Mohamed Bamba, the top available prospect in the 2017 recruiting class, is down to four and working towards setting up two more official visits.
“The Duke visit isn’t as clear because of coach K’s recent surgery,” Bamba said. “I think I’m visiting Kentucky next weekend. I’m saying think because I may have to change it around.”
What will he be looking for on those trips?
“Just a matter of seeing myself and do I see myself as a student at X or O university,” Bamba said. “It’s just a matter of how comfortable I feel or my family feels at a place.”
“As far as a timetable for deciding, I think these two visits are crucial ones,” he added.
Bamba is being recruited by the Kentucky staff, but also his friends Quade Green and Hamidou Diallo. Green is a 2017 signee, while Diallo recently enrolled at Kentucky during the semester break.
“They are coming after me pretty hard,” he said. “I’m going to use Hami as an informant. He’s there and he’s going to know what it’s like. He’s there literally straight out of high school to start midseason. I’m going to leave him as a resource.”
“He’s been doing that before he committed, which was funny to me,” he added about Diallo. “I kept telling him, how you going to recruit for a school out here when you aren’t a commit yet. Quade has been relentless. He’s been following us around practice and all that.”
Bamba has been to Duke once unofficially just before his junior season. He said he’s staying in regular contact with Jeff Capel.
“Coach [Jeff] Capel, he’s had his hands full since he’s the interim head coach for Duke right now,” Bamba said. “He has his hands full, but we’ve been in contact and I talk to him every now and then.”
Bamba took his official visit to Texas the last weekend of October. He said their pitch has been different than the others.
“They are more concerned with me personally and how I’m doing with things and I love them for it,” Bamba said.
The final school on his list – Michigan – received the first official visit based in early September.
“Michigan is still involved,” he said. “I talk to the coaches every now and then. It’s a matter of finding a balance of being in the presence of this, Westtown, instead of being out in the world.”
After which school will he pick, the biggest question surrounding Bamba is when he’ll make his college choice. At this point, it looks like the late spring.
“Definitely towards the end of March or early April,” he said. “I kind of want to get home for spring break. Our spring break is March, but that’s the tournament. I kind of want to do visits with the coaches after that and make a decision after that.”