Deng Adel resists early out, chooses to get better at UofL

Deng Adel won’t be joining Donovan Mitchell in the NBA draft, at least not this year (Cindy Rice Shelton photo).

He could have gone. Some around him probably think he should have. Second thoughts may be inevitable. 

But Deng Adel won’t be entering his name in the National Basketball Association draft this season. He will be showcasing his considerable skills with the University of Louisville next season.

Not succumbing to the seduction of some easy money, not taking the bait, not disappearing into obscurity like so many before him. Listening, heeding the advice of knowledgeable people who know he can do much better.

Go back to school, go play for Rick Pitino, go get better and, barring injury, move yourself into position to be a lottery pick, one of the top 14 players to be named, in the 2018 NBA draft.

Good for Deng Adel. Good for the University of Louisville.

Adel averaged 12.1 points and 4.5 rebounds last season, starting 30 games as a sophomore. He finished the campaign strong, the leading scorer in the final six games, averaging 16.3 points.

As Adel goes, so will go Louisville basketball during the 2017-18 season. He should be highly motivated, ready to take his game to another level. A decision that could reap enormous benefits for his future livelihood.

 

Gorgui leaves indelible mark on Louisville basketball

Gorgui Dieng is saying goodbye to Louisville, and the community won’t be the same. His basketball skills, positive attitude and wisdom will be missed.

A bittersweet wave of relief was felt by UofL fans when his name was the 21st to be called in the NBA draft. While no one wanted to see Gorgui go, they feel protective of him and are concerned about his future. But he wants to go and fans want most for him to be happy.Gorgui-Dieng

He symbolized the humility and hunger of a team that was constantly striving to get better and won for the University of Louisville a third national championship in basketball. Sending him off to the NBA was kinda like throwing him to the wolves.

As it turned out, he would wind up with the wolves, the Timberwolves of Minnesota after first getting picked by the Utah Jazz. He and Shabazz Muhammad would be traded by the Jazz for Trey Burke of Michigan.

UofL fans are going to have to make an effort to keep up with Gorgui, with him moving to an outpost in Minnesota. And they won’t be seeing much of him on TV, having  joined a team with a 31-51 won-lost record in the NBA’s Western Conference this past season.

Whether Dieng could have improved his stock by staying another season at UofL will never be known. He and Rick Pitino felt professional basketball was the best move for him, and now was the time to go. Gorgui was a first-round pick so there is some comfort that his future is relatively secure financially.

Going to be tough for UofL fans to let go of him, hoping Gorgui can handle all the challenges coming his way.

April 28 the date that matters

The uncertainty on whether Gorgui Dieng and Russ Smith will stay or go continues, with Gorgui said to be leaning toward leaving, Russ toward staying. They’ve both gone back and forth, at least in their public utterances.

Adding to the confusion is that they may not know themselves, each in the awkward position of getting a feel for their prospects in the NBA draft, which is scheduled June 27. The NCAA deadline of April 16 came and went without any announcements. If Gorgui or Russ had declared their intentions before that date, they couldn’t change their minds. The only date that matters now is the NBA deadline of April 28.

Kenny Klein, University of Louisville sports information director told the Courier-Journal:

“If you hadn’t sent any paperwork in to declare for the draft, you didn’t have any reason to pull out by April 16 to remain eligible for future NCAA competition. An individual could just do nothing and still have until the NBA deadline of April 28 to make his decision on entering the draft.”

The CJ also reported that Dieng is rated No. 16 by ESPN draft analyst Chad Ford, and Smith is at No. 46.

Siva was never going anywhere

The idea of Peyton Siva leaving early hadn’t occurred to anyone we know, probably not even him. He’s still got much to accomplish at the University of Louisville.

But someone thought they had to ask the question, catching Siva at the Derby Festival’s Night of the Future Stars in New Albany. He responded as expected, adding that’s everyone’s coming back … as expected.

Samuels Follows Impossible Dream

What could have been is now impossible.

Samardo Samuels won’t be sticking around the University of Louisville  to develop his potential. With delusions of being a National Basketball Association draft pick, Samuels is apparently hiring an agent, according to an ESPN report.

If that’s true, he’s gone.

Sad to see a player with so much untapped potential make such a sorry decision. From statements his father had made earlier, it was obvious the old man considered the draft a foregone conclusion.

Samuels will be lucky if his name is called in the first five rounds if he is drafted at all. More than likely he will wind up playing basketball overseas. That’s obvious even to the most casual fan. The pay may be decent, the food good, and the lodgings okay but these amenities fall far short of NBA standards.

One wishes Samuels only the best, and hopes he keeps his daddy happy.