N’Faly Dante will not debut for the Oregon men's basketball team against Hawaii on Saturday.
The five-star freshman remains ineligible to join the Ducks until the fall term ends Dec. 13.
Last week, a Twitter report from Tipton Edits, a college recruiting page, indicated that the NCAA approved an immediate eligibility waiver for Dante that allowed him to join the Ducks immediately. Dante did receive the waiver, but is still unable to practice or play until next week.
“We are still in the process,” UO coach Dana Altman said before practice Thursday. “We’ve really got to get through the quarter here before anyone can do anything. … Once we get through that, everything will be clear. We can’t do anything before the quarter is over.”
If Dante clears the admissions process, he would be eligible to play when Oregon visits Michigan on Dec. 14. Altman said it is possible that Dante joins the team on that trip, but added that “he’s not going to play.”
Dante could debut for Oregon on Dec. 18 against Montana at Matthew Knight Arena. Oregon also hosts Texas Southern on Dec. 21 and Alabama State on Dec. 29 before opening Pac-12 play at Colorado on Jan. 2.
Dante, who remains listed on Oregon’s roster wearing No. 1, graduated one year early from Sunrise Christian Academy in Bel Aire, Kan., and reclassified as a 2019 recruit. The 6-foot-11, 230-pounder, who was listed as one of the top 15 recruits in the 2020 class, signed with the Ducks in August.
Dante, who arrived in the United States four years ago from Mali was not cleared by the NCAA for admission to Oregon in time for the fall term. He made a recruiting visit to Eugene last month to watch the Ducks play UT Arlington.
Next year at this time, Oregon will have already played its Pac-12 opener.
The conference will expand the men’s basketball schedule from 18 to 20 games next season and announced the additional games this week. The Ducks will open Pac-12 play at home against UCLA on Dec. 3 followed by a trip to Washington on Dec. 6.
“A number of leagues are going to 20 games, the Big Ten and ACC,” Altman said. “It is different. We’ve got UCLA and Washington, so two great games that we are adding. I’m sure that will be a big challenge during the first week in December. If my memory serves me right, we will be coming off a tournament in Florida so that will be two tough weeks back-to-back.”
Oregon has not yet announced the tournament it will play in Florida, but college basketball writer Jeff Goodman reported the Ducks are in the Emerald Coast Classic in Destin, Fla., on Nov. 27-28 along with Iowa State, Florida and Illinois.
Washington State and USC are the only two Pac-12 teams that Oregon will face only once next season. The Ducks won’t host the Trojans or visit the Cougars.
Pritchard on another watch list
Oregon senior guard Payton Pritchard was one of 46 players named to the watch list for the Oscar Robertson Trophy given to the national player of the year by the U.S. Basketball Writers Association. Pritchard leads the Ducks with 18.6 points and 5.5 assists per game to go with 4.4 rebounds.
Oregon State’s Tres Tinkle, Colorado’s McKinley Wright, USC’s Nick Rakocevic and Arizona’s Zeke Nnaji are the other Pac-12 players on the list.