Dalano Banton is testing the NBA Draft waters.
The 6-foot-9 guard from Toronto, Ontario, Canada, announced his decision to enter the draft while leaving a return to Nebraska on the table on Monday.
— Dubber Don (@DALANOBANTON) May 31, 2021
He has until July 7, 10 days after the 2021 NBA Draft Combine (June 21-27), to withdraw his name from the draft and maintain college eligibility. This year’s draft will be held on July 29.
Banton spent his freshman year at Western Kentucky before sitting out the 2019-20 season as a transfer redshirt at Nebraska. He started 22 of 27 games for the Huskers in 2020-21, averaging 9.6 points, 5.9 rebounds, 3.9 assists, 1.0 steals and 0.9 blocks in 27.3 minutes per game while shooting 41.1% from the field, 24.7% from 3 and 65.9% from the free-throw line. He led the team in rebounds, assists and blocks and recorded the program’s second triple-double in a win over NAIA Doane in December.
In the 12 games before Nebraska’s month-long COVID-19 shutdown, Banton was one of the most versatilely productive players in the country, averaging 12.6 points, 6.8 rebounds, 5.1 assists and 1.3 steals in 30.0 minutes per game while shooting 44.0% from the field, 28.2% from 3 and 69.1% from the free-throw line.
In the 15 games after Nebraska returned to the court, Banton averaged 7.1 points, 5.1 rebounds, 2.9 assists and 0.7 steals in 25.1 minutes per game while shooting 34.5% from the field, 21.4% from 3 and 60.6% from the free-throw line (while getting to the line half as often). He came off the bench in Nebraska’s last five games after starting the first 22.
Banton needs to continue to refine his handles and polish up his jump shot, but the skills he showed in the first part of the season did put him on the NBA Draft radar. Now he’ll get a chance to conduct workouts and seek feedback from NBA evaluators.
Fellow Canada native and Nebraska wing Shamiel Stevenson previously declared for the draft and will not return to Nebraska. Grad transfer Kobe Webster opted to return to Lincoln for one more year while Thorir Thorbjarnarson decided to pursue a professional career.
If Banton remains in the draft, it would leave Nebraska with 13 players on scholarship (though Webster and Trevor Lakes don’t count toward the 13-scholarship limit as returning seniors).
Jacob is in his third year with Hail Varsity covering Husker athletics. He has also written extensively for SB Nation’s Bright Side of the Sun and The Creightonian. His love of basketball can best be described as an obsession and if you need to find him, he’s probably in a gym somewhere watching, coaching or playing hoops.