Notes from Dante Exum’s performance in FIBA U19 quarterfinals

  • 07/05/2013 11:44 am in


Class of 2014 guard Dante Exum led Australia past Spain, 87-76, in the quarterfinals of the FIBA U19 World Championships on Friday in Prague, Czech Republic.

The 6-foot-5, 195 pound guard, who took an official visit to Indiana in January, finished with 33 points, five rebounds, four assists and four steals.

Here are a few observations from the game, which was broadcast live on

— Spain came into the game 5-1 and the clear favorite, but had no answer for Exum. The combo guard was 9-of-18 from the field and 12-of-13 from the foul line and made some huge plays down the stretch as a 24-point lead for Australia crumbled all the way down to six in the game’s closing minutes.

— Exum set the tone early on as he opened the scoring with a 3-pointer just 27 seconds into the game and had 10 first quarter points. I counted that he was fouled a total of six times in the first quarter and in most of those instances, Spain simply could not stay in front of Exum. He came into the game just 17 of 28 from the foul line through six games, but was automatic on Friday. European Prospects reported that Exum was fouled 18 times in the game.

— Defensively, Exum’s length helped him get his hands on a lot of balls for deflections that either led to steals or heavily disrupted Spain’s efforts to get into its offense. The five steals tied Spain’s Alberto Diaz for a game-high. And when Exum was successful in picking off passes, he got into transition quickly and either finished plays at the other end, set up a teammate or drew a foul.

— One of the more impressive offensive moves Exum made came at the beginning of the second half, in which he scored 20 points. He took a pass on the right wing, pump faked just outside of the 3-point line and made one explosive dribble to about 18-feet and knocked in a jumper. That bucket pushed Australia’s lead to 47-31.

— Another key play that gave the Australians confidence in the first half came at the 4:23 mark of the second quarter. With a 33-22 lead, Exum went past three guys in transition, was fouled as he went toward the basket and finished through solid contact. He landed awkwardly into a sign on the front of a bench sitting on the baseline, but got up and knocked in a free throw to complete the 3-point play.

— There were probably a few passes Exum would like to have back — he finished with five turnovers — but for the most part, he made great decisions and tried to make the easy play rather than going for the home run. Spain tried at least four different guys on him and the results were fairly consistent throughout: Exum did what he wanted to do on his way to a brilliant performance.

— Here’s a postgame interview with Exum from DraftExpress:

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  • Brklynhoosier

    OK, I was hurt when Theo Pinson turned us down, and I’m still grieving a little over Trey Lyles (no matter what Dan Dakich says). But if we don’t land Dante, I might not leave the house for a day or two…

  • Hoosier_Follower

    I really like this guy, but I would be shocked if we ever see him play college ball.

  • Brklynhoosier

    Yeah, I think you’re right — on the heels of this game, DraftExpress is slotting him the #3 pick next yr…

    It’ll still take me a day to recover. [Shades of Josh Smith.]

  • CreamandCrimson

    I couldn’t watch this one because I’m working but I followed the Twitter updates on Exum’s exploits and everyone appeared to be blown away by his domination.

    -Fran Fraschilla tweeted, “every now and then over 30 years, you watch someone special. Today, it’s Dante Exum”. He also thought he would be a top 5 pick in the NBA Draft next June (if he wanted to go that route).

    I firmly believe that if Exum ends up going to college, he will be in Bloomington for one season. However, the closer he gets to making the decision to turn down NBA money (at least putting it on hold for 12 months), the harder it’s going to be to say no the league. Here’s to hoping we have him at IU for a year!

  • Yeah, I just don’t see this kid coming to college. Too bad, seems like a great kid. Extremely talented.

  • Miamihoosier

    Anyone know if he would be able to play right away for the NBA team that drafted him next year, or would it be like a Larry Bird thing where he has to sit out a year? I know international players are still held to the same age restriction rules, but if he is old enough to play in the NBA in 2014, not sure why we would of gotten involved so heavily?? of course he would go to the draft

  • CreamandCrimson

    If he were to declare for the 2014 NBA Draft, he would be eligible to be drafted and play right away for his team. Why would Indiana have gotten involved so heavily? Because there’s a legitimate chance that Dante Exum will want to go to college for a year. Because when Indiana got involved, Dante Exum wasn’t considered anything close to a lottery pick lock (another example of Tom Crean’s ability to pick out talent). If you have a chance to bring a talent like Dante Exum in, I don’t see why you wouldn’t get heavily involved.

  • Miamihoosier

    Thank you, makes sense. If he is projected as the #3 pick though, I’d have to agree with some of the others, and assume his ship has sailed,as it should….

  • Caleb Moore

    Exum has stated recently he is leaning heavily to coming to college for a year versus jumping into the draft. Also, Crean was one of the first 4 or 5 coaches to jump in on him, but it wasnt because he was some under the radar kid. One of the scouting services has had him in the 5 star rating for awhile. But given he’s in Australia, obviously a lot of teams dont feel the need or the “want to” to devote a lot of resources on a one-and-done when they can get that talent right here in the states.
    Looks like he’s put on maybe 15-20 pounds of muscle in the last year or so. He looks bigger than when he came to IU especially in the shoulders and upper arms. Hope he can stay healthy with the lack of abandon he plays with. So quick for his size. Needs to keep up the strength building.

  • CreamandCrimson

    I agree with you…if he feels like he is a lock to be a top-5 pick, he should absolutely skip college, get paid and start his career. No doubt about it. Here’s the optimistic side of me (probably not realistic but I can hope)…He might look at the stacked 2014 Draft and feel like refining his game in Bloomington before entering the 2015 Draft and trying to be the #1 pick. Maybe he wants to win a national title. Maybe he wants to acclimate himself to American culture with the safety net of a college support system. Admittedly, if his stock continues to rise, it’s a very safe bet that he’ll be entering the 2014 Draft.

    If that happens (and it’s slightly depressing to deal in this hypothetical), we will have said “close but no cigar” to Pinson, Lyle and Exum. Unfortunately, I don’t think we’ll see a decision from Exum for quite some time.

  • Miamihoosier

    To strike out on all of these wings, would really be disappointing, because we aren’t really targeting any others. I always saw Pinson, Exum, or even Lyle playing the traditional “small forward” for us in 2014, with Yogi and Blackmon Jr. running the back court. Without them, it falls on Jeremy Hollowell or Troy Williams. I have to think between the two, one will emerge as a star, in which case, we’ll be fine. Man, Exum would be nice to have though. No one can keep him out of the lane, but same goes for Yogi and James, so teams would really be stretched to find answers for that trio of scorers

  • CreamandCrimson

    Trevon Blueitt is going to be interesting. LaVall Jordan appears to be the frontrunner for the Butler job (I think it would be a good hire for the Bulldogs). Jordan has been the lead recruiter at Michigan for the past few seasons and he is the lead recruiter for Blueitt. If Jordan is the head coach at Butler, does Blueitt feel compelled to eliminate Michigan from his list, does he commit to Butler, is IU still pursuing him heavily? On a little bit of a side note, I think losing LaVall Jordan would hurt Michigan’s recruiting in our state. So, come on Butler, hire Jordan!

  • SCHoosier

    No doubting this kids talent and potential. But I see the Hoosiers having to fish or cut bait with this kid. Don’t see anyway of waiting until Spring for a one and doner and having to pass on other kids that could really help over over a full four years.
    Not sure what TC can do to pressure a decision one way or the other…but IU could really end up s——g the pooch waiting for this guy to make up his mind. He’s pro-ready by the end of his fall season.


    Our biggest competition for this kid isn’t Duke, North Carolina or pUKe , or any other college program, it’s the NBA. Think there is a pretty good chance that he will sign with IU and while room, board & a nice education isn’t cheap by any means, there is an even better chance that the team that signs him will be putting out more money than what those things cost and a whole lot more.

  • Remy Willing and Abell

    Better get some beer , you’ll be in the house . I’d say we missed on all three . If we won another game or 2 in the tourney we would probably have one of these guys . But coach wouldn’t switch our guards and we looked like fools against Cuse. I STAYED I N THE HOUSE AWHILE !!!!

  • Jmac

    He GONE! NBA bound, we can’t get a break.

  • Btown88

    Anyone know the rules about whether he could enter IU 2nd semester and be eligible in January? He could be the first 1/2 and done!

  • Mooks

    I thinnk he was going to butler regardless

  • B-TOWNdawgs

    The practical decision is to wait for the 2015 draft because the 2014 draft is stacked- too much competition.

  • thrawnjan

    Are there any players on the US team that are interesting from an IU perspective?

  • Gbwoolman

    What do you think our chance of landing Dante? I would LOVE to see him in candy stripes even if its only for one year! Looks and sounds like a winner all the way!!

  • BigD

    I missed it. What did Dakich say about Lyles?

  • SCHoosier

    Much of what I’ve read suggests once he graduates in Nov..he will work out in Aussie land..and make a decision in 2014 re: going pro or declaring for a college. I realize that this is all speculation..I’m just afraid of IU being “stood up at the altar” of a pro opportunity while our “after Dante choices” commit elsewhere. Guess its a roll of the dice…whatever happens. TC certainly has more info and a better feel for it that the fans do.

  • Brklynhoosier

    Google Dakich Lyles.

  • cdog

    There is two sides to that coin. VO and Bennett improved their stock by having great college seasons and they went one, two in the draft. Being in Australia over the next year could hurt his exposure and the mock drafts are only partially true. How many had Bennett and VO as the top two picks. The answer is zero. I don’t think this kid is driven by money. He will do what gives him the best chance of making it long-term in the NBA. Only he can know what that will be. On the bright side, it appears IU is the only big time program going after him hard.

  • CreamandCrimson

    According to well-informed Butler fans who are plugged in….Trevon Blueitt has already informed Brandon Miller that he won’t be attending Butler. We’ll see.

  • r

    He seems to have exactly the quality of character that Indiana recruits. Never underestimate the fact some kids look forward to experiencing college life. Regardless of his decision, I wish this seemingly outstanding young man all the best. If nothing else, maybe he can become a Hoosiers fan and visit Bloomington once in awhile…maybe he can buy John Cougar’s seats.