Hoop Summit: Dante shows he's in mix to be 2020's No. 1 player
PORTLAND, Ore. -- Five-star sophomore N'Faly Dante is a big time prospect. Just how elite can he be?
National Basketball Analyst Eric Bossi has takeaways and the latest news on Dante, top three junior Charles Bassey and more from Tuesday night's World team practice at the 2018 Nike Hoop Summit.
COULD DANTE BE A TOP SPOT CONTENDER IN 2020?
Class of 2020 big man N'Faly Dante is already very highly thought of. He's proven to be a top 10 prospect in the sophomore class, but after seeing the strides he's made at the World team's Tuesday practice, I'm having a hard time thinking I could rank nine players in his class ahead of him.
Pushing 6-foot-11 with a 7-foot-5 wingspan and a 240-pound frame, Dante is at least a top three or four player in the class and likely needs to be in the discussion for 2020's top spot at this point.
He's huge, he can make mid-range jumpers, he's got a motor and athleticism. Dante's activity on the glass, as a scorer in the post and a rim protector, drew a lot of rave reviews from the assembled throng of NBA execs.
To this point, Dante has seen Kansas for an unofficial visit and the Jayhawks have offered. So have Oregon and LSU, among others. Kentucky hasn't offered yet, but has jumped into the mix. He doesn't have any visits scheduled in the near future and the Bel Aire (Kans.) Sunrise Christian standout is going to be a must-watch with MoKan Elite in the Nike EYBL this spring.
BASSEY BELONGS IN ELITE GROUP OF 2019 BIGS
Five-star big man Charles Bassey from Louisville (Ky.) Aspire is a prime example of why 2019 has a chance to be a special one for post players at the top of the 2019 rankings. Current No. 1 Vernon Carey gets the accolades for his skill and strength while seven-footer James Wiseman at No. 2 is high on upside. Bassey is in their class.
Physically, it's hard to believe Bassey is a high school junior. He's got an upper body that reminds me of Dwight Howard at the same age and he doesn't shy away from physical play.
Bassey told Rivals.com that since moving to Kentucky from Texas for last season, he's been focused on improving his skill and that he's really started to focus on eating right and maximizing his ability to perform. He feels the focus has resulted in improved game and he's right.
"My shooting has improved," said Bassey. "My IQ for the game has improved too."
Bassey said that he has not been on any visits recently and that he hasn't taken a deep dive into his recruitment just yet. He mentioned Kansas, Baylor, Texas A&M, Western Kentucky and Pittsburgh as schools that have shown interest and that he knows many others are looking to be involved.
FIVE STAR JUNIOR JOSH GREEN AMONG THE OTHER WORLD NOTABLES
* Five-star junior wing Josh Green hails from Australia, played his sophomore year in Arizona, his junior year at Bradenton (Fla.) IMG, runs with a West Coast Elite grassroots team based out of California and has a brother who plays at UNLV (Jay Green). He's got ties all over the place. He also has offers from Virginia, Maryland, California, Arizona State, USC, Kansas, Oklahoma, UNLV, Oregon, UCLA and many others. A few weeks ago he stopped by USC but Green said he doesn't have any other visits planned and won't cut his list for a bit. A versatile defender and good slasher, he's a jack-of-all trades type wing who had a nice Tuesday practice.
* One thing is for sure when it comes to five-star point guard Andrew Nembhard, the future Florida Gator from Canada who teams with 2018's No. 1 player R.J. Barrett at Montverde (Fla.) Academy can move the ball. A big and strong point guard, Nembhard is a big-time passer and a throwback point guard. He can score when needed, but is about running a team first and doesn't get sped up.
* Michigan-bound five-star forward Ignas Brazdeikis looked like the World team's best shooter. The Canadian is a strong and skilled offensive player who can stretch defenses and his 6-foot-7, 225-pound frame allows him to be a good post scorer as well. He looks like he should be ready to step right in and play important minutes for the Wolverines.
* One of the most fluid athletes for the World team is 6-foot-8 Wake Forest commit Jaylen Hoard, who grew up in France before moving to North Carolina to finish up high school. What stood out to me was his ability to move and defend on the perimeter and his quickness to the rim. Sometimes he settles for the jumper and he has to get stronger, but Hoard can help out Danny Manning and Wake on both ends as a freshman.