Warriors Like Ike
June 28, 2005
The Golden State Warriors realized what Arizona State fans have known for the past three seasons...they liked Ike. Mike Montgomery and Chris Mullin chose Sun Devil Ike Diogu with the ninth pick in the 2005 NBA Draft Tuesday.
Diogu became the seventh ASU first-round pick and the first since Mario Bennett went to Phoenix in 1995 with the 27th pick. He is the highest Sun Devil to be drafted since Byron Scott went fourth in 1983.
'He gives us an inside presence, the ability to score the ball inside, get fouled and make free throws,' Warriors general manager Rod Higgins said. 'Those are things our team lacked, the pounding and the banging inside.'
Diogu was a consensus second-team All-American last season after becoming the first Pac-10 player to lead the league in scoring, rebounding and blocks.
Diogu acknowledged it was a tough decision to leave Arizona State because of the family environment created by Rob Evans and his staff.
'It was a very tough decision,' he said. 'I have been living in Arizona for three years and the bond I had with my teammates was unbelievable. I mean, going to college is the best time of your life.'