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Gorgui Dieng's Status For Connecticut Game Still Unclear

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Louisville head coach Rick Pitino was unavailable for comment on Sunday, which left the most pressing issue facing his team - the status of injured center Gorgui Dieng - unsettled heading into Monday's game against Connecticut.

Pitino stated after Saturday's win over Rutgers that he thought it was "doubtful" Dieng, who sprained his right ankle in the second half of the game, would be able to go against the Huskies. It was a sentiment the sophomore himself did not echo.

"I'm ready to play," Dieng declared in the locker room on Saturday. "I care about this team more than anything. Anything I can do to help my team win, I'm ready for. Everybody works hard on this team and I don't want to let anybody down."

Dieng finished the game against Rutgers with eight points, seven blocked shots and four rebounds in 31 minutes. Three of those blocks and three of those rebounds came after he re-entered the game following his ankle sprain.

If Dieng isn't able to go, Pitino said Saturday that he will probably look to seldom-used freshman Zach Price to square off against 6-10 Connecticut freshman Andre Drummond.

"I'll say this - and he's not totally ready - but I'm not afraid to put Zach in in crucial situations," Pitino said.

Price saw the court for just the fourth time in Big East play against Rutgers, and says he'll be ready if his number is called on Big Monday.

"My confidence is building and building," he said. "I'm getting in the gym and working on my execution with passing. Gorgui is a great passer. I'm just learning from him. I feel like I can bring a lot of things but mostly defensive effort. I still feel that I can bring that large presence."

Pitino's only other option if Dieng isn't available is to play senior forward Jared Swopshire at the five. Swopshire has played a handful of minutes at the position since Rakeem Buckles suffered a season-ending ACL tear on Jan. 16.