Dalano Banton is keeping his name in the 2021 NBA Draft and will not return to Nebraska. The Huskers confirmed the news in a statement Friday afternoon.
“Dalano has told us that he has decided to stay in the NBA Draft,” Coach Fred Hoiberg said. “He worked hard in the gym and the weight room this offseason and performed well at both the G League Elite Camp and in individual workouts with teams over the past few weeks. We will do everything we can to support him as he pursues his goal of playing in the NBA.”
Early-entree candidates have until July 7 to make their decision, but it sounds like Banton didn’t need that much time. He had up to three years of college eligibility remaining.
Banton announced he was entering the draft while maintaining his eligibility back on May 31. When Houston’s DeJon Jarreau dropped out of the G League Elite Camp in Chicago that preceded the NBA Draft Combine, Banton replaced him and turned some heads there, though he did not get an invitation to stick around for the Combine.
Banton measured in at 6-foot-9 in shoes (6-foot-7.75 without) and 194.4 pounds with a 6-foot-10.25 wingspan.
In the two scrimmages at the camp, Banton recorded eight points on 4-of-13 shooting (0-of-6 from 3), 21 rebounds, nine assists, two turnovers and two blocks in 41 minutes. He went scoreless in his first appearance but closed out the camp in strong fashion with an eight-point, 13-rebound, five-assist, two-block performance.
Banton performed even better at the Beyond Pro Day and shot the ball at a high clip, according to Jake Weingarten.
Nebraska’s Dalano Banton had a spectacular Pro Day and is gaining steam for obvious reasons. People questioned his shot and man, he shot lights out in Chicago this week.
Pro Day Stats:
Spot shooting 3’s:
— Jake (@jakeweingarten) June 28, 2021
Footage from Dalano Banton at the Beyond Pro Day last week in Chicago. Shot the ball much better than expected there. pic.twitter.com/yNI4O4iwsc
— Jonathan Givony (@DraftExpress) July 2, 2021
Sports Illustrated’s Jeremy Woo highlighted Banton as someone who really helped himself last week in Chicago, writing he’s drawing second-round interest from some teams.
Banton — a native Canadian and 4-star, top-100 prospect coming out of high school — 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.
This year’s NBA Draft will take place on July 29.
Without Banton, Nebraska returns three starters in Trey McGowens, Lat Mayen and Derrick Walker plus its sixth man in Kobe Webster, who opted to take advantage of the extra year of eligibility the NCAA granted seniors. Fred Hoiberg also signed the best recruiting class in program history led by 5-star guard Bryce McGowens.