After already inking returning US college star Anthony Drmic to a 2-year deal, the Adelaide 36ers have invested in another college standout in Louisiana Monroe graduate Majok Deng.
Deng, a Sudanese-Australian refugee, arrived in Australia in 2000 and played his junior basketball in Adelaide. He is excited to be returning to where his career all started and linking with head coach Joey Wright.
“I started playing basketball in Adelaide, so it’s great to have the opportunity to come home and continue my journey,” stated Deng in a media report.
“I think Joey is one of the best coaches in Australia – he is renowned for his player development. He is a player’s coach who wants to see everyone in his team get better.”
Deng, who has signed on with the 36ers for three years, enjoyed an outstanding senior year with the Warhawks. The versatile 6'10 forward was second behind only Ben Simmons in scoring across all Australian's in NCAA Division I basketball last season and sixth for all internationals, posting an impressive 18.4 points per game. He shot 47.9% from the field, including 37.6% from beyond the three-point line to go with 7 rebounds, 1.9 assists and 1.6 blocks per game. Doing it at both ends of the court, Deng also managed to record 14 double-doubles in 2015/16.
In Sun Belt conference play, Deng was even better. He posted a league-best 19 points per game while also leading the conference in blocks (1.9), third in minutes (37.5) and offensive rebounds (5.3), fifth in three-point field goal percentage (42.1%), sixth in three-pointers per game (2.3), seventh in rebounding (6.9) and eighth in free throw percentage (79.3%). Needless to say, Deng was outstanding and picked up a host of post-season awards, including being selected to the All-Conference First-Team, Sun Belt All-Tournament Team and NABC All-District 24 First-Team. He was also named to The Pick and Roll's All-Australian First Team, with his emergence an unexpected yet welcome surprise this season.
Deng can score, posting three 30 point outings last season, including a career-high 33 points in a much-needed win over Troy. In that game he connected on an impressive 12/20 shooting, monstering his opponents inside and out. He would finish with 4/9 from long-range and 5/7 from the line with 6 rebounds, 2 assists and 3 blocked shots in that standout performance.
Deng will also bring athleticism and an ability to play inside and out to the 36ers this season, with an ability to stretch teams with his dangerous three-point shooting. It is something that Wright is certainly looking forward to.
"I feel he’s a great fit for our system, and I love how hard this young man works on his game," shared Wright. "He has a bright future in the NBL."
Adelaide has quietly been assembling a very talented and young roster, with Deng and Drmic joining Mitch Creek, Nathan Sobey, Daniel Johnson, Matt Hodgson, and Brendan Tey on the squad so far with imports yet to be added.
SEASON MIN FG% 3P% FT% REB AST BLK STL TO PTS 2015-16 36.3 47.9% 37.6% 81.3% 7.0 1.9 1.6 0.7 2.2 18.4 2014-15 30.7 44.2% 34.5% 76.5% 7.3 1.1 1.3 0.6 1.4 10.7