Exum Talks Tar Heels

Australian phenom Dante Exum confirmed on Thursday that North Carolina's Roy Williams – who coached his father three decades ago – has indeed offered him a scholarship.

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

Exum, a 6-6 guard in the 2014 class, has close ties to UNC and its head coach. His father, Cecil, played for the Tar Heels in the early ‘80s, including the ‘82 national championship year. Williams was an assistant coach on those teams.

"Yeah, I like them," Exum said of UNC. "(I've) grown up knowing them and would like to see more of them and what they have to offer."

Williams and his staff got their first glimpse of Exum at the adidas Super 64 event in Las Vegas last July. It was a limited viewing and his UNC recruitment didn't progress beyond that point.

"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.

However, there was no opportunity to evaluate Exum in the United States on the 2013 circuit. He played in the Hoop Summit, an international all-star game in Oregon, in April, which was closed to NCAA coach evaluation.

"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."

Those results at the international FIBA tournament spoke for themselves. Playing for the Australian National Team, Exum earned All-Tournament honors after averaging 18.2 points, including scoring 33 points in the quarterfinals and a 28-point, 5-assist outing in the bronze medal game.

Exum discussed with UNC the possibility of an official visit and he said they are "planning for one."

The earliest opportunity for a Chapel Hill trip would be in late October. Exum graduates from the Australian Institute of Sport earlier that month.

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

The other schools slated to get visits? Kentucky, Michigan and Oregon. He already took a first official visit to Indiana this past January.

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."

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)."

However, college won't be the only decision Exum is faced with in the coming months. His 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 the draft conversation is amazing," Exum said.

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

"I'm not too sure," he 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."

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