PRINCETON, NEW JERSEY -- Luol Deng, a highly skilled 6-8, 217 pound small forward from Blair Academy in Blairstown, N.J., had a shaky start in the first half against St. Benedict's High School of Newark, New Jersey. Deng struggled to find space in a swarming St. Benedict's defense in the first two quarters. The highly ranked forward was held to just five points.
But with his team struggling offensively, Deng took over in the second half. He hit four jumpers in the second half and scored 19 of his 24 points in the final two quarters. Deng ran hard up and down the court. He retrieved 11 rebounds and blocked seven shots.
His effort helped Blair cut the huge gap to four points in the fourth quarter. Though his team lost this New Jersey state prep final, Deng showed the packed house at the Hun School why he is a top five player.
It's also why so many coaches have come to watch him in person and why many more have already offered him a free ride to play college basketball.
Deng continues to say he is open. Duke, Maryland, North Carolina, Virginia, Rutgers, Seton Hall, Villanova, Missouri, Florida and George Washington are some of the schools being mentioned. He has no plans on taking official visits right now in the spring but we will keep an eye on this part of the process. Players have been known to change their minds.
Deng previously said he has a sister who attends Maryland and cited Karl Hobbs as a big factor for his affection for George Washington. Deng's older brother, Ajou Ajou, played at UConn where Hobbs was an assistant coach. He has since transferred to Fairfield.
This July, Deng does plan on attending the Nike All-American Camp and playing in AAU events with Rich Leary's New Jersey Demons squad. He may attend several spring events with the Demons depending on that program's travel schedule. We will keep you posted when he makes his travel plans. He is worth the price of admission.