Mohamed Bamba is one of the last recruiting dominoes to fall in the 2017 NBA Draft as the highest ranked uncommitted player in the country.
Most project Bamba to attend Kentucky, Texas, or Duke for his (likely) one year of collegiate basketball. No matter where he ends up though, Bamba should have a major impact next year.
Kyle Tucker of SEC Country spoke with ESPN Draft Guru Chad Ford and 247 Sports Director of Basketball Recruiting Jerry Meyer about Bamba’s potential impact at the collegiate and professional level.
“He can be a monster,” Ford told SEC Country. “Right now, virtually every NBA team is looking at him being a potential top-five pick, maybe a top-three pick, in the next draft.”
At the collegiate level, Bamba could push Texas over the top into the tournament while at Kentucky or Duke, he could be the difference in making each a title contender.
“It’s very unique, difference-making length,” Meyer said. “His defense and what he can do as far as protecting the rim would be huge — it’s going to be huge — for whoever gets him. If Kentucky gets him, it’s going to be a difference-maker.”
Tucker tweeted that he believes it is a coin flip between the Longhorns and Wildcats for Bamba’s services.
One very smart person told me this week he believes Bamba decision a "coin flip" now between UK and Texas. https://t.co/df5wNz1FCb— Kyle Tucker (@KyleTucker_SEC) May 4, 2017
Texas has been trending lately for Bamba, but Kentucky still holds a little over 50 percent of the picks in his Crystal Ball. Duke has five and Texas has four, but the last four picks have been for Texas.
Three of those picks came from The Devil’s Den, Duke’s 247 site.
Meyer is sticking with his original prediction of Kentucky for Bamba due to his relationship with point guard Quade Green, as well as Hamidou Diallo. It remains unseen as to how much Diallo’s decision could affect Bamba’s.
“I like Kentucky’s chances, but to be honest I don’t know,” Meyer said. “Bamba is a very intelligent person, speaks like six different languages, if not more. He goes to the beat of his own drum, so just because you’re Kentucky, it’s not going to have the same allure. I don’t think he’s looking at college basketball like we would look at it, as far as the hierarchy and all that.
“But I do like Kentucky’s chances. I do think he has a strong relationship with (UK point guard signee) Quade Green, and Kentucky has done a good job recruiting him, so my pick’s Kentucky. We will see.”
Little info has leaked from Bamba’s camp regarding his commitment and no date has been set for an announcement. However, Bamba did just tell Fox Sports’ Aaron Torres that he’s not close to a decision:
Chatted with Mo Bamba at the Ball Is Life All-American practices last night. Sadly, said he's still not close to making his college decision— Aaron Torres (@Aaron_Torres) May 5, 2017
Good news on Bamba: Said he's finally done traveling after this weekend. Will really have time to sit down and think about college— Aaron Torres (@Aaron_Torres) May 5, 2017
It sounds like we could be in for a long May waiting for Bamba to make the call, but for whoever gets him, it will be well worth the wait.