The assumption in basketball circles has been that Australian phenom Dante Exum will never be a collegiate ball-player.
A talented, 6-foot-6 point guard, Exum has shot up NBA Draft boards since putting on a show during the U-19 World Championships this summer. He’s been recruited by a number of schools stateside — his only visit has been to Indiana — and as the son of a former Tar Heel, he’s kept his options (and his eligibility) intact.
But the general consensus for some time has been that Exum will enter his name in the talent-laden 2014 NBA Draft, and according to a report from Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports, Exum has spent the last couple of weeks meeting with potential agents at his home in Sydney.
Woj quotes two agents in the story. One said, “I would be shocked if he doesn’t enter the draft,” and the other was quoted as saying, “I can’t imagine him not coming out.”
It would make sense. Exum is currently rated as the fifth-best prospect by Draft Express, behind only Andrew Wiggins, Jabari Parker, Julius Randle and Joel Embiid.
Illinois suffered another blow in what has already turned out to be a brutal season.
Mike Thorne is expected to miss the rest of the season after tearing his meniscus. He reportedly underwent surgery on Monday to repair the injury.
Thorne, a transfer from Charlotte, was starting at center for the Illini and doing a good job of it as well. He was averaging 13.4 points and 8.4 boards, although Illinois has started off the season 3-4.
The reason for that slow start has mainly been those injuries. Tracy Abrams is already out for the season after tearing his achilles, and the Illini training room looked like a M.A.S.H. unit. Kendrick Nunn just returned two games ago from surgery to repair a torn thumb ligament. LeRon Black is still getting back to speed after offseason knee surgery. Jaylon Tate is back after dislocating a finger. Jalen Coleman-Lands was slowed by a stress fracture.
John Groce entered this season on the hot seat, and dealing with all of these injuries certainly isn’t helping his cause.
We talk about a lot of stuff of the podcast today, mainly because a lot of stuff happened since we last spoke with you all.
For starters, we need to discuss the ‘realness’ of Syracuse and Xavier. Are they both truly top 15 teams, or do they just have top 15 resumes? We also dive into Chris Mack’s epic troll-job of Dayton at the Advocare Invitational final.
Other topics we touched on: Whether or not Scott is ever going to apologize to Wayne Selden, Wichita State’s tournament hopes, Texas A&M and whether we’d take Ben Simmons, Kris Dunn or Denzel Valentine today.
As always, you can subscribe to the podcast in iTunes right here. It’s the quickest way to get access on your cell phone or tablet.