There is a pretty good consensus that LeBron James, the most talented player in the class of 2003 or any class over the past 20 years, is likely to test the NBA waters once his senior season is complete next year. So why recruit him in the first place?
But Luol Deng is at least going to sniff at some schools. But could he end up with James in the same position by the time he completes his senior season? Well, only time will tell.
James, a great playmaking guard who can shoot the lights out, is being compared to former NBA great Magic Johnson. Normally, I push those types of comparisons aside. But James does remind me of Magic.
Deng is a big man who can block shots and affect the game defensively too. So if both players actually made themselves available to colleges, and you had to choose one, who would it be?
It would be a hard choice for sure. But a lot would depend upon whether you need someone to block shots and rebound inside or have a great leader like James directing your offense.
They are both great players. Deng, a highly skilled 6-8, 217 pound small forward from Blair Academy in Blairstown, N.J., told us he is interested in Duke, Maryland, North Carolina, Virginia, Rutgers, Seton Hall, Villanova, Missouri, Florida and George Washington.
Deng said he has a sister who attends Maryland and cited Karl Hobbs as a big factor for his strong feelings toward the program of George Washington. Hobbs is the head coach at GW.
As a sophomore at Blair, Deng averaged 22 points, 12 rebounds and five assists per game. A multidimensional player, Deng can handle, pass and shoot the ball with tremendous efficacy for someone of his size. In some ways, he does the same things as LeBron James.
Deng also has great international experience and appears to be maybe the most mature player on the court in the 2003 class. He rarely makes silly mistakes.
Deng plays for the national team of his adopted country, England, during the summer. His family is originally from the Sudan but he has spent much of his life in England.
Next 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.
Well, whatever your choice, both are great players. And being selfish, rivalshoops.com hopes that both Deng and James play college ball. We can hope, can't we?