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Joe Ingles: Dante Exum is a superstar in the making - Sep 13, 2013

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Australian-native Joe Ingles, who registered successful episodes in his domestic varsity NBL league and the Spanish ACB league with Granada and Barcelona, recently became the first-born Aussie player to join Israeli powerhouse Maccabi Tel Aviv.

Ingles, a 25-year-old forward, recently recorded an impressive 22 points and set a career-high 11 assists during his preseason premiere for Maccabi. He also participated over the summer in the Oceania Championship, tailing a strong pair of showings for the Boomers, registering 9 points, 6 rebounds and 4 assists in 28 minutes per against New Zealand.

Ahead of Australia's training camp, Ingles was in search of a national-team bunkmate and surprisingly selected 18-year-old phenom point guard, Dante Exum. At 6-foot-6, Exum, son of former pro-baller Cecil Exum, is considered one of the top prospects in the world outside the NBA.

Ranked number one among the 1995 International Class and projected to become the number three draftee in the 2014 NBA Draft, according to Jonathan Givony of DraftExpress, Exum is at a crossroads and is mulling over his next step. On the menu? Joining an NCAA elite program for the upcoming Spring Semester, playing for one season in the Australian NBL league or entering the next NBA Draft.

For Exum, spending the summer as roommates with an international veteran like Ingles was a lucrative opportunity to bounce things off of someone who didn't play college ball, yet recently turned his back on a guaranteed NBA deal.

"If I were to play in college the same way I did my first year professionally is Australia, I could have been drafted, but it will remain unknown obviously," Ingles told Eurobasket during a one-on-one interview. "Playing in the NCAA definitely could have helped boost my NBA stock. Looking back, I might have gone to college, but at the time I was done with school and was ready to play. I knew I had the talent to help a professional team," he added.

Following a strong FIBA World Championships campaign with Australia's Under-19 national-team, Exum, the Melbourne-native teen averaged 18.2 points, 3.6 rebounds and 3.8 assists per, resulting in heavy college interest from Michigan, Kentucky, Indiana and North Carolina, where his father formerly played.

Do you think one NCAA semester could hurt Exum's stock?

"Going to the NCAA for one semester will not hurt his stock. People don't realize that Dante is just a kid. He still looks likes a kid and acts like one too, but he's a special kid. He's got plenty of options and can pick from basically any college program. He can also choose to sit out for a year and still be a top five draft pick. Whatever he does he will be a NBA superstar because he has the work ethic."

What impressed you most about Exum?

"His work ethic. Dante is very talented. He's quick, fast and plays great defense. Shooting is probably his biggest weakness at the moment, but I've seen him in the gym before and after every practice for 30-45 minutes just working on his shots. He's going to continue to improve because he has the work ethic it takes to become a great player."

After having turned down a guaranteed contract from the Memphis Grizzlies, what NBA-related guidance did you share with Dante?

"I've never been in the situation of being a projected top five pick so I can't experience what he's feeling, but the door to the NBA was wide open for me this summer and turning down the offers I had is probably something no one would ever understand. I've always wanted to play in the NBA and I still do, but I'm not a guy that lives and dies by the NBA. I'm not going to go there just for it to appear on my resume."

What kind of advice did Exum seek?

"He told me he has a bunch of people in his ear telling him to choose between different paths which is natural. I told him if he wants to go the NBA he should go for it. The same for college. If he wants to experience it, he should go play in the NCAA for one year or even four years. If he chooses to stay home and play for one season in the NBL, that's fine too."

What did you suggest he stay away from?

"There are going to be so many people in his ear leading up to when he needs to make a decision that he just needs to be strong minded in regards to who he listens to. I Told him to listen to those that matter, not the people that want a free pair of shoes when he makes it. He has great and smart parents that will help guide him."

Pritchard All-World Cup U19 Awards 2017 - 3 months ago All-World Cup U19 1st Team 2017
Payton Pritchard
Lorenzo Bucarelli
Tommaso Oxilia
Rowan Barrett Jr.
Barrett Jr.
Abu Kigab
[read more]

Canada wins Gold in Cairo - 3 months ago
FINAL Canada - Italy 79-60 Canada are crowned champions in Cairo. They prevailed against Italy in the Final. Rowan Barrett Jr. (201-SF-00) posted 18 points and 12 rebounds to lead the winners. Canada grabbed a 24:10 lead ten minutes into the game. The North American side dropped 27 points in the second term to ensure a 15-point halftime lead. Canada held the Azzurri to just 24 points in the second half and marched to the triumph. Abu Kigab (201-F/G-98) and Nathan Darling (196-G-98) provi...   [read more]

Canada and Italy to clash for title in Cairo - 3 months ago
SEMIFINALS Spain - Italy 63-66 Italy snatched a narrow win over Spain to reach the championship game in Cairo. Lorenzo Bucarelli (196-G/F-98) stepped up with 15 points to pace the Azzurri. Spain dominated in the opening quarter. They built a 22:9 lead after ten minutes. But Italy used a 20:8 rally in the second stanza to pull within one point. Spain and Italy exchanged baskets throughout the third term. Spain enjoyed a narrow lead heading into the final stanza but Italy ignited a 21:17 r...   [read more]

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Men Women

World Cup U19 Final Standings
 1. Canada
 2. Italy
 3. USA
 4. Spain
 5. Germany
 6. Lithuania
 7. France
 8. Argentina
 9. P.Rico
 10. Japan
 11. N.Zealand
 12. Egypt
 13. Angola
 14. S.Korea
 15. Iran
 16. Mali
Stats Leaders
Points Per Game
  Avg: 21.6
 1. Barrett-Jr, CAN21.6 
 2. Hachimura, JPN20.6 
 3. de-Sousa, ANG17.3 
 4. Sedekerskis, LTU15.4 
 5. Kigab, CAN14.7 
 6. Wynyard, NZL14.3 
 7. Kulboka, LTU13.7 
 8. Cruz, PUR13.4 
 9. Corvalan, ARG13.3 
 10. Vila, ESP13.0 
Rebounds Per Game
 Silvio DE SOUSA
  Avg: 13.1
 1. de-Sousa, ANG13.1 
 2. Khalaf, EGY12.8 
 3. Hachimura, JPN11.0 
 4. Wiley, USA10.9 
 5. Vila, ESP10.9 
 6. Kigab, CAN10.6 
 7. Keita, MLI10.3 
 8. Khandanpoor, IRI9.8 
 9. Wynyard, NZL9.3 
 10. Tillie, FRA8.7 
Assists Per Game
  Avg: 6.1
 1. Corvalan, ARG6.1 
 2. Park, KOR5.7 
 3. Figueras, ESP5.7 
 4. Jokubaitis, LTU5.3 
 5. Youssef, EGY5.3 
 6. Sedekerskis, LTU4.9 
 7. Goudou-Sinha, FRA4.7 
 8. Barrett-Jr, CAN4.6 
 9. Letoa, NZL4.6 
 10. Wigginton, CAN4.2 
Steals Per Game
  Avg: 2.1
 1. Amandio, ANG2.1 
 2. Texeira, PUR1.9 
 3. Cruz, PUR1.9 
 4. Figueras, ESP1.7 
 5. Reddish, USA1.7 
 6. Da-Silva, GER1.7 
 7. Penna, ITA1.7 
 8. Barrett-Jr, CAN1.7 
 9. Pritchard, USA1.6 
 10. Sedekerskis, LTU1.6 
Blocks Per Game
  Avg: 3
 1. Khalaf, EGY3.0 
 2. Wynyard, NZL2.0 
 3. McCoy, USA1.6 
 4. Khandanpoor, IRI1.5 
 5. Hachimura, JPN1.4 
 6. Da-Silva, GER1.4 
 7. Caruso, ITA1.3 
 8. Mostafa, EGY1.3 
 9. Masiulis, LTU1.0 
 10. Ha, KOR1.0 

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