Leading up the season we are doing a countdown of the Top 100 players in college basketball. These rankings are based on a poll made up of 14 CPP writers. These writers span from UCLA to Seton Hall so there is very little bias. Each day we will release the latest player on our ranking with a small write-up. Be sure to check out the rest of the Top 100 articles!
2016-17 Stats (Louisville): 12.1 PPG, 4.5 RPG, 42.2 FG%, 34.6 3P%
Why They Are Here?
After playing second fiddle to G Donovan Mitchell last season, Deng Adel will not only bring a veteran presence to this year’s Louisville team, but will likely be one of this year’s captains with G Quentin Snider. Outside of Donovan Mitchell last season, there was not much consistency on the offensive end of the court for the Cards. Deng Adel will likely be Louisville’s best two-way player this year and look to continue his success in transition, where he thrives running the court. With a long 7-foot wingspan, Deng Adel not only disrupts a lot of passes on the defensive end of the court, but throws down dunks in transition with authority. Adel had perhaps two of the best throwdowns of the season last year: versus North Carolina in Chapel Hill, and in the second round of the NCAA Tournament versus Michigan. His explosiveness and athleticism is something hard to match on the court, making Deng Adel an important player for Louisville. Not only will he continue to help make Louisville an up-tempo team, but a team that will punish their opponents off turnovers.
Role on This Year’s Team
As stated earlier, Deng Adel will likely be one of Louisville’s captains this year, meaning that he will be looked upon to create momentum and handle the pressure for the Cards. Since he is likely to start on the wing alongside F V.J. King, Louisville should have one of the tallest wing-duos in the country, making it difficult for opponents to guard them. On the defensive end of the court, Deng’s role will likely be to guard one of the opposing team’s best players on the wing. If Deng is able to continue disrupting passes with his reach, Louisville should see a lot of opportunities to go on quick runs in transition. Deng Adel took a tremendous leap from his freshman to sophomore season, and will be asked upon again to continue improving to make this year’s Louisville team, once again, a very dangerous defensive team.
College Season/NBA Prospect
After “dipping his feet” in the NBA Draft waters and withdrawing his name from the early-entry list, Deng Adel should be a dangerous presence in the ACC this upcoming season. Although he suffered a setback this summer by having thumb surgery, Adel should not be sidelined for much longer. Assuming Adel is a focal point for the Cards this season, he could see himself scoring 15 points a night and someone who finds himself at the free-throw line late in games. Last year, Deng Adel was used in a lot of late game situational plays, so it would not shock anybody to see him explode late in games this year. On my “Way Too Early” 2018 NBA Draft Big Board, I have Deng Adel currently ranked #73, but with a lot of room to grow. If Deng continues to grow as an explosive two-way player, he could see his draft stock rise tremendously. This season, expect to see more consistent play from Deng Adel, and expect him to continue elevating the entire Louisville basketball squad.
Be sure to check out tomorrow’s Top 100 player.
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NBA Draft Analyst/Louisville Basketball
(Photo from Courier-Journal)