Oregon Ducks sophomore center N’Faly Dante has seen his production increase during his second season in Eugene, after being cleared to play by the NCAA late in his freshman season following a knee injury. Dante’s minutes, points, steals, blocks and rebounds per game have all increased in Year 2. A season ago, the big man saw most of his offensive production come on lobs from Boston Celtics 2020 first round pick (26th overall) and Naismith Trophy award finalist Payton Pritchard. This year, Dante has been able to use his length and drop-step to average nine points per game on 65.6-percent shooting from the field.
Dante has been a force defensively, averaging 1.5 steals and 1.2 blocks per game. Most players at the Oregon center’s size (6’11, 230) aren’t nimble enough to get down in a defensive stance, but Dante he sits in the chair and moves laterally on the perimeter in pick and roll situations.
As is usually the case with modern big men, can Dante do the little things to make it at the next level? Those include, but are not limited to, conditioning, defending without fouling and boxing out consistently. Those are the question marks scouts will have when breaking down his game. His free throw inefficiency has also ranked as an area of concern. The Bamako, Mali native has enough upside, however, to hear his name called in the first round of the 2021 NBA Draft.