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3 Reasons Why We Might Want Dante Exum

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If you feel like we’ve started talking a lot about Dante Exum as of late here on KSR, it’s with good reason. The kid is taking off in the world of basketball. Exum will finish school in Australia in November, and then he will likely enroll somewhere for college to play during the second semester of this upcoming season. As of now, that is Exum’s plan. Kentucky could join the mix for Exum’s services, especially if Kyle Wiltjer’s scholarship becomes available. Exum said recently that Indiana, Michigan, Louisville, LSU, SMU, Tulsa and Kentucky are recruiting him the hardest.¬†Here are 3 reasons why Kentucky might want Dante Exum:

1. His star is on the rise

The original thought was that a guy like Dante Exum could come in and provide some depth to a team already set up to contend for a national championship. Exum might have other ideas though. After a string of recent strong performances in the Hoops Summit and in the U-19 FIBA World Championships, Exum’s star is clearly on the rise. When a mock 2014 NBA Draft came out yesterday that put Exum as the 3rd best prospect in a LOADED 2014 draft class, some heads started to turn. In fact, Exum might be the hottest name in the recruiting world right now as he gears up to make a decision toward the end of the summer about which school he will attend during the second semester.

Even though Exum would be joining a roster a little later in the season, likely having to play catch up wherever he goes– he might not be “backing up” anyone for very long. Exum could likely share point guard duties with Andrew Harrison, but could also play off the ball in an Eric Bledsoe-like role. Will a guy who is potentially good enough to get most or all of the minutes somewhere be willing to join a back-court that already includes Andrew Harrison, Aaron Harrison and James Young? If so, allow yourself to revel in the possibility of 3 lottery picks running the guard positions for Kentucky next year. Yikes.

2. He could be the shooter we need AND he’s a good defender

Dante Exum is not Jodie Meeks. Let’s make that clear up front. But if Kyle Wiltjer is not a part of this Kentucky team for next year, the threat of an outside shooter must be filled with a host of good, but not great shooters (think 2010 Kentucky team). Exum might already be a slightly better shooter than the guys Kentucky has to try to fill that role. Exum will finish on enough 3 pointers that teams will have to extend out to try to take it away. When that happens, Exum is also an excellent finisher at the basket. He will either put it away, or get fouled.

As if Exum’s offensive abilities weren’t enough to make you swoon, Exum is a good defender AND wants to be a big-time defensive stopper in college. ¬†With a 6-5 frame for a guard, Exum can put a lot of pressure on undersized guards, creating turnovers and deflections. The Harrison twins and James Young all have good size for guards as well. If you add Exum to the mix, this Kentucky could become a nightmare for opposing teams if they decide to press.

3. So Louisville or Indiana doesn’t get him…

Sometimes when you see a player decide to attend college elsewhere, you literally never see them again (Anthony Bennett to UNLV or Shabazz Muhammad to UCLA). The situation becomes somewhat of an “out of sight, out of mind” type of thing. Dante Exum is very high on Indiana right now, and Louisville is not too far behind. Many believe that those 2 schools are essentially the frontrunners, at least until Kentucky officially jumps in the mix with both feet– which may or may not happen depending on Wiltjer. If Exum decides to go to Louisville or Indiana, due to his late enrollment and the fact that we don’t play IU, we might not see him directly–but rest assured we will hear about him. Louisville is already a contender heading into next season with quite a few returning pieces from last year’s national championship run. Adding a terrific combo guard like Exum would only help the Cards close the gap with the Wildcats talent-wise. I wouldn’t consider Indiana a contender next season (It’s hard when you lose a top 5 draft pick Michael Jordan mistake like Cody Zeller), but the Hoosiers adding Exum would just make them more annoying than they already are. And Exum would live the rest of his life thinking that a Sweet 16 was the equivalent of a national championship. And we can’t have that.


And if all of those reasons weren’t enough…try watching this:

Article written by Ally Tucker

I once successfully requested "The Wobble" to be played 6 times at one wedding.

44 Comments for 3 Reasons Why We Might Want Dante Exum

  1. Why Wouldn't We?
    2:35 pm July 6, 2013 Permalink

    Why would we not want him? He is a great Kid and a real talent. Has the complete game. Would love to have him!

  2. Beavis
    2:38 pm July 6, 2013 Permalink

    If it means telling Kyle good luck, Willis to go home or Hood to walk on, we want Exum!!!!

  3. Brow Down
    2:41 pm July 6, 2013 Permalink

    He is going to IU (if he even goes to college), pay attention.

  4. Thanks So Much
    2:43 pm July 6, 2013 Permalink

    Yes #3-We must Bow Down for Brow Down. We are not worthy to touch the hem of your gown, Your Highness.

  5. Harrison Twins
    2:44 pm July 6, 2013 Permalink

    Are we going to the D league or are we headed to Europe?

  6. bigbluetrue
    2:48 pm July 6, 2013 Permalink

    Exum is a pure baller. I like EVERYTHING about his game. When I was watching the Nike Hoop Summit I remembered saying, “who is that kid?” when Exum was making play after play. At times, he looked like the best player on the floor. He definitely would be a fantastic mid-season pick-up. His style of play best fits UK. If he went to UL, Pitino would be trying to figure out a way to keep him at least 3 years since they are not a one and done school. LOL!

  7. Depth
    2:51 pm July 6, 2013 Permalink

    We should want him for depth. Lets face it, outside of polson and hawkins, we have 3 true guards on the team and they are all freshman. I love Poythress, but he is not a great ball handler and plays more like a small power forward.

  8. New to the Comment Section
    2:54 pm July 6, 2013 Permalink

    What am I missing ? Why all the recent allusions to the idea that the twins will joy play for UK this season ?

  9. New to the Comment Section
    2:55 pm July 6, 2013 Permalink

    Will not play that is … Autocorrect thy essence is evil

  10. blueaville
    2:58 pm July 6, 2013 Permalink

    he has already said he will not enroll in college for this upcoming season

  11. I Know Where You are Going
    3:02 pm July 6, 2013 Permalink

    #-You are a really good poster. We know where you are going and it won’t be the D-League or Europe. Good luck there. You’ll need it.

  12. I Know Where You are Going
    3:02 pm July 6, 2013 Permalink


  13. me
    3:03 pm July 6, 2013 Permalink

    Sorry, he isn’t coming here to play back-up for 8 weeks; he goes to IU most likely, I agree with Brow Down.

  14. Han
    3:10 pm July 6, 2013 Permalink

    8) Just a troll. People last year claimed Noel wouldn’t qualify. Year before, it was “Davis will never play.”

    13) It’s also possible he wants to spend 2014-15 in college.

  15. Mc
    3:10 pm July 6, 2013 Permalink

    I don’t think he goes to a college period, although it’d be great to have him. I think #5 is talking about the Harrison Twins the male models. I googled Harrison Twins and unfortunately they showed up. He must like male models. I don’t want to know what the “D” League is. Sounds dirty.

    3:33 pm July 6, 2013 Permalink

    I don’t understand the hype. I know he “beat” team USA, which had players like Randle and the Twins on it, but Dakari Johnson and DeAngelo Russel annihilated Jabari Parker’s Simeon team. Doesn’t mean either should be considered better players than Parker. I don’t doubt that he is really good, and can help a college team pretty well. But I don’t see how he is the game changer everyone is thinking he is. I don’t see how he would help “close the gap” at schools like IU or UofSmell. Louisville already has 2 5 star guards, plus Russ Smith. Maybe he could help IU, but I don’t see Crean jilting Indian’s beloved Yogi Ferrel for this foreign piker. Plus he is coming in for like 2 months and that’s it. Not the best for melding him into a loaded team, which UK and UofL are.

  17. Chaz
    3:37 pm July 6, 2013 Permalink

    Ally, Agreed, Exum lit up the Nike Summit. Now I’m going to refute your three reasons why UK may need him.

    1) His star is on the rise – we have a few freshmen whose pre-season star has already risen – Randle, Harrison, Harrison, Young, plus a few more whose stars are rising still – Lee, Hawkins, Johnson. Plus some older stars still on the rise – WCS and Alex P. How much room in the sky for more stars?

    2) He could be the shooter we need – Aaron Harrison and James Young may disagree we need another shooter. Remember there are five players on the floor to share one basketball. Alex P. looked pretty good last year also.

    3) So UL or IU doesn’t get him – Win some, lose some in the recruiting game.. Cal’s job is to develop the players he has.. pretty nice record on that chore so far.

    Conclusion: we’re already loaded for the season. Cal does a great job making teenage all-stars into a team between November and March. Why would he want a January addition, especially with this class?

    note – Jarnell Stokes would have been a nice catch in 2012, if only to be on the team in 2013. Otherwise, Cal’s got this mid season addition thing under control.

  18. Randle
    3:50 pm July 6, 2013 Permalink

    Jody Demling from the tard site thinks uofl will get Exum.

  19. Cal is the man
    4:20 pm July 6, 2013 Permalink

    Dumbest comments ever. If Cal wants him, we want him. Simple as that. Trolls and dumb asses need to stop commenting.

  20. Yea!
    4:29 pm July 6, 2013 Permalink

    You are right on the money #19!

  21. All In
    4:32 pm July 6, 2013 Permalink

    My take on it is that with any young team- and UK is always one of the youngest teams in the nation year in and year out- it takes the entire season to build the team chemistry to the level of national championship contender. To toss in a “new” guy of Exum’s caliber nearly halfway into the season is a coin toss, particularly when we are already pretty well loaded with talent as it is. If Exum does spend a half of a season at a college, he is not going to want to be a “role” player or someone to added “extra depth”…he will go where he will be a main cog. And lastly, Andrew and Aaron have been playing together their whole lives. Not only is that a tremendous plus in terms of their on-court chemistry coming in, but- to bring in a guy like Exum who would suddenly “steal” seemingly quite a few minutes from Aaron? Blood is thicker than water man…we brought in- and BOUGHT IN TO- bringing the Twins here for the 2013-2014 season. Let’s stay “all in with the Twins”, as Matt would say. For all of the above mentioned reasons, I believe that bringing Exum into the mix would do more harm than good to this years UK squad team chemistry, in spite of his obvious individual talent.

  22. Come on
    4:43 pm July 6, 2013 Permalink

    #6. Exactly , what guard with athletic talent would want to surrender their strengths to play in a syst em that by accounts takes a year to learn and a coach notorious for head games and holding back freshmen? Remember what Marquis Teagues’ brother told him. You never see any NBA guards coming out of Louiville.

  23. Uncle Wes
    4:50 pm July 6, 2013 Permalink

    18) Darn right. I will pay whatever it take to get a high level player.

  24. Wow, Mr. Original!
    4:56 pm July 6, 2013 Permalink

    OMG! #23-I think this is the first time you have used this angle to post your crap. Your originality is stunning and actually blinding in its brilliance.

  25. Get Lost
    4:58 pm July 6, 2013 Permalink

    Come out and show your face little coward. Yes, you #23. Step forward and take your punishment like a Man.

  26. James
    4:59 pm July 6, 2013 Permalink

    Don’t want him at UofL. He could give them the guar that they are missing now that Siva is out of the picture. They think Chris Jones is going to be elite but name the last JUCO transfer that played at a high level on D1.

    And Jody Demling thinks UofL is going to get every player. He’s an idiot.

  27. Ridge Runner
    4:59 pm July 6, 2013 Permalink

    Is Cal ok with starting Polson and Hawkins in the backcourt, or is he looking at some unsigned juco guards?

  28. BBN
    5:00 pm July 6, 2013 Permalink

    According to recruiting articles I have read on this kid, IU and uofl are his leaders.

  29. really??
    5:12 pm July 6, 2013 Permalink

    Dude,Bennett was never heard from again??? Lol. Okaaaay.smh.

  30. Puhleeze
    5:12 pm July 6, 2013 Permalink

    @22 – Thank you for illustrating the difference between the two COLLEGE programs. One focuses on the college and developing the team members as players and men. The other focuses on the NBA almost exclusively.

  31. James
    5:14 pm July 6, 2013 Permalink

    Will someone do a definitive post on the Harrison Twin situation so we can shut these trolls up once and for all?

  32. Reality
    5:18 pm July 6, 2013 Permalink

    31) Given that Sandy got Bledsoe, a functional illiterate, eligible, you can bet these 3 will all be eligible.

  33. John W
    5:23 pm July 6, 2013 Permalink

    So some of you all are saying you don’t want a projected top 3 pick? Alright, got it.

  34. Pot Calling Kettle
    5:25 pm July 6, 2013 Permalink

    First,#32, you aren’t exactly a scholar. Aside from that,you have no business posting here. Bledsoe is a wealthy young man who works very hard at his craft. You don’t even have a craft. Get Lost.

  35. Reality
    5:26 pm July 6, 2013 Permalink

    Wish you all could se what I do each day. Ha.

  36. Louisville1Cal4
    5:29 pm July 6, 2013 Permalink

    If by “focuses on the college & developing the team members as players” you mean keep them on the team & destroy almost any chance of them going pro, then yes, you are correct.

  37. My Take
    5:33 pm July 6, 2013 Permalink

    29- Point well taken. But I believe Ally was referring to the fact the we (Kentucky fans/ The Big Blue Nation), basically heard very little to nothing about Bennett and Mohammed at all during last season…because they both went to West Coast schools…whereas had they been at a U of L or an IU instead, we would literally have them shoved in our face all of the time due to regional proximity (IU & U of L) and actually facing them in the regular season (U of L). In other words, Ally was saying that Exum to IU or Exum to U of L would be vastly different than what we experienced in losing out on Bennett and Mohammed for those very reasons I just mentioned.

  38. what you do
    5:35 pm July 6, 2013 Permalink

    35- no wants wants to watch you masturbate dude…sick…

  39. Art Vandalay
    5:51 pm July 6, 2013 Permalink

    Its evident the kid isn’t from the USA and has no idea what Pitino has done to NBA draft aspirations of top level talent if he’s considering playing at UofLol for a semester.

    Although I wouldn’t mind seeing Pitino take a projected top 3 draft pick and turn him into a 3 year role player.

  40. mudcreekmark
    6:53 pm July 6, 2013 Permalink

    So if Bennett would have came to Kentucky he would have been better off? That was one of the dumbest arguments for coming to UK that anyone has ever made.

  41. Louisville1Cal4
    7:25 pm July 6, 2013 Permalink

    It’s funny you use the name Reality. In reality, UK is college basketballs greatest tradition & UofL is not, they aren’t even close to holding that distinction. THAT’S reality.

  42. Puhleeze
    6:01 am July 7, 2013 Permalink

    First it’s “Rick can’t recruit like Cal.” Now it’s “Rick can recruit like Cal, but he kills their talent.”

    You guys in BBN love to play the spin game. Like how guys who only stay 1-2 years are drawn to UK basketball for the tradition, when almost every single recruit says “NBA” right off the bat. Lulz.

  43. Mark
    11:57 am July 7, 2013 Permalink

    Wow, some talk going on here today :). Kentucky does not really need this guy this year. We are loaded at the guard positions. Maybe next year would be better? I don’t really care what IU or UofL gets. We aren’t playing IU and over the past 4 years Louisville has managed to win once. This year, I think if we can get past Michigan St. in the early part of the season, the sky is the limit. He could maybe do us some good next year but Cal has offered some really talanted players already.

    6:20 pm July 7, 2013 Permalink

    My partner and i value, lead to I uncovered just what I’m writing about to get. You’ve got broken this 4 evening extended search! Lord Bless you gentleman. Have a good working day. L8rs