Versatile Lee College forward Deng Deng made a verbal commitment to Baylor on Sunday and is planning to sign Monday.
Standing 6-9, Deng played every position on the floor for Lee during the past two seasons, and averaged 19 points and 12 rebounds as a sophomore. Widely recruited by schools across the country, Deng visited LSU, Nebraska and Baylor before making his decision.
Deng said Baylor is attractive because of its Christian atmosphere and business school. He believes Baylor coach Scott Drew’s up-tempo style will fit his talents.
“Wherever the team asks me to play, I’ll do it to win a championship,” Deng said. “I like the way Coach Drew lets people play, and I can play all different positions. I’ve been watching them play, and I saw how Isaiah Austin played different positions.”
Deng is a native of Sudan who moved to Melbourne, Australia, when he was 9. After growing up playing soccer, he switched to basketball when he was 15.
“I was about 6-foot and then I just started growing,” Deng said. “I also began dominating at basketball against my friends, so I said, ‘Why not play it?’ I had great coaching and I fell in love with it.”
Lee assistant coach Marcus King said Deng has a large skill set that allows him to play anywhere.
“We call him a five-tool guy,” King said. “He’s very versatile. He can score, rebound and is a good passer. . . . He’s an enigma who can stuff the stat sheet.”
King said Deng can score inside and outside, and has the athleticism to push the ball.
“If he rebounded the ball, he could start a fast break,” King said. “If we needed a low-post presence, we put him inside. If we needed a 15-footer, we could get that from him. He’s very skilled, and has a very fine game and is athletic.”
King said Deng suffered a stress fracture in his ankle in the last game of the season.
“He’s out of his boot and walking, and will be fully released in three weeks,” King said.
Deng will be the fifth signee in Baylor’s 2014 class as he joins Our Savior New American guard Kobe Eubanks, DeSoto forward T.J. Maston, Oakwood guard Damiyne Durham and Indian Hills guard Lester Medford.