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The Oregon basketball season is getting near, and for the first time this season, we got a chance to speak to head coach Dana Altman and preview his squad.
While a lot of the talk centered around veteran point guard Will Richardson and the influx of talent that has been added via the transfer portal, there was one thing of note when it comes to the injury front. That has to do with former 5-star big-man N’Faly Dante, who missed much of last season with a knee injury.
According to Altman, Dante won’t quite be ready to play when the season tips off, but his return is expected before the end of the year.
“He’s working really hard,” Altman said on Thursday. “I love the effort that he’s putting in with the trainers, trying to get himself ready. But I would say that we’re at least, I don’t know, a month or six weeks away from getting him. That’s just a guess.”
Dante played in just six games last season, where he averaged 8 points, 5 rebounds, 1 block, and 1 steal per game. His presence on the block is highly anticipated, where he is expected to play alongside fellow big-men Franck Kepnang and Nathan Bittle, both of whom were 5-star recruits as well.
With so many new players and moving pieces on the team, it is hard to predict what the rotations will look like on this team at the start of the year, but once Dante is healthy and ready to hit the floor, you can expect him to be a major part of the team’s expected success.