland University.
Dieng is a project, however. His game is raw but the upside is superb and Western has had a great track record of big men dominating the MAC with players such as Anthony Kann, Joe Reitz, Matt Stainbrook, Darius Paul and the aforementioned Whittington.
Western Michigan still has another scholarship available even if David Brown's petition for a sixth year is granted. NCAA rules will allow Western Michigan 14 scholarship players for a season before having to cut down to 12 the following year.
The Broncos will also bring in forward Drake Lamont and guard Thomas Wilder for the 2014 recruiting class.