For weeks I have been praising N’Faly and practically speaking into existence his membership on the 2019 squad and let me tell you, it’s looking pretty damn good. We all know him as the 6’11” center from Mali, but currently living in Wichita. Dante is an absolute stud who currently plays for Willie Cauley Stein’s old team and his coach constantly says how Kenny Payne helped shaped WCS into the player he became and basically includes Kenny Payne in his family. While he sees so many comparables between the two, he thinks Dante may have the higher ceiling and I tend to agree with that.
This past week the AAU Peach Jam has been going on and N’Faly has been a dominant force for his team. The other day he scored 7 of the first 13 for his team including two dunks. He runs the floor like an animal, his body is already looking NBA ready and he has a strong interior presence on defense. This kid is ready to make the leap and this week has shown just that. The 2020 center from Mali will hopefully make the leap but it’s up to him at this point…well and if he passes some tests.
While Dante is 6’11”, he has a wingspan of 7’5” which just makes him a beast. Watching some of his highlights, I feel like Dante is the closest to Bam. Bam was an absolute tank but he wasn’t the best shooter. His defense will set him apart from the others as he is a complete package with shot-blocking and rebounding and the ability to switch off the pick. The issue Dante may have is his outside shot. While he drains threes in his videos, his shot is just so inconsistent. With his height, he has the ability to again rebound and dunk but he’ll need to develop an outside shot and it will take patience from everyone. He has the peak of a Karl Anthony Towns with his athleticism and he can grow into a shot and with Kenny Payne, this is possible.
From an interview with the Athletic, Dante’s AAU director claims that they are doing everything possible to reclassify. The hardest thing to do is reclassify but it is even harder when English is not your primary language. His family wants him to reclassify and they love Kentucky, but again it will take time and it won’t likely happen until the end of the summer, if at all. They claim they are working “around the clock” to make it possible and by all accounts, he wants it to happen. Oregon and Kansas are possible contenders but I really think if he reclassifies, he is Kentucky’s to lose.
Here are my thoughts…if and it’s about 50/50 right now, IF N’Faly reclassifies Kentucky is in the driver’s seat. He could potentially stay home at Kansas and even Oregon is atop of is list, but Kentucky is the school he has his eyes on and his host family feels the exact same way. If I had to take a guess, I think he will reclassify but it would happen after Peach Jam and those AAU events. This gives him more time to visit, work on school work, and show off his skills against the elite of the elite. It may be a waiting process, but I think the Cats wrap up their 2019 recruiting class with N’Faly.