Australian Star Dante Exum Still Weighing Options (UPDATED)
Dante Exum is one of the most intriguing names on the basketball horizon.
A 6-foot-6 guard from the Australian Institute of Sport, Exum is currently projected as the No. 9 pick in the 2014 NBA Draft by DraftExpress.com.
“He’s tremendous,” ESPN’s Fran Fraschilla, who spoke to Exum last week at the EuroCamp in Italy, told SNY.tv. “He’s in between being a point guard and a two guard. If he were in the States in the Class of ’14, he would be considered one of the best five players in the country.”
Exum — who graduates from high school in November — is keeping his options open, including entering the 2014 NBA Draft and enrolling in an American college for the 2014-15 school year before potentially entering the 2015 NBA Draft.
“Dante is being recruited by several schools and has not made any decisions regarding college choices,” his father, Cecil Exum, a naturalized Australian citizen who won an NCAA championship alongside Michael Jordan at North Carolina in 1982, told SNY.tv by email.
“He has not made a short list. The schools that are recruiting him are Indiana, Oregon, Georgetown, LSU, Boise State, SMU, Colorado, and Kansas. Kentucky, Duke, UCLA, Ohio State, and Louisville have showed interest.”
Cecil said that his son had no plans for official visits “as of yet.”
“We won’t make any more decisions until the end of the year,” Cecil said.
Indiana has strong ties to Exum and it is no accident that Cecil mentioned them first.
“He loves the college feel in Bloomington and the basketball tradition,” NBA.com’s Scott Howard-Cooper wrote.
Exum, who was born in Melbourne and turns 18 in July, is hoping to compete for Australia in the upcoming FIBA U19 World Championship in Prague June 27-July 7 despite a stress reaction in his leg.
“He’s currently suffering from a stress fracture,” Fraschilla said. “He’s hoping to play in the U19 World Championship for Australia. It’s going to be touch and go because of the stress fracture right now.”
In April, Exum went for 16 points and three rebounds as the World Team beat Team USA, 112-98, in the Nike Hoop Summit in Portland, Ore.
Exum played alongside incoming Kansas freshman Andrew Wiggins in the event (Wiggins is expected to make his first practice with Kansas today – Monday.)
Wiggins is projected as the No. 1 pick in the loaded 2014 NBA Draft, but one advantage for Exum of going to college in 2014 would be that he wouldn’t be eligible for the draft until 2015.
He would thus have a year of college under his belt and wouldn’t have to compete with Wiggins and company in the 2014 Draft.
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Adam Zagoria is a New York Times contributor and Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.