We have not yet heard from EJ Montgomery or Nick Richards about their plans to play basketball next season. If they both return to play for the Kentucky Wildcats is probably a safe bet. Adding Nate Sestina was a great way to add depth to the frontcourt, and Kentucky is still in the running for Kerry Blackshear and Jaden McDaniels (if you consider McDaniels a true big man).
But if Kentucky misses on those guys and/or one of Richards/Montgomery don’t return, will John Calipari be done getting big guys in the 2019 class?
N’Faly Dante was one of the first 2020 recruits to get an offer from Kentucky. According to 247 Sports composite rankings, he is the No. 10 player in the 2020 class and the No. 2 center.
At the recent Nike Hoop Summit, he measured at 6-11, 249 pounds with a 7-5.5 wingspan and 9-5 standing reach. Aside from being a shade shorter than Nick Richards, he is bigger than both Richards and Montgomery in every measurement.
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 legitimate spot if he should choose to go to college a year early.
Most believed that the LSU Tigers had the lead in Dante’s recruitment, but with all of the issues surrounding will Wade, you would have to think he is less interested in becoming a Tiger.
Then you’ve got recruiting ace Evan Daniels, who initially picked LSU for Dante but just changed his pick to ‘foggy,’ signaling that there’s real uncertainty as to what’s next for the big man.
Then you’ve got the possibility Kentucky could face Dante next season. In addition to LSU, the Tennessee Volunteers just offered Daly a scholarship. They’re in dire need of a big man if Grant Williams opts to stay in the NBA Draft.
For the Wildcats, not only would Dante add a third/fourth option in the paint, much like they had this past season, he is mostly known for being a tremendous shot blocker that can alter a game with his defensive presence.
As of now, Dante is likely to play through the spring/summer Nike circuit before announcing his decision. That schedule runs through mid-July.
Check out Dante’s highlights below.