We all heard that Deng Adel handled himself quite well at the adidas Nations camp earlier this summer, but just how impressive he was is starting to become more apparent.
Draft Express, which covers the NBA Draft 365 days a year, says that of the college players in attendance at the camp, none were more impressive than the Cardinal sophomore.
#1) Deng Adel, 6'7, Forward, 20.5 years old, South Sudan, Louisville
11.8 PTS, 5.8 REB, 1.0 AST, .8 STL, 57.5FG%,
Deng Adel went through an up and down freshmen year at the University of Louisville under Rick Pitino, but he finished on a strong note and looked like he carried that momentum over into the Adidas Nations. His first season of college basketball was plagued by inconsistency and a minor knee (sprained MCL) injury, but towards the end of the year he earned some starts and put together one of his best performances of the year on the biggest stage, going head to head with Duke and Brandon Ingram in a Cardinals victory. In Los Angeles, Adel looked like a player who was building on that success, as he played with a sense of confidence, finishing third in points per game at 11.8 and tied for fourth in rebounds (5.8).
At 6'7 with a 6'9.5 wingspan Adel has a very solid frame that should continue to fill out with time. At this point in his career he is stuck between the small and power forward positions, something he will probably be able to get away with at the college level, but might become more of a problem as he gets to the pro game. He doesn't really excel in any one aspect, but finds various ways to contribute on both ends of the floor. He is not the quickest or most explosive guy, but he has a strong first step, and showed he can get to the rim on aggressive straight line takes. Adel plays with good energy, which is evidenced by the impact he has on the game both on the boards and in transition.
Last season with Louisville he proved he was a capable outside shooter in a small sample size, hitting 7 of his 20 attempts. He didn't showcase that aspect of his game in L.A. (0-3 3P) but did make some fluid mid-range moves out of the post and hit 72% of his free throw attempts. NBA scouts will also want to see him improve his passing ability, something he hasn't shown at this stage, but he was able to cut down on his turnovers after posting a sky-high 25% TO% last season. Given his length and mobility he has real potential to have an impact on the defensive end of the floor. He can cover ground from the paint to perimeter with ease, and can be a factor as a rim protector.
Adel has the physical tools to be an impactful college player, something that will earn him some NBA looks. He still has a great deal of room for growth, as he learns how to play the game under control, and at a high level consistently. His sophomore season at Louisville will be worth monitoring closely, to see if he develops his perimeter skill-set, polish and feel for the game.
The "breakout star" hype continues to build.