Dante Exum is a name we’ve talked about here on KSR briefly, but not in great detail. Now with the potential and seemingly likely news that Kyle Wiltjer will transfer schools, the talk about Dante Exum has been brought back onto the table. Dante Exum is a 5-star point guard out of Australia with great size (6-6) who plans to enroll at a college in time for the second semester this season. Exum began to really jump on the scene with his standout play in the Nike Hoops Summit earlier this summer.
The Australian native is in a unique position. Exum turns 18 on July 13th and could turn pro in 2014 after spending a year at the Australian Institute of Sport (how fun does that place sound?). Exum has said though that he would like to play college basketball first before entering the NBA Draft. Exum is currently ranked as the 18th best overall player in the class of 2014.
Over the past few months, Indiana and Louisville have both emerged as two of the schools pushing hard for Exum’s services. Both schools had scholarships available, while Kentucky did not at the time. Even though there was some initial interest between Exum and Kentucky, the lack of an available scholarship made it highly unlikely that Lexington would be the destination after the fall semester.
With Wiltjer’s likely departure, the possibility for Kentucky and Exum to make contact again could gain some traction. Caipari will already have a point guard in Andrew Harrison in place for this season, so it will likely take some convincing to Exum that he could be the Eric Bledsoe to Harrison’s John Wall. IF Exum was interested in staying for another season though, he could be Calipari’s point guard in 2014 after gaining a semester of experience in the system.
ESPN’s Fran Fraschilla sees Exum as a bit of a combo guard anyway, so the fit might not be too outlandish. “He’s tremendous,” Fraschilla said. “He’s in between being a point guard and a two guard.”
Exum seems himself as becoming a big time defender at the college level, utilizing his superior size at the guard position. “I want to be a lockdown defender,” Exum told Rivals.com. “That’s one thing I want to be, the guy that can lockdown anyone on the other team and become a great defender.”
Exum has mutual interest from the following schools: Indiana, Oregon, Georgetown, LSU, Louisville, Boiste State, SMU, Colorado, Kansas, Kentucky, Duke and UCLA.
Keep an eye on Dante Exum’s name over the next few months…