Exum draws college, NBA interest

One of the hottest names in the amateur basketball world is Australia native Dante Exum. He informed Scout.com he's looking at five schools, is looking to take visits soon, plus discussed the possibility of the NBA Draft.

Dante Exum is a unique 2014 basketball recruit. Although Exum isn't stationed in the United States, the Australia native has drawn the eyes of college basketball coaches and NBA scouts.

Last year Exum played in the adidas Super 64 in Las Vegas and then at adidas Nations. Since then Exum, a 6-foot-6 guard, has built his profile overseas playing for the Australia U19 National Team and playing in the Nike Hoop Summit.

In the U19 World Championships, Exum earned All-Tournament honors after averaging 18.2 points, including 33 points in the quarterfinals and a 28-point, 5-assist outing in the bronze medal game.

Exum's impressive international performances have garnered serious NBA interest and as an international player he will be draft-eligible in 2014. He's projected by Draft Express and ESPN as the No. 3 pick, should he choose to bypass college and enter the pro ranks immediately.

"It's always something I have dreamed of and to finally have the chance to even be in draft conversation is amazing," Exum said about the possibility of going pro next year.

There's currently no timetable for his decision between college and the NBA in 2014.

"I'm not too sure," Exum said. "Really when I think it's the best time for me to decide and I've explored all options to find the best one for me."

If Exum does decide to go to college, he has a list of five schools – Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, North Carolina and Oregon -- he is considering.

Indiana jumped out to a strong start with Exum, as they had him on campus for a visit in mid-January. Exum raved about that visit when he left campus.

"Everything that they said on the phone lived up to what I was expecting," Exum said following the visit. "I was even surprised about the coaching staff and all the stuff about basketball and how much they cared about the players and how much it seemed like a family. That's something I really liked about it."


College or NBA for Exum?
North Carolina has strong ties to Exum and recently offered him a scholarship. Exum's father – Cecil Exum – played on their 1982 championship team and was coached by Roy Williams, who was an assistant at the time.

"They offered about a month or so ago," Exum said, referring to a phone conversation with Roy Williams. "He was introducing me to the program and how I can have an impact on their program."

Williams and his staff got their first glimpse of Exum at an AAU event in Las Vegas last July. It was a limited viewing and his UNC recruitment didn't progress until recently.

"They said they hadn't really watched a lot of my game play and weren't offering as (of) yet because they were focused on the 2013 class," Exum recalled.

"They wanted to watch me this summer but I didn't head over to the states and they saw my results at the U19 World Championships and were looking for that."

When assessing these five finalists, with Indiana he highlighted its "development of players and I feel comfortable with the coaching staff," for UNC it's "close to family and (I've) grown up watching them, Oregon's got a "great coach and great style of play," at Kentucky it's the "development of players to the next level," and with Michigan he's "always been interested in their program and they have a great coach."

Indiana is the only school that Exum has visited to date. He said he's hoping to change that in the fall.

"[I'm] planning to do some [visits] in late October and later this year after school," he said.

With his high school graduation slated for October, there had been reports earlier this year that Exum might enroll at a college this winter, joining a program for its second semester. Exum refutes that possibility.

"I don't think it will happen," he said. "If I go to college it will be in August (of 2014)."


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