N'Faly Dante, Mali, Center, Class of 2020, Sunrise Academy, 15.4 Strengths
-Tremendous combination of size, length and reach. Big hands
-Frame is filling out impressively, has made major strides with it over the past year at Sunrise Academy
-Very good athlete. Fluid and mobile. Gets up and down the court well. Quick off his feet. Plays above the rim with ease
-Outstanding finisher off two feet. Has some memorable dunks over the course of the week, both cutting off the ball, running the floor, and following up misses on the offensive glass. Barely needs to jump to dunk
-Excellent timing as a rim-protector/shot-blocker. Put a lid on the rim and showed impressive potential as a defensive anchor
-Presence on the offensive glass
-Raw, but not clueless offensively. Shows some ability to score inside the post if he can get deep position. Has a hook shot. Even shows some potential making free throws and mid-range jumpers
-Competitive and physical. Knows his role and embraces it. Has a good on-court demeanor.
-Still at an early stage of his development, as all 15-year old 7-footers are. Has made impressive strides in the last year, but still has a long ways to go
-Lacks a degree of coordination offensively. Needs to improve his awareness and balance. Like many guys his age, still figuring out the nuances of the game. Demonstrates his rawness in stretches, struggling to catch the ball or air-balling close-range shots.
-Feel for the game is a work in progress. Passing ability can continue to improve
-Not all that comfortable leaving the paint defensively. Will need to learn how to get out on the pick and roll, bend his knees, and cover ground. Should be able to do it in time with good coaching.
Outlook We first saw N'Faly Dante at the U17 World Championship in Zaragoza last summer, where he was playing up as a skinny 14-year old and the youngest player at the tournament. He's spent the past season at Sunrise Academy in Kansas, where he seems to have made significant strides with his body, skill-level and basketball IQ. He was impressive throughout the week of practices, scrimmages and the actual game, demonstrating quite a bit of upside on both ends of the floor that will be very interesting to monitor over the next few years. Dante is years away from being a finished product, but left a strong impression and could develop into a significant prospect if he continues to work on his body and skill-set and keeps improving at the samerate.