The Nebraska Cornhuskers have once again in the Fred Hoiberg era lost the starting point guard after a single season in the role after Dalano Banton announced he will remain in the 2021 NBA Draft. The Western Kentucky transfer started college in the fall of 2018 as a Hilltopper before committing to Nebraska as a transfer and sitting out the 2019-20 season as a redshirt. He played just one season in Lincoln as a result.
The 6-foot-9 and 204-pound point guard was an interesting size for such a role, but nonetheless led the Huskers last season as the starter in 22 of 27 games. Banton was also severely impacted by a bout with COVID-19 during the roughly monthlong shutdown Nebraska basketball endured. Following his illness, he struggled to return to form in the middle of a grueling Big Ten season that saw an absurdly compressed number of games in the final weeks.
Despite the grueling season and illness, Banton averaged 9.6 points on the season, along with 5.9 rebounds, 3.9 assists, 1.0 steals, and 0.9 blocks per game. He also averaged 50.7-percent from two-point range, but just 41.1-percent from the free throw line and 24.7-percent from three-point range.
While short, his tenure mirrors his predecessor under Hoiberg in that he will be one of just two players to date who has notched a triple-double in Nebraska school history. Cam Mack did so last season for the Huskers, and Banton did so against Doane this past season when he scored 13 points, 11 rebounds, and 10 assists in a mere 21 minutes of game action. Separate from that feat, Banton also was the first Husker since 1974 to lead Nebraska in both rebounding and assists. He also led the team in blocked shots (25) and was third on the team in steals (26).
It is at least somewhat noteworthy in this author’s opinion that the native of Toronto, Canada would have been ineligible to participate in Name, Image, Likeness deals under the terms of his student visa. Should he eventually sign a deal with a G-League affiliate then he would no longer be in the United States under a student visa.