For three seasons, Deng Adel has been a good player for the Louisville Cardinals. Unfortunately for the Cardinals, Adel won’t put together a senior for the new-look program. Adel has decided to remain in the draft with the intent of hiring an agent for the 2018 NBA Draft.
The Louisville Cardinals finished (22-14) and didn’t earn a spot in the NCAA Tournament. However, circumstances surrounded the team with interim coach David Padgett taking over right before the season started. Adel was supposed to be a big time performer. Therefore, it was no surprise that he led the Cardinals with 14.9 points per game. He also grabbed 5.2 rebounds and 2.8 assists per game. Yet, Deng never became the go-to player on a regular basis that the Cardinals needed this season.
Consistently, Deng was able to knock down the 3-point shot. He averaged 34.8 percent over three seasons. He tied his career high 35 percent this season. However, Deng also converted on 50 percent of his 2-point attempts. Going forward, he should become an excellent mid-range player in the NBA. If he gets an opportunity to play a lead role in an offensive system, Adel may thrive. He has great size at 6’7” 200 pounds. However, Adel has to become a better ball handler to achieve his full potential on the offensive side of the ball. That’s especially true if Adel plays guard in the NBA. He averaged 2.3 turnovers last season as one of the go-to offensive weapons.
Adel can also up his level defensively. He may be tasked with the challenge of guarding elite scorers in the NBA. Due to his length and athletic ability, Adel would be a perfect fit for that role. Some may call him a potential 3-and-D guy. However, Deng is leaving early to be more than a role player, right? Therefore, we should expect more out of the Louisville product starting next season. Meaning, Adel needs to become more disruptive on the defensive side of the ball.
Interestingly enough, it may be a play that Adel didn’t make that will be the most memorable. When the Cardinals lost a four-point lead to the Virginia Cavaliers in the final second, Adel traveled with the ball on a baseline out of bounds. His blunder helped keep the Cardinals out of the NCAA Tournament. Moreover, Adel wasn’t able to showcase his ability on the national stage of March Madness. Adel had seven 20-point games this past season. He scored a career high 27 points in a January win over the Virginia Tech Hokies.