Five-star center Dante commits to Oregon

Five-star center N'Faly Dante will reclassify into the 2019 class and play at Oregon next season.

Dante announced his decision via a letter to his mother in The Players' Tribune.

"Throughout this process it's been important to me to choose a place that I know you'd be proud of. A place where I will get a strong education and that has a family atmosphere," Dante wrote. "I've put a lot of thought into it, and I'm excited to tell you that next year I'm going to be attending college and playing basketball at the University of Oregon.

"Oregon has a program that reflects a lot of the values you taught me when I was growing up. And I hope that someday I get to show you around Eugene. It's beautiful there!"

Dante chose Oregon over Kentucky. LSU and Tennessee had also been involved during the spring and early summer, but it came down to the Ducks and Wildcats. He took an official visit to Kentucky in late June, as John Calipari made a strong push to strengthen his frontcourt with Dante. Oregon has been involved for a long time, hosting Dante on an official visit last fall.

A 6-foot-11 center from Mali, Dante attended Sunrise Christian Academy (Kansas). He was one of the most dominant big men on the Nike EYBL circuit this past spring and summer, leading the MoKan Elite program to a Peach Jam title in July. Dante averaged 15.8 points and 10.5 rebounds, also blocking 2.1 shots and shooting better than 72 percent from the field. He capped it off with a 22-point, 18-rebound performance in the Peach Jam title game, earning MVP honors.

Dante was ranked No. 18 overall in the 2020 class, slotting in as the No. 4 center.

Dante's commitment likely cements Dana Altman's team as the team to beat in the Pac-12 next season. Oregon had lost seven players after the season, with three entering the NBA Draft and two transferring out of the program. But the Ducks reloaded with the additions of graduate transfers Shakur Juiston (UNLV) and Anthony Mathis (New Mexico), along with Dante's late commitment.

Altman now has two five-star freshmen entering the program, with Dante joining forward CJ Walker. ESPN 100 prospects Chandler Johnson and Isaac Johnson, as well as elite junior college transfer Chris Duarte, also enter the fold - although Johnson won't enroll until 2021 after a two-year LDS mission.