Mohamed Bamba expects to make his decision before the NBA draft, he told Rivals.com.
In California to play in the Ball is Life All-American game on Saturday, the top uncommitted recruit in the country chatted with Krysten Peek about his recruitment. While clearly in no rush, he didn’t mince words when asked if he would decide before or after the draft.
“Oh, no. The NBA draft, that is way too long,” he said. “… Definitely before the draft.”
The Longhorns are one of four teams Bamba is still considering, along with Duke, Kentucky and Michigan. There has been a lot of speculation on whether decisions by draft-eligible players like Texas’ Jarrett Allen and Andrew Jones might play a role, but Bamba downplayed that factor.
Allen, of course, has already signed an agent, while Jones received an invite to the NBA draft combine but has yet to sign on with an agent. Duke forward Marques Bolden announced he will return for his sophomore season, and Grayson Allen is also coming back for his senior year with the Blue Devils.
Here’s what Bamba said about those decisions:
I don’t really get too caught up in who is coming back and who’s staying and who’s going, or whatever. I really feel as if I’m one of those guys who can adapt to other people’s game and play with them. Having those guys back another year would only help. It would make the team overall even better.
Landing Bamba would be huge for Texas coach Shaka Smart, who already has the No. 6-ranked recruiting class in the country. The Longhorns would likely jolt all the way to No. 2 if Bamba chooses the Longhorns.
The 7-foot, 216-pound power forward from New York is rated five stars and is the No. 2 overall recruit in the Class of 2017, according to the 247Sports composite. Current projections have Kentucky and Duke as the favorites to land Bamba.
Texas fans — and Smart — are growing used to playing the waiting game with top recruits. Last year, Allen took until June to decide. At least now Bamba has set a deadline for his decision. The 2017 NBA Draft takes place June 22.
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