clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Mo Bamba not picking Kentucky Basketball?

UK has been viewed as the team to beat for the elite big man, but another school may actually be leading.

2017 McDonald's All American games Powerade Jam Fest Photo by David Banks/Getty Images

Ever since the fall recruiting period ended, Kentucky has been viewed as the team to beat for Mohamed Bamba.

The elite big man would fit perfectly into the Wildcats’ rotation next season as the kind of elite rim protector they’ve been missing in recent seasons. However, it may be time to pump the brakes on Bamba eventually committing to Kentucky.

According to KSR’s Matt Jones, Kentucky may not be the prohibitive favorite for Bamba like we all thought.

For Bamba, I have assumed Kentucky was the leader for at least two months, and while I am still in that camp, my confidence isn’t quite on the level of most in the UK Fanbase. Up until three days ago, everyone I had spoken with said Kentucky leads and all of the circumstantial evidence, including his friendship with UK recruits and public statements, have made UK seem the obvious choice. But then I spoke with a source that is very good who said to me for the first time that UK was not getting him. While this person is against the grain and the only individual I know who believes the choice won’t be UK, it is someone with a great deal of knowledge and close to the situation. So I am left unsure of UK’s position.

The good news is Jones did say he would still pick Kentucky for Bamba, and he also said the Cats are in better position for Kevin Knox than most realize. Everyone is assuming he’ll pick North Carolina or Duke, but until that decision is made, never count out John Calipari.

That said, if Kentucky were to miss out on Bamba, it would be a brutal loss for next year’s team. Assuming Bam Adebayo remains in the NBA Draft, Kentucky is going to have a major hole in the paint that could get worse if Isaac Humphries leaves.

The other contenders for Bamba include Duke, Texas and Michigan. It’s hard to say which of them may be leading if Kentucky is not.’s Corey Evans said earlier this week that Texas “may be the leader,” so perhaps it’s the Longhorns who could be the surprise pick. Bamba has kept his recruitment close enough to the vest that him picking any of these schools would not come as a major shock.

That said, for all of the positive momentum Kentucky has had in this recruitment for several months now, it would be a big gut-punch if Bamba goes elsewhere.

I would still lean towards Kentucky being the pick at this point, but Jones’ report is good reason for fans to not assume anything with Bamba.