UK continues to be the trendy pick for Mohamed Bamba.
The five-star forward has been viewed as a slight lean towards the Wildcats for several months now, and his 247 Crystal Ball has continued to have picks for UK, enough that they’ve now passed Duke for the lead.
That includes recent picks from two of 247’s Duke writers for UK. Adding to that, 247 recruiting director Jerry Meyer recently did a Facebook Live Q&A in which he gave a very interesting update in the Bamba recruitment.
“Duke is waning, you could say in the race,” said Meyer. “The team to watch for is Texas. I think they’re making a strong push for Bamba. I think the concern with Kentucky is it’s a crowded frontcourt. I don’t think you play Nick Richards and Bamba together.”
Bamba a 6-11, 207-pound big man, is ranked No. 3 overall in the 2017 class by the 247Sports Composite. He took an unofficial visit to Kentucky for Big Blue Madness in October and an official visit to Lexington for the South Carolina game the weekend of Jan. 21.
He’s currently set to visit Duke on the weekend of Feb. 26, but rumors are Bamba may cancel that visit and focus solely on Texas and Kentucky. He visited Texas the weekend of Oct. 28.
One thing I’ll say about Kentucky’s chances is I can’t see any way Bamba goes there if Bam Adebayo is back. It’s gotten that bad for the freshman forward that his NBA stock is so low that he may actually be better off coming back next year, then entering a weaker 2018 draft in which he’ll almost certainly go in Round 1.
That said, I still think Bam ends up leaving and being a late first-round pick this year, paving the way for Bamba to come and man the 4 spot next season. Contrary to what Meyer said, I think Bamba and Richards, who is strictly a 5, can play together next season.
And unless guys like Tai Wynyard or Sacha Killeya-Jones make big strides this season, I can’t see Bamba being afraid of either of them challenging him for a starting spot next season.