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Mohamed Bamba recruiting update: UK among favorites for elite big man; Is Duke out?

UK’s biggest competition for Mohamed Bamba was thought to be Duke, but it looks like the Blue Devils are fading...

2016 Naismith Awards Brunch Photo by Tim Bradbury/Getty Images

Even though Kentucky currently has the top recruiting class in 2017, it’s far from being completed.

For much of the past year. John Calipari’s biggest target in 2017 has been Mohamed Bamba. The five-star forward is the one program-changing prospect UK is still in the running for in this class, not to mention the Cats’ only real chance of landing a top-five recruit in 2017.

To this point, Duke has been viewed as UK’s biggest challenger for Bamba. However, there’s been a belief for awhile now that Bamba would not go to the same school as five-star forward Wendell Carter, who recently committed to Duke.

Well, Scout.com recruiting director Evan Daniels just put out an update on the top remaining 2017 prospects, and he didn’t even mention Duke as a school still in real contention for Bamba.

Mohamed Bamba, the top available recruit, will be an instant jolt to which school he chooses. Bamba took an official visit to Michigan the first weekend of September and Texas the last weekend of October. He's also visited Kentucky and Harvard unofficially. Bamba has been fairly quiet throughout the recruiting process and I don't expect that to change. If I were to power rank the top three schools involved I'd order them: Texas, Kentucky and Michigan.

Schools Involved: Michigan (Sept. 3), Texas (Oct. 29), Kentucky, Harvard, Connecticut

As of now, Duke still leads the 247 Crystal Ball for Bamba, but there hasn’t been a prediction since early Nov., well before Carter committed.

Elsewhere, 247 recruiting director Jerry Meyer told the Herald-Leader that UK was in great shape with Bamba, which is thanks in part to Quade Green becoming a Cat. However, Meyer is not ready to eliminate Duke just yet.

“I think Kentucky is in a good position,” Meyer said. “Quade Green signing with UK definitely helps. If there’s such a thing as momentum in recruiting, which I think there is, I would think Kentucky has it with Bamba.”

Meyer added that he thinks it’ll come down to UK and Duke for the 7-footer from Harlem, N.Y., though he did note that Bamba’s recruitment has been a “hard one to handicap.” Texas, Michigan and Harvard are among the others in the mix.

Regardless, UK is in great shape for Bamba, and I would definitely peg them as the favorite right now.