The NCAA has cleared Louisville freshman center Gorgui Dieng, allowing the 6-foot-10 center to begin practicing with the Cardinals immediately.
The NCAA overturned an earlier decision that ruled Dieng ineligible because of an academic issue. Dieng is from Senegal and spent last season at Huntington (W.Va.) Prep.
Louisville Coach Rick Pitino says Dieng is an "excellent student" who speaks five languages.
Dieng averaged 15.4 points, 12.6 rebounds and 7.2 blocked shots last season for Huntington Prep. He was ranked 44th nationally by Rivals.com. His presence will give an immediate boost to the school's thin frontcourt.
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Toppers early favorites
It's going to be a big season for Western Kentucky University men's basketball in 2010-11, if the coaches in the Sun Belt Conference are right.
The league's coaches made Western Kentucky their choice to win the East Division in voting announced Tuesday. The coaches also named WKU senior Sergio Kerusch their Pre-season Player of the Year and named senior teammate Steffphon Pettigrew to the All-Sun Belt First Team.
WKU earned 11 of 12 first-place votes in the East, while North Texas swept all 12 votes in the West Division. North Texas won the Sun Belt Tournament last season to earn the league's automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.
Kerusch is the second straight Hilltopper to be named the Pre-season Player of the Year, following A.J. Slaughter's selection last year.
WKU finished the 2009-10 season 21-13 overall and 12-6 in conference play, finishing third in the East. The Hilltoppers lost in the semifinals of the conference tournament.
Kerusch missed 14 games because of injury last season.
Pettigrew, a Kentucky Mr. Basketball from Elizabethtown, averaged 14.9 points and 5.9 rebounds as a junior.
WKU opens the regular season Nov. 12 at St. Joseph's.
Transy women voted third
The Transylvania University women's basketball team has been picked to finish third this season in the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference in a vote of the league's coaches announced Tuesday.
Franklin College was selected to win the league.
Transylvania shared the conference title with Franklin in 2009-10, going 19-7 overall and 13-3 in league play. The Pioneers' season ended with a loss in the HCAC Tournament semifinals.
Transylvania opens its season Nov. 16 at home against Wilmington.