The Louisville Cardinal

Who is more important to men’s basketball in 2017-2018: Donovan Mitchell or Deng Adel?

By Dalton Ray–

Both Donovan Mitchell and Deng Adel declared for the NBA Draft, meaning men’s basketball can lose two of their three leading scorers. Since neither signed an agent, Mitchell and Adel have until June 12 to withdraw their name. We asked our staff if Louisville could keep one of the two, who would it be?

Dalton Ray – Adel

Adel is a difference maker with a higher ceiling than Mitchell. With his long and wiry frame, Adel is match-up problem that can guard three positions. Offensively, Adel showed signed of being a sniper from deep and will likely improve his 12 points per game average. If Mitchell leaves, Louisville can bring in a graduate transfer and Adel will step into the role of the first or second scoring option. Adel’s capability to do more makes him a more dynamic player.

Micah Brown – Mitchell

The loss of Mitchell would affect Louisville more than the loss of Adel. Louisville has V.J. King, who proved he can produce points in his limited minutes played last season, to replace Adel. U of L also has incoming 6-foot-2 freshman Darius Parry, who is listed as the No. 88 overall player on Scouts.com. While Mitchell averages 15.6 points per game, he averaged more rebounds, five, than Adel, 4.5.

Mike Gilpatrick – Mitchell

Adel is a great player, and has great upside, but Mitchell has been the cornerstone of the team. He has averaged more points, has a higher free-throw percentage and has led the team in threes. Mitchell was also projected to go in the late first-round of the draft and will be a lottery pick with more experience.

Jordan Shim – Mitchell

Louisville cannot afford to lose Mitchell because the team would lack guards, as only three are returning. The foundation of a strong Rick Pitino defense starts with the two experienced guards. Not knowing who to pair with Quentin Snider will be troublesome, and the defense would take a hit. Losing Adel would not have as significant impact because King can step into his spot. Losing Mitchell would be a major detriment on both sides of the floor.

Conner Farrell – Mitchell

Losing Mitchell to the NBA Draft would be undoubtedly a major blow. The sophomore guard led the team in scoring and was arguably the best perimeter defender in the entire ACC. The leap made by Mitchell in year two shows that he is more than capable of playing in the NBA. Adel, on the other hand, still has areas of his game he can improve on, primarily on offense. From ball-handling to becoming a consistent shooter from the perimeter, Adel would benefit from another year in Pitino’s system.

Matt Bradshaw – Adel

Losing Adel would be a bigger loss than Mitchell because Adel has much more untapped potential. Mitchell may have been 2017 All-ACC first team, but he has been inconsistent at best, particularly down the stretch. The final five games of the season Mitchell averaged 29 percent shooting from the floor, in comparison to Adel’s 54 percent. In addition to having more size and length than Mitchell, Adel can consistently score on the fast break and behind or in front of the 3-point line.

Jeff Milby – Mitchell

Mitchell can be the face of the Louisville basketball program. Last season, Mitchell often carried the Louisville offense. In this era of early entry to the draft and one-and-done players, it was almost inevitable that Mitchell would test the waters of the next level, but that doesn’t make his departure any easier a pill to swallow. Mitchell’s improvement in his junior year would’ve been key to a deep NCAA tournament run.

Photo by Nancy Hanner / The Louisville Cardinal