It won’t be long until we learn where Mohamed Bamba will spend his (likely brief) college career at.
Kentucky is hoping to land the elite big man who’s ranked No. 2 overall in most of the new recruiting rankings for 2017. That only begins to speak to how important Bamba is to next year’s team, but will he ultimately pick the Cats?
Evan Daniels still thinks so. The Scout.com recruiting director told the Lexington Herald-Leader that he feels Kentucky is still in the best shape for Bamba.
“I think they’re in good shape,” Daniels said of UK’s chances for Bamba. “I’ve said for a little bit that I like Kentucky’s position, and I still do, until proven otherwise.
“I don’t necessarily have information that says he’s going to Kentucky, but if I had to pick a school right now, that’s who I’d pick.”
Texas is believed to be the biggest threat to pry Bamba from John Calipari’s grasp, thanks largely to Shaka Smart’s Team USA ventures with Bamba. The 247 crystal ball still has Kentucky favored by a wide margin over Duke and Texas.
The same is not so with Kevin Knox. The five-star wing is inching closer towards a decision, but Daniels doesn’t have a good feel for who comes out on top.
“I have no idea,” Daniels said of his probable destination. “I don’t know that anybody knows. … I don’t know that he knows.”
Knox’s 247 crystal ball still has Duke favored, but UNC and Missouri are the schools who’ve gotten picks recently. It’s hard to see Kentucky winning this battle, though mostly because they already have P.J. Washington and Jarred Vanderbilt coming in to battle Wenyen Gabriel for the starting wing spot.
The hope is Kentucky can land one, if not both of Bamba and Knox to finish off this class and become a national title contender for next season. It certainly helps that Bamba that his AAU point guard, Quade Green, is already signed with Kentucky.
Daniels had some nice praise for Green, who came in at No. 21 in Scout’s latest rankings but got slighted at 247, where he came in at No. 30 and was a 4-star prospect. Based on Daniels’ assessment, expect the former ranking to be closer to what Green is at Kentucky.
“Quade excels when he has really good players around him,” Daniels said. “In the McDonald’s practices, which are competitive, I thought he did a really good job of setting guys up and making plays for others. I think he’s going to be really good at Kentucky, and he’s shown a competitiveness and a toughness that not everybody has. He plays with an extreme level of confidence.”
Green actually came in one spot ahead of Trae Young in this ranking. If you recall, it came down to those two guys as UK’s point guard for 2017. While John Calipari wanted Young, who wanted to wait until the spring, Cal went all-in on Green, and the rest is history.
Let’s hope that Green and Bamba are playing together in Lexington next season.