Deng Adel’s versatility adds options for Pitino

By on November 11, 2015

By Dalton Ray–

“He’s the hardest person to guard on the team. He is so strong and has a great understanding of the game. His strength when he is making a move is hard to keep up with, and he has such a high basketball IQ,” said Donovan Mitchell of his fellow freshman teammate, Deng Adel.

The 6-foot-7 forward is one of the many newcomers to the U of L basketball team.

Adel is originally from Sudan, Africa but then moved to Melbourne, Australia before he moved to America. He played high school ball at Victory Rock Prep in Florida, where he was as an all-state selection.

Head Coach Rick Pitino thinks highly of what Adel can provide on the defensive end. With a seven foot wingspan and a frame that can add weight, he could be an elite defender in the near future.

“He is probably the best defender on the team,” Pitino said. “For a freshman to be a team’s most outstanding defensive player, that’s a huge compliment to him, but I mean it. He is one of the five best freshman defenders I’ve had.”

Pitino said Adel is “quick laterally, active with his hands, long, athletic and knows his terminology and is a quick learner.”

While his biggest strength will be on the defensive end, Adel still likes offensive and has a respectable game. He averaged 19 points a game in high school and hits a high percentage from the free throw line.

“I like to drive and attack the rim, get fouled get to the free throw line,” Adel said. “But at the same time, you have to respect my shot as well. When you are aggressive driving to the rim the defenders are going to fall for head fakes.”

Adel will be an all-around player and a stat-stuffer in the years to come. The more he gets on the court, the more he will contribute because of his versatility. Along with averaging 19 points, he added eight rebounds and four steals.

Coming out of Victory Rock Prep, Adel was ranked between 23rd and 47th in the country and was considered a five-star by He also held offers from UConn, Florida and Virginia Tech.

Adel followed a path similar to U of L teammate Mangok Mathiang. Both were born in Sudan and moved to Melbourne, Australia. Adel said that Mathiang has had one of the biggest impacts on his athletic career.

“It’s been tremendously helpful,” Adel explained. “Mangok just has that extra bit because he’s been in the system a while. He makes everybody gel together and work harder. He knows coach more than we do, so he’s kind of ahead of the curb with knowing what coach wants us to do. He’s a really vocal leader. He brings a lot of intensity, which makes everybody else better and play harder. He does a good job leading.”

Adel is going to a be utility man for Louisville. Whether he is attacking the basketball, rebounding or excelling on the defensive side of the ball, Adel will add to the success of the program.

About Dalton Ray

Sports editor (2016-18) that is technically award winning.Email: [email protected]

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