Kentucky’s top target in 2017 will be on campus this weekend.
Five-star forward Mohamed Bamba begins his official visit with UK starting today, and it will go through the weekend as he takes in Saturday’s game vs South Carolina.
This is the second time Bamba will have visited Lexington since October, when he was a surprise guest for Big Blue Madness. It also helps that UK now has two of Bamba’s close friends — Quade Green and Hamidou Diallo — set to be part of next year’s team.
Ahead of the visit, Scout.com’s Evan Daniels told the Herald-Leader that, while UK is in great shape, Bamba is the kind of guy that’s going to be hard to get a read on in his recruitment.
“There’s a lot of buzz for Kentucky right now because he set up the official visit and because he has two close friends there,” Daniels said. “If there’s one thing I’ve learned about Mohamed, it’s that he doesn’t show all his cards. He’s very well-versed with the media.
“Do I think Kentucky’s in good position? Yes, I do. Heading into the visit, they’re in good position. But I think Duke is pretty strong in there. And you can’t write off Texas.”
Daniels also added he doesn’t see Bamba making a decision until at least the McDonald’s All-American Game, “but probably after.” That’s actually good news for Kentucky, as they have several guys who could go pro and free up a bigger role for Bamba in the frontcourt next year.
Bam Adebayo is almost certainly going pro, but will Wenyen Gabriel? If he does, then UK loses their starting 4 and 5 from this year, leaving Bamba to lead the frontcourt next year at either spot.
But if Gabriel comes back, then Bamba may have to spend more time at the 5, though he prefers the 4. That’s not even accounting for five-star center Nick Richards coming in. He’s more that capable of pushing Bamba for a starting spot.
The good news is we don’t have to worry about all of this for several more months.