Now that many high schools are starting to let out for the summer, spring AAU basketball is really picking up.
Last weekend, the Nike EYBL circuit was in Indianapolis, and it did not disappoint. There was some marquee matchups, some outstanding individual performances, and some stars beginning to emerge.
Perhaps the player that came out of Indianapolis with the most momentum is 2020 center N’Faly Dante. Dante averaged 16.5 points and nine rebounds per game, shooting a very impressive 85.2% (29-34) from the floor. He also racked up 11 blocks in the four games he played, and had two games where he had five blocks in each.
He continued to build on his reputation as a rim protector, but Dante also established himself as a more consistent offense player this weekend as well. He led his team to a perfect 4-0 record against tough competition, and he was named the most valuable player for the tournament.
Back on April 12th, Ben Roberts of the Herald-Leader reported there is a legitimate chance that Dante could reclassify to 2019. He is also hearing that Kentucky would be a potential landing spot if he should choose to go to college a year early.
Now that the Jaden McDaniels debacle seems likely to end with him wearing purple, Kerry Blackshear is seriously considering the NBA, and there is more buzz around EJ Montgomery staying in the draft as well, you would have to think that Dante is likely to become a priority for Kentucky. And after his performance in Indianapolis, the competition for his services will likely be growing as well.
If he were to reclassify to 2019, Dante would come in and play immediately, bringing a skill set that none of the other Kentucky bigs possess. We could see many dominoes start to fall this week with the NBA Draft deadline approaching and potential Jaden McDaniels decision any day.
Whether it happens in 2019 or 2020, Big Blue Nation would be lucky to have Dante suit up in Kentucky blue. He continues to emerge as a special talent, especially at the center position in 2019. Keep an eye on him for the rest of the spring, as we will likely hear more buzz about reclassification if that becomes an option.