Australian point guard Dante Exum is one of the most highly sought-after players in the 2014 class. There’s his skill level, as Exum possesses the size and versatility that few players in his class currently have. And there was also the fact that, since he’s scheduled to complete his high school studies in October, Exum would have the ability to enroll in college at the end of the fall semester.
That possibility is off the table however, as Exum told Jeff Goodman of ESPN.com that he has no plans of going that route. Also of note is the fact that it isn’t a lock that Exum will play a minute of college basketball.
“Schools have been saying I can start in early December and play this season,” Exum told ESPN. “But if college is the option, I’ll stay in Australia, do workouts with the national team and then go to college next August. Playing this season in college is not an option.”
Exum, who turns 19 on July 13, told ESPN that he remains 50-50 on whether to bypass college or go to the NBA.
Exum also revealed the five finalists for his services should he attend college: Indiana, North Carolina, Kentucky, Michigan and Oregon. As an international player, the NBA Draft withdrawal deadline for Exum would be ten days before the 2014 NBA Draft (which will be held on June 26, 2014). That means that even if Exum were to commit to a school before then, there’s still the possibility of him going pro.
That possibility likely affects the way in which Exum’s five finalists go about filling the remainder of their scholarships for the 2014-15 season.
When it comes to discussing some of the game of basketball’s best players, specifically those who went directly from high school to the NBA, a question that’s often asked is where said player would have attended college if forced (by rule) to do so. Kevin Garnett, Kobe Bryant and LeBron James are among those who have been discussed in this manner, and in the case of LeBron he’s got connections to two programs within his home state of Ohio.
LeBron’s connected with the Ohio State program, which is outfitted by the Nike’s LeBron signature line, but there’s another program with an even closer connection. That would be Akron, which is led by head coach Keith Dambrot, and all he did was serve as LeBron’s high school coach at St. Vincent/St. Mary’s HS in Akron during the player’s freshman and sophomore years at the school. Also on those teams were two future Akron Zips in guard Dru Joyce and forward Romeo Travis.
Thursday the school announced that it would be honoring James, Joyce and Travis with bobble head dolls to be given out before Akron’s home games against Buffalo (February 16; Joyce’s bobble head), Bowling Green (February 26; Travis) and Ohio (March 1; James).
All three bobble head dolls are wearing Akron uniforms, which in the case of LeBron allows fans to think back and imagine what could have been. Season ticket holders guaranteed one bobble head per account (on each of the three giveaway days), with the first 750 fans in attendance to receive one as well.
The gang is back together again for another episode of the NBCSports.com College Basketball Talk Podcast, with Rob Dauster hosting and Raphielle Johnson and Scott Phillips joining him. Today’s episode touched on big wins picked up Thursday night by California and Indiana, discussing the performances of those teams and also touching on their prospects down the line.
Also discussed were the recent performances of Iowa State, Providence and Texas A&M (which are you more worried about?), and some of the top games on this weekend’s schedule headlined by Kansas visiting Oklahoma. And if you’re a fan of seafood, you may take umbrage with some of Rob’s comments at the beginning of the podcast.
As always, you can subscribe to the podcast on either iTunes or Stitcher, and there’s also a link to listen to this podcast below. Thanks for listening.