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2020 five-star center N’Faly Dante commits to Oregon, reclassifies to 2019

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.


Article written by Jack Pilgrim

Follow me on Twitter: @JackPilgrimKSR

77 Comments for 2020 five-star center N’Faly Dante commits to Oregon, reclassifies to 2019

  1. CarolinaC_A_T
    1:09 pm August 13, 2019 Permalink


  2. UKinMKY
    1:10 pm August 13, 2019 Permalink

    Money money money moooooney

  3. gasman01
    1:10 pm August 13, 2019 Permalink

    I’m not sure what these guys see in Oregon unless it’s another type of green.

  4. UKinMKY
    1:10 pm August 13, 2019 Permalink

    Don’t bother replying with your BS by the way, mashburnfan

    • Nugget01
      2:08 pm August 13, 2019 Permalink

      Good thing the KSR comment sheriffs are here to keep the streets clean by telling people what to say and when.

      Don’t you dare say something that doesn’t align with their opinions, or reprimand is in order, you UL/Duke fan / troll !

      (Actual hobbies are fun, too.)

    • sportsbird66
      3:03 pm August 13, 2019 Permalink

      I totally agree! Please don’t disagree lol

    • mashburnfan1
      10:56 pm August 13, 2019 Permalink

      I don’t knock Cal on recruiting, don’t like the way he does it but he has brought quality young men to the program, said it over and over. To me missing on a C is not that huge as guards are more important in NCAA ball, look what Auburns did to us last year and KState the year prior. Yes it would be nice to have an eliminator in there for when the guards blow by ours so often but I though that was what Nick or EJ would do, they just can’t block shots from the bench.

  5. Cokely53
    1:11 pm August 13, 2019 Permalink

    Looks like we’re just gonna be thin down low this year. Can’t believe we couldn’t get anyone else.

    • Shagaris Sock Puppet
      1:34 pm August 13, 2019 Permalink

      How is having Richards and Montgomery thin? That is two legit big men along with Brooks, Sestina and Whitney if we play small. Montgomery and Richards to me are going to be very good for us this year. We have scorers, all we need is people to contest shots and rebound and catch lobs.

    • Cat4life23
      1:42 pm August 13, 2019 Permalink

      Montgomery and Richards were busts from the beginning my friend

    • Cokely53
      5:06 pm August 13, 2019 Permalink

      3 guys for 2 spots is thin. Simple math. Sure Whitney and Brooks could slide to play the 4 but it’s not their natural spot. This wasn’t a troll comment, it’s just stating the obvious. Hopefully they get better but Nick and EJ make a lot of mistakes and are very foul prone.

    • ClutchCargo
      1:40 pm August 13, 2019 Permalink

      Dante would have been maybe the best guy to contest shots, rebound and catch lobs. Regardless, I think the small ball lineup is going to be our best bet, and we have plenty of bigs for that.

    • Shagaris Sock Puppet
      1:54 pm August 13, 2019 Permalink

      One, im not your friend and bust from the beginning? Two, I want what you’re smoking where you think players never get better and are robots that are all on the same growth pattern to be super successful right out of HS without hard work and coaching.

      And Clutch, how are you so certain an unproven HS player would have been our best option?

    • ClutchCargo
      2:04 pm August 13, 2019 Permalink

      Not certain at all, which is why I said maybe. He could have focused just on doing those things as a role player without the pressure of having to be the star. I don’t think this is a make or break thing either way, but it would have been nice to add one more big.

    • dcsports22
      2:08 pm August 13, 2019 Permalink

      Shagaris, You can’t fix stupid. Anybody with any knowledge at all knows that Montgomery and Richards are very far from being a “bust”. I’ve actually seen a few guys (that actually know a thing or two about basketball) make some very positive comments and predictions regarding Montgomery and Richards for the upcoming season. If either of them weren’t ready to contribute in a big way, the kid from Oregon would be on his way to Lexington right now. Unfortunately a few of our “fans” are a good reminder that you just can’t fix stupid!

    • Shagaris Sock Puppet
      2:34 pm August 13, 2019 Permalink

      Good point Clutch!

      dcsports, it just kills me troll or not, some of our fans are the worse! It is disgusting how even if hes joking to get some weird lame attention, why do it at the expense of a young man who chose to come to the university you cheer for?

  6. macesmith00
    1:11 pm August 13, 2019 Permalink

    Once again the highest paid coach in sport failed to sign the “bigman”. This upcoming season will reflect that.

    • dcsports22
      2:19 pm August 13, 2019 Permalink

      Imagine talking about a Hall of Fame Coach like that. Cal has had an amazing amount of success, and not to mention represented our program at an unmatched level. During a time where their has been so negativity in the sport and so many programs have been linked/involved. Our Coach has managed to compete at the highest level through it all and yet (contrary to what many predicted) has managed to stay above and away from all of the scandals etc.
      In regards to recruiting alone, Cal has consistently been at the top and has ended up with the #2 recruiting class in the nation. The team is loaded with talent and ready to yet again compete as one of the top teams in the nation.
      And this is the comment that you make. You’re either an idiot or a troll.

    • macesmith00
      3:05 pm August 13, 2019 Permalink

      Troll, nope I’m a UK fan. Have been my whole life. You can say im a idiot if you like, doesn’t change the fact that cal gets top recruiting classes because of the guards he signs. Who was the last legit bigman he signed? When your starting Center is going to be Nick Richard’s then that’s a problem. Cal literally missed on every big he recruited this year. It’s just facts

    • DelrayCat
      2:34 pm August 13, 2019 Permalink

      We have 2 maybe 3 bigs on the roster better than this guy. Chill.

    • macesmith00
      3:07 pm August 13, 2019 Permalink

      Who on our roster is better?

    • UK Big Board Update
      2:38 pm August 13, 2019 Permalink

      Mace lives in Nicholasville – what’d you expect?

    • macesmith00
      2:59 pm August 13, 2019 Permalink

      I live in Lexington for the record.

  7. Boro Boy
    1:12 pm August 13, 2019 Permalink

    UK isnt for everybody !!! Good Luck young man….Richards will need to be big for sure on a thin front line…hopefully Nick is much improved

    • DelrayCat
      2:33 pm August 13, 2019 Permalink

      He would not have started for UK. In fact, if Richards even improves a little bit, Farley would have played no more than 12-15 minutes a game and probably averaged no more than 6-8 points. He likely starts at Oregon.

    • macesmith00
      3:08 pm August 13, 2019 Permalink

      Yeah it isn’t for everybody, everybody must include every big he tried to get this year.

  8. nocode96
    1:12 pm August 13, 2019 Permalink

    Jack called it yesterday. We will be fine, the PAC just got a good player and I honestly think the PAC may actually put out some good basketball this year. Good luck to the kid, I know everyone is going to come in here bashing him or his handlers, a few will say Cal sucks, rinse, repeat.

  9. j
    1:13 pm August 13, 2019 Permalink

    Ugh. Always frustrating.
    Best of luck kid.

    • dave1964
      3:49 pm August 13, 2019 Permalink

      Richards will only lead the SEC in minutes on the bench he can’t guard a 5th grader with hacking him to death has bricks for hands. Those saying he just has to improve a little this guy would have to make a huge jump everyone says UK fans are the smartest WOW. We will win some games but will not have a deep run in the NCAA another wait until next season.

    • T-wah
      1:26 am August 14, 2019 Permalink

      Huh??? Try using some punctuation every once in a while.

  10. klyne
    1:14 pm August 13, 2019 Permalink

    Can someone send him a photo of Bol Bol sitting alone in the green room on draft night? Good luck next year in obscurity.

    • mashburnfan1
      12:49 am August 14, 2019 Permalink

      Bol was there because of injury. Despite that he was still there unlike Richards who was the #1 High School C when Cal got him 2 years ago and no NBA even wants him today. Maybe he saw that pic moron.

  11. CrocodileRunge
    1:21 pm August 13, 2019 Permalink

    The family atmosphere comes from the average attendance being 1/3 of Rupp’s

  12. M.R.S.A.-less
    1:22 pm August 13, 2019 Permalink

    Cal has truly lost his touch. We will be good this year. Not winning a national championship though. Can only win with young guys if they are all spectacular and the best of the best. We don’t have that

    • ClutchCargo
      1:25 pm August 13, 2019 Permalink

      So, Cal has lost his touch because he didn’t sign a young player, but it’s really hard to win with young players? Got it.

    • M.R.S.A.-less
      3:25 am August 14, 2019 Permalink

      He hasn’t signed the best. Young talent is fine if they are elite. Look at our most successful teams. Those guys were elite. We are not getting as many top guys as we used to. Sorry you all can’t accept it.

    • dcsports22
      2:23 pm August 13, 2019 Permalink

      I hope that one day I end up being #2 in the nation at something and I’ve been so ridiculously good that some chode will comment that I’ve “lost my touch”. Your comment sits comfortably among some of the most ignorant comments I’ve read in a while. Congrats.

    • 2andToodleLoo
      2:45 pm August 13, 2019 Permalink

      DCSports you get bonus points for using the word “chode.” Well done.

    • M.R.S.A.-less
      3:28 am August 14, 2019 Permalink

      Nice insult! Man I wish I had extensive vocabulary like yourself.

  13. Boro Boy
    1:23 pm August 13, 2019 Permalink

    Some kids do not need it …I understand that Ayton for example …but from a national media standpoint and TV exposure hard to understand…this kid will be on TV maybe twice this year and most people will be in bed

  14. VirginiaCat
    1:28 pm August 13, 2019 Permalink

    Dante found something in Oregon that he liked more than UK and other schools. It happens and has been happening a lot lately, but no reason to trash the kid or feed the paranoia that we lose recruits because of money. We will be fine, i.e., win a lot of games and get a few more players to the NBA. Dante’s message to his mother suggests that he is a quality young man and excited with his choice. We should all take the high road and wish him well.

  15. runningunnin.454
    1:43 pm August 13, 2019 Permalink

    Average attendance last year, UK-21,700. Oregon-8,500.
    Some guys just don’t like the bright lights.

    • VirginiaCat
      1:54 pm August 13, 2019 Permalink

      Apparently, these big guys didn’t like the bright lights either. James Wiseman, Isaiah Stewart, Vernon Carey, Jaden McDaniels, Matthew Hurt, Oscar Tshiebwe, Zeke Nnaji, Kerry Blackshear and N’Faly Dante. I’m thinking that we might want to issue sunglasses as part of our recruiting pitch. It might also be time to shelve the “Kentucky is not for everybody” spiel. Too many recruits are agreeing.

    • macesmith00
      3:13 pm August 13, 2019 Permalink

      This is exactly right, Cal gets guards but can’t deal the deal with elite bigs. It’s so bad in fact that grad transfers are the only saving grace. Yet call said he was against grad transfers just a few years ago, now he had no choice. I blame the weak assistant coaches (Tony Barbee, lmao)

    • macesmith00
      3:34 pm August 13, 2019 Permalink


    • runningunnin.454
      2:05 pm August 13, 2019 Permalink

      You going to stay up past midnight to watch him play? Only way anybody east of the Mississippi will see him is if they’re looking for a cure for insomnia…good news is that it would probably work.
      You do realize there are shenanigans involved in the recruiting process; we don’t play those games.

    • dcsports22
      2:27 pm August 13, 2019 Permalink

      VirginaCat, about 28 minutes before you posted this comment, you posted the one above. The post you made at 1:28pm was insightful, knowledgeable, and accurate. Then 28 minutes later you take the time to post this nonsense. I’m just trying to help. Whatever you did during those 28 minutes between your comments, don’t do it anymore.

    • 4everUKblue
      6:08 pm August 13, 2019 Permalink

      VACat is a mashbum wannabe. He wants to desperately to be relevant but he’s not.

  16. Dustin Rumbaugh
    1:49 pm August 13, 2019 Permalink

    I remain astonished about the idea of “handlers.” So completely obvious that he wanted to “hide” N’Faly away in Oregon so that other agents or “handlers” could get their hands on him. I really feel sorry in a way for kids like this. Not too sorry because he’ll still be a millionaire playing a game but he’ll lose money just so his handler can keep control. Sad.

  17. RexRox
    1:56 pm August 13, 2019 Permalink

    Obviously, the kid is doing what he thinks is best for him and his family. Many of us may not understand it (I don’t) but we should just wish him the best of luck and move on. UK is still UK and we’ll be fine.

  18. UKFanSC
    1:59 pm August 13, 2019 Permalink

    He will enjoy his one appearance on national TV, playing in front of 9000 stoners, his one appearance in the NIT, and all the exposure that comes with playing in a crap conference at midnight eastern time. He made his decision, he can live with it. Meanwhile we have more than enough to compete as is……

    • DelrayCat
      2:31 pm August 13, 2019 Permalink

      lol….like Lex doesn’t have its fair share of stoners.

    • UKFanSC
      2:47 pm August 13, 2019 Permalink

      Ha !! Point taken, but in Oregon you buy it at the 7-11 !!

  19. RealCatsFan
    2:19 pm August 13, 2019 Permalink

    The whole reclassification thing sounds shady to me – and yes, I know that UK has had several players do this in the past. My kid has a 4.3 GPA and is a Governor’s Scholar, and I couldn’t imagine her skipping her entire senior year to enter college a year early. Most of these kids appear to be athletes first and scholars a distance second, at best. So it seems kind of strange to me that they can get academics “in order” in such a short time span and still be able to make it at a major university.

    • DelrayCat
      2:30 pm August 13, 2019 Permalink

      Most insightful comment in this thread.

    • UK Big Board Update
      2:44 pm August 13, 2019 Permalink

    • UKFanSC
      2:47 pm August 13, 2019 Permalink

      You need a “handler”…..

    • ClutchCargo
      3:40 pm August 13, 2019 Permalink

      That actually is how it works, UKBB. The kids who “reclassify” to go to college and skip their senior year are almost always the ones who were held back for the reasons stated in that article. If you’re not in a rigorous course of study in HS, it’s easy to get enough credits to graduate in December in a lot of cases. Look at all the football recruits who do it Some summer school work could get you enough to skip senior year entirely.

  20. a21CATSfan
    2:20 pm August 13, 2019 Permalink

    You would think with all the success that Cals guys have had (in college and the pros), that these handlers would actually want the kids to choose UK every once in awhile. I understand taking a big bag of cash from dUKe, but not Oregon. Well, the team is complete and will be chasing an 8th Elite 8 (at least) in 11 years. CATS

  21. UKinIN
    2:24 pm August 13, 2019 Permalink

    The years have shown that Calipari’s defense requires a high level shot blocker. That’s the thing that will be missed most this season and the only reason for wanting to add Dante.

    • DelrayCat
      2:36 pm August 13, 2019 Permalink

      Uh..Richards will lead the SEC in a per minute basis…watch. And EJ will be a force.

  22. ColoradoCatFan88
    2:31 pm August 13, 2019 Permalink

    This team will end up being 1 recruit short of a championship. No way Richards, Montgomery, & Sestina are talented enough down low to get it done. We needed 1 of the 3 between Dante, Blackshear, & McDaniels. Would’ve never thought we’d strikeout on all of them. Especially with the way KSR hyped up each one basically calling them “ours to lose”

    • DelrayCat
      2:38 pm August 13, 2019 Permalink

      Blackshear was a true loss. But getting Sestina early may have played a big role. Still glad we got him. He will be a good player for UK. The other two are not going to be impact players this year. Mark my words. We are better off giving those minutes to Nick and EJ.

    • DelrayCat
      2:41 pm August 13, 2019 Permalink

      Meaning Dante and McDaniels…neither are one-and-done and neither is better than a third year Nick or a second year EJ. Definitely not some high school kid skipping his senior year.

  23. kentuckybackupplayer
    2:32 pm August 13, 2019 Permalink

    we are ten deep, relax

  24. Han
    2:49 pm August 13, 2019 Permalink

    What worries me about the so-called jam-packed 2020 class is back a couple years when we were told not to worry about misses because we were going to get Wiseman…

    • DelrayCat
      2:54 pm August 13, 2019 Permalink

      Sounds like same predictions for next year…lol. Either way…we are always gonna be in the hunt.
      In Cal We Trust.

  25. season-3-disc-2
    3:05 pm August 13, 2019 Permalink

    if cal can go to a final four with Harrellson as our primary big man then he could possibly beat team USA with these three. I am not worried we will be fine.

    • macesmith00
      3:18 pm August 13, 2019 Permalink

      This is a valid point

    • Bruce Dickinson
      4:53 pm August 13, 2019 Permalink

      That is a very true statement. Harrellson was one of my favorites but not the most talented.

  26. nocode96
    3:13 pm August 13, 2019 Permalink

    We all always only see this from a fan’s perspective when we should try and see it from the kid’s perspective. We all just assume that every tall kid with talent wants to be the next Jordan when that simply isn’t the case. Some kids just simply see their talent as a way to make a good chunk of money for a few years. At UK you have immense pressure from the entire nation, television talking heads, the coaching staff, and our fans. This thread alone is proof enough of how some of our fans take this stuff way too seriously. That’s a lot of pressure and god forbid you aren’t a mega star immediately, or have a bad stretch of games…that’s all that kid will hear about from fans here. I have distinct memories of tons of our fans talking trash to AD after a bad game…A freaking D!

    Not every kid wants to be identified exclusively by basketball. Oregon is a good school, has a decent basketball history, gets the coolest and newest gear, and just happens to be in one of the most picturesque states in this country. Everyone hear knows the phrase “Kentucky isn’t for everyone”, but it seems like a lot of folks don’t fully understand the scope of that statement. This kid will be fine, Oregon will be fine, we 190% will be more than fine, and the sun will still rise tomorrow. People fighting and getting angered by the decision of a teenaged boy will never fail to boggle my mind.

    • jaws2
      3:50 pm August 13, 2019 Permalink

      I’m sorry, you’re waaaaaaaay to logical to comment on KSR. You’ll have to refrain from posting.

    • runningunnin.454
      6:12 pm August 13, 2019 Permalink

      Good post, nocode96; but, I might debate the “Oregon has a decent basketball history” part. They won the very first NCAA championship; but, that’s it.
      Been a long time since 1939; they are not among the elite.

  27. TOMCATS1990
    3:57 pm August 13, 2019 Permalink

    College basketball is following right behind the NBA as Centers (Big Men) are less and less important. We will be fine without him as I think we play a lot of small ball this season

  28. Swizzle
    4:15 pm August 13, 2019 Permalink


  29. kjd
    8:20 pm August 13, 2019 Permalink

    Coach speak. They wanted him.

  30. BCO
    2:00 pm August 14, 2019 Permalink

    Youll never convince me these schools arent still cheating their @$$ off to win these recruiting battles.