In Chapel Hill, basketball is a religion. We as fans worship it and will follow it until the earth stops spinning. It’s a way of life that has defined each and every one of us in who we are. We love our coaches and our players, but these days, we have a keen eye as to which players, coming up in high school, have the potential to be the next big star in Carolina blue. We read analysis, watch mixtapes, and even travel to showcase events to watch the next crop of collegiate greats in order to give us the slightest bit of certainty, that the future is in good hands.
One guy that has turned a lot of heads, but has stayed almost under the radar is Dante Exum. Not many Carolina fans know who Dante is, but they really should. Exum is on of the top high school prospects out there and curently plays on the junior national team in Austrailia. He’s a point guard with a lot of size at 6-4 and terrific ball handling skills. He is very creative and gets his teammates involved in the game play similar to Kendall Marshall and is an absolute gem in transition which plays to North Carolina’s strength. Exum can finish above the rim, but also has a soft touch around the basket.
I think the best thing about this kid is that he has ties to North Carolina. His father, Cecil Exum, played alongside James Worthy and Michael Jordan in the 1982 championship game against Georgetown. Being from Austrailia, Exum could choose to play professionally out there before heading to the NBA, but he has made it clear that he would like to play in college like his dad. Obviously, the Tar Heels are on his list of schools he has an interest in, but no offer has been issued as of yet.
In my opinion, North Carolina needs to offer this kid a scholarship. Roy Williams has made it clear that he wants a point guard in the 2014 class. I’m not sure if that’s because he wants to give himself security if Marcs Paige decided to jump to the NBA after his sophomore seaso or whether he just wants three guys to split the time. Either way, Exum is a recruit that males sense. The fact that he is a combo guard like Dexter Strickland would give Roy and his staff flexibility. Dante could play the two in order for him to get the right amount of minutes, but he would be available to handle the ball at any given moment.
The one hitch in his game is his outside shot. He can make it, but it doesn’t come as naturally as someone like Paige’s from the point guard spot. However, if he were to develop his shot then there is no limit for how good Exum could be. Things seem to come extremely easy for him on the court and he just has a great feel for it. I know Carolina fans are high on guys like Joel Berry and Shelton Mitchell, but don’t overlook Dante Exum.