Kentucky’s roster for the 2019-20 season is officially set.
This afternoon, 2020 five-star center N’Faly Dante announced in a post on The Players’ Tribune that he will be reclassifying to the class of 2019 and signing with the Oregon Ducks.
In the article dedicated to and written for his mother, the 6-foot-11 center said that it is a “dream come true” to play in Eugene this upcoming season.
“I’ve been really lucky to have some of the best college teams in the country offer me a chance to pursue an education at their schools,” he said. “It’s something that I know is a dream come true for both of us. Throughout this process it’s been important to me to choose a place that I know you’d be proud of. A place where I will get a strong education and that has a family atmosphere. I’ve put a lot of thought into it, and I’m excited to tell you that next year I’m going to be attending college and playing basketball at the University of Oregon. Oregon has a program that reflects a lot of the values you taught me when I was growing up. And I hope that someday I get to show you around Eugene.”
Dante chose the Ducks over scholarship offers from Kentucky, LSU, Iowa State, and Tennessee, among several others.
With this decision, Kentucky’s 2019 recruiting class is now complete, meaning Memphis will officially finish with the No. 1 class in the nation. The Cats finished No. 2 overall.
Sources tell KSR that Dante’s decision ultimately came down to Oregon and Kentucky, with multiple people in his inner-circle pushing for both programs. The now-2019 prospect’s handler, though, was a strong advocate of the Oregon program and maintained one of the loudest and most trusted voices throughout the entire process. While Dante was a big fan of John Calipari and the UK basketball program, and there were other supporters of the Wildcats associated with prized big man, the Ducks ultimately came out on top.
While this is yet another swing and miss in the class of 2019 in terms of talented big men, with Kentucky missing out on the likes of James Wiseman, Jaden McDaniels, Vernon Carey, Isaiah Stewart, Kerry Blackshear Jr., and Dante, sources tell KSR that the UK coaching staff was relatively indifferent on adding another member to the roster at this point in time. While they would have loved to have him from a depth perspective, they are confident in their roster from top-to-bottom and feel it is absolutely capable of winning a national title as-is.
And with that, we can officially move on from the 2019 recruiting class and on to what should be a jam-packed class of 2020.