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Kentucky Basketball Preview: Bam Adebayo

No player in college hoops may have a more appropriate name than Bam, something he’ll bring plenty of to a UK frontcourt that severely lacked it last season.

NCAA Basketball: Kentucky Media Day Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports

There are few 18-year-old college basketball players that pass the eye test like Edrice “Bam” Adebayo. Let’s get to know the imposing big man.

#3 Edrice “Bam” Adebayo

Height: 6’10

Weight: 260 lbs

Position: F/C

Year: Freshman

High School: High Point Christian Academy

Hometown: Pinetown, North Carolina

Recruiting Rankings: 5th overall by ESPN, 9th by 24/7, 11th by Scout, 7th by Rivals

Bam committed to the Kentucky Wildcats in the early signing period after an official visit. It came as a surprise as Bam was favored to stay home and play for North Carolina State.

He is an athletic freak of nature that is athletic enough to play power forward and strong enough to play center. He is widely regarded as one of the best big men in the 2016 class and his expectation continue to grow.

Bam is already projected as a top-10 pick in the 2017 NBA Draft, which is expected to be one of the deepest classes in recent memory. Heck, Bam already looks like an NBA big, and there may not be a college big more ready for the pros than Bam is right now.

2016/2017 Outlook:

Bam will be a breath of fresh air to Kentucky fans. After a season of little or no production from the center position, the ‘Cats will have a double-double threat in the middle.

He will bring a tenacious rebounding mentality to the team and a physicality that we haven’t seen since DeMarcus Cousins. He has been singled out by John Calipari as one of the most intense players and hardest worker in practice so far. He has been going one-one with Isaac Humphries and the two have really been pushing each other to improve.

Adebayo will be a starter from day one. He is the alpha dog that Cal is constantly searching for. He has been drawing comparisons to Shawn Kemp as far as his ability to run the floor like a deer and his prowess under the basket.

He will add an element of intimidation that also reminds me of Boogie. I don’t think he has the same surly attitude but not many college centers that will be looking forward to going up against him.

When he gets deep into the paint his explosiveness, Bam has the touch and ability to finish around the basket with either hand. Any ball off the back board is almost always his. He has an unreal motor and great anticipation of where the ball is going. If it weren’t for UK having so many guys who can rebound well, Bam would easily average a double-double for the season, not to mention challenge most of UK’s single-season rebounding records.

Bam’s offense is something that is being overlooked. He has a better outside shot that many recruiting evaluators give him credit for. He contributes to the game in many ways such as running the floor, shot blocking and finishing of lob passes at the rim.

His biggest strength is his work on the backboard as he goes after a miss shots with effort and his quick vertical and will try and grab it or tip it. Expect him to lead the team, and possibly the nation, in put-back dunks this season.

By the end of the season, I fully expect him to be in the conversations for SEC player of the year, First Team All-American, and the top overall pick in the NBA Draft.

Coach Cal on Bam:

Of all the players I saw in the summer, no one had a combination of a dominating spirit and a physical presence like Bam. He has a skill level of a player that is normally four inches smaller than him. Aside from his rebounding, he plays positionless basketball, just like our other kids. Bam is going to be a big-time player for us.

Now get excited by watching these Bam highlights: