BAYTOWN, TX.—Size and more size seems to be the priority of the Class of 2013 for new LSU Men’s Basketball Head Coach Johnnie Jones and this past week he made sure of that when he secured the commitment of forward Deng Deng out of Lee Community College in Baytown, TX.
The 6-8, 215-pound Deng is originally from the Sudan before stops in Egypt and Melbourne, Australia led him to the United States and the game of basketball.
“I see him (Deng) as a three-four (small forward-power forward) combo kind of player once he arrives at LSU,” Lee Head Coach Roy Champagne said. “He is a solid basketball player. He has that European-style pass and cut brand of basketball that he enjoys playing. He has a lazy jumpshot, the Manu Ginobili type of player but he is 6-8. There isn’t anything that he cannot do on the basketball court. There are some things that he is not great at, but he is very good at all phases of the game.
“I would have to say that one of the biggest things that he needs to work on is his frame. His lower body is very thin. He needs to get bigger there so he can become more powerful. He can of course improve his jump shot.He is a great mid-range player. He can shoot the 3-pointer, but people think if I can make one then I am a three-point shooter. For him to become a consistent outside shooter he is going to have to work on that. I think the strength that he will develop once he arrives on campus (at LSU) will make him a better 3-point shooter. His biggest strength is his quickness. Don’t lose sight of him if you are a defender because he will dunk on you or he will block your shot attempt. He will drop a Pete Maravich-type of pass on you as well. He knows how to play the game and he brings a great amount of intensity to the floor. He is a great rebounder and shot blocker but obviously and this is the case with a lot of kids today that they don’t want to be an on-ball defender, but Deng has a tremendous amount of pride. I can tell you right now today he will not be a defensive liability and he will only improve once he arrives at LSU and gets better and understands what they are trying to do on both sides of the court.He is very long and uses his head wisely by giving a lot of space to cover and then pounces on you.”
Academically Champagne said that he expects Deng to graduate Lee and doesn’t foresee a problem qualifying to come to LSU and playimmediately.
“We have a good track record of our kids graduating and Deng will be no different,” Champagne said. “I’m not worried about him (academically).”
Deng’s coach said that when it came to making sure that LSU is the place for him his star player chose Jones and the Baton Rouge campus for a number of reasons.
“First and foremost the Southeastern Conference is a good league,” Champagne said. “LSU is a national brand and obviously Coach Jones has his worked cut out for him and I am sure that he will rise to the occasion andbring the Tigers back to prominence. Deng really seemed like he wanted to be apart of that. Back when he was in Australia he was a big Shaquille O’Neal fan and had a good feel and liked the LSU-brand. Obviously he now gets to make it his own.”