Welcome, Ikechukwu Somtochukwu Diogu

Since we gave a video welcome to Chukwuemeka Okafor, I feel it’s time to do the same for the newest Hornet, who also sports a name of Nigerian origins: Ikechukwu Somtochukwu Diogu.

Before we get to the somewhat dated youtube footage of Ike, I wanted to elaborate a little on why I said stat-geeks like Ike.  Ike’s been in the league four seasons and has played on four different teams during that stretch.  At every step, it’s been expected that Ike would break out – or at least contribute.  Why?  Because his per minute averages are crazy.  Per 40 minutes, Diogu has averaged a very nice 19.7 points and 10.1 rebounds over the course of his career. 

In general, the Hornets hope Diogu come in and soak up some of Posey’s and all of Hilton Armstrong’s minutes, but there are some concerns because of the truly limited minutes Ike’s received since his rookie year.  At first glance, it’s worrisome, but when I actually broke down the sample sizes for the two players – Hilton has gotten 2464 NBA minutes in 191 games over three seasons, and Ike has gotten 2319 minutes in 187 games over four seasons(with an injury that limited him to 30 games in Indiana one season).  It’s not exactly apples to oranges.

So heres a comparison of their career numbers:

Player Pnts/40 Reb/40 Assts/40 True Shooting % Turnover Rate Usage Rate Reb Rate
Ike Diogu 19.7 9.9 1.1 57.8% 14.4% 19.7% 14.1%
Hilton Armstrong 11.3 8.2 1.0 55.5% 20.2% 13.8% 12.2%

Diogu scores more efficiently because of his prowess(80% FT) at the line, rebounds better, turns the ball over much less, and generally does it all while taking a lot more shots.  The only category where Hilton bests Diogu is assists, as Diogu rivals Melvin Ely as a black hole on offense.  Take into account that Hilton Armstrong hasn’t improved at all since his rookie year while Diogu’s per minute production over just the last two seasons has outstripped Hilton’s by about 50%, you can see why this seemingly inconsequential signing makes me a happy camper.

In fact, here’s a picture of Ike Diogu to commemorate my joy.

Ike Diogu and Pool Girls

And here’s the Youtube goodness I promised.  It’s from his rookie year, but hey, it’s still nice:

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