There are always players that truly emerge during the spring evaluation period as potential five-star prospects. This year, one of those players was Deng Adel, an Australia native who came to America in the fall.
After he continued to impress during May and June, Adel was one of the most sought-after wing forwards in the country – but Louisville had its foot in the door for several weeks and would be tough to beat.
Most thought it was only a matter of time before Adel committed.
That time came on Monday evening, when Adel popped for the Cardinals.
Adel is Louisville's first commitment in the class of 2015. With Adel off the board, only three of the top nine small forwards in the 247Sports Composite rankings are still available.
The file on … Deng Adel
- Height: 6-foot-7
- Weight: 185 pounds
- Position: Small Forward
- Ranking: No. 46 in 247Sports Composite
- High School: Victory Rock Prep (Fla.)
- AAU: Florida Elite
- Stats: 15.3 points, 6.7 rebounds during Adidas Gauntlet (16 games)
How he fits at Louisville: Adel is a long athlete that will continue to get better as he plays more on American soil. He's only been in the United States for less than a year, yet his game is growing at a rapid rate. Offensively, Adel's ability to finish at the rim and knock down the 3-point shot is what stands out. He has good range on his jumper, but is also capable of going off the bounce and taking it into traffic. He's not a great ball-handler or playmaker, two areas he could improve upon over the next couple years. Defensively, he has the tools to be very solid at that end of the floor. The effort is there, too. Adel will likely replace Wayne Blackshear when he arrives at Louisville, as Blackshear will be entering his senior season. Pitino needed a wing forward in this class, and Adel is that guy. Incoming freshman Shaqquan can play multiple spots on the perimeter, while Terry Rozier, Anton Gill and Quentin Snider will be the only other returning players in the backcourt. There are minutes to be had for Adel in the 2015-16 season; fortunately for Pitino, Adel's ceiling is very high.
What it means for Louisville's class: Adel is the first commitment in Louisville's class, and he does fill the small forward aim for Pitino in 2015. The Cardinals will likely lose at least three players from the upcoming season, with Chris Jones and Wayne Blackshear entering their senior seasons and Montrezl Harrell expected to enter the NBA draft. Terry Rozier could be another early-entry candidate if he has a breakout season. There are still several targets in the class of 2015 for Louisville, though, most notably in the backcourt. The Cardinals are going to be shorthanded at the guard position, especially if Rozier leaves, and Pitino is in pursuit of several options. Antonio Blakeney is the prime target, but Kentucky offering him over the weekend puts into doubt whether he's favoring Louisville anymore. Five-star scorer Allonzo Trier is another main option, but Arizona is squarely in the mix there. Donovan Mitchell received an offer over the weekend, and the New York native has risen up the board. Isaiah Briscoe and Bryant Crawford are also names. Up front, local forward Raymond Spalding has long called Louisville his favorite. Five-star Stephen Zimmerman is also on the board, but a name to keep an eye on could be power forward Aric Holman. The Kentucky native boosted his stock over the weekend, and Louisville is interested.
Which school loses the most: There has been a general feeling for a couple months that Louisville was the likely landing spot for Adel, so it's hard to say another school really felt confident about Adel at any point in the process. When we spoke to him last month, he said LSU, Florida, Connecticut, SMU, Virginia Tech, Georgia Tech and others were involved. Word is that Cincinnati was set to make a push if Louisville fell through.