June 6, 2017 Louisville, KY. (Analyzed Sports) By: S.K. Patrick
The Cardinals Reload Not Rebuild
When Donovan Mitchell announced his official NBA departure it seemed like a deep cut in the Louisville Cardinals’ wound. Mitchell is expected to be a first-round pick in the NBA Draft. But with recent news that wound may just need a band-aid. Guard Deng Adel plans to return for his junior season. Shortly after the season, Adel announced he would test the NBA waters. He was selected as a substitute and not originally invited.
Forward Jaylen Johnson left for early departure, making Adel the team’s No. 2 returning rebounder. Adel, who averaged 12.1 points and 4.5 rebounds for Louisville last season, will return as the Cardinals’ top returning scorer. He led the Cardinals in scoring over their final 6 games of the season, averaging 16.3 points while shooting 54 percent from the field. Against Duke in the ACC Tournament, he scored 21 points and was 7-14 from the field while grabbing 5 rebounds. Deng looks to become a stud and a breakout star this upcoming season but he’s not alone.
Coming from La Lumiere School in LaPorte, Indiana there is a stud coming to the Derby City. At 6’7″ and 175 pounds with a 6’9″ wingspan, Bowen is not an overwhelming presence from an athletic standpoint. In Brian Bowen, the Louisville Cardinals nabbed one of the biggest perimeter players in this year’s class. Bowen’s decision comes as a surprise. Bowen’s final 6 schools were North Carolina State, Creighton, Arizona, UCLA, Michigan State and Texas in September.
He is a gifted scorer with a high basketball IQ and has a feel for the flow of the game with the ball in playmaking position. Bowen established himself as the 18th-ranked player overall per Scout. Bowen represents another major addition to a recruiting class that already ranks among the nation’s best. Bowen will arrive on campus ready to provide an injection of scoring from the perimeter. Bowen is a lean, muscular wing with a scoring streak, and probably a 2-year player at the D-I level. The strange thing about him picking Louisville is the Cardinals already have a solid platoon of wings. V.J. King still has much to prove to live up to his own hype as a premier wing player.
A star class also includes frontcourt beast, Malik Williams. Dwayne Sutton averaged 12.0 points and 7.7 rebounds per game as a freshman at UNC-Asheville last season. These are all major moves for Louisville within the ACC. With Duke rebuilding and North Carolina searching for answers in its frontcourt after Tony Bradley to remain in the NBA draft, Louisville could now enter the 2017-18 season as the favorite to win the ACC.