Evan Daniels: What does being a part of this game mean to you?
Mohamed Bamba: It honestly just means the world to be selected among a small group of elites. We keep hearing and people keep reiterating that we’re the cream of the crop, that we’re the best of the best and to keep hearing that and keep that in the back of my mind is just awesome.
Where do things stand recruiting wise?
Things are not slow, because of the tournament and stuff like that. But things are not moving slow because I want to give the coaches a little space because March is like a very stressful time but I mean with today all the teams that are recruiting me are officially done with their seasons so I think things are going to start picking up but as far as like having a set date, I’m not really sure. People always ask me like, ‘When are you going to announce? When are you going to announce?’ Assuming I know what school I’m going to go to and I’m like, ‘Yo I got to figure out what school I want to go to first.’
I’m honestly in no rush with the new rule, testing the draft waters rule… With the new rule I was talking to my high school coach, Coach Seth Berger, and there was this new rule that came out and he was like, “Yeah, this new rule is awesome guys can test their draft stock and if they don’t get a good grade they can go back.” And I was like “Oh alright, that sounds interesting. That sounds great and it’s great for the universities, great for the NBA teams, and it’s great for the players.” But it sucks for the high school players, it absolutely sucks for the high school players. You don’t know who is staying, you don’t know who is going but I know one day it’s going to benefit me. Hopefully, I am a guy who can be a one-and-done without a question, but my time for that to benefit me isn’t there yet.
What sticks out to you about Texas?
Just Shaka and how he always tells me he basically left VCU so he can essentially get guys like me. Texas is probably a good spot as far as balance and academics, they have a Top 10 or 15 business school which I think I got into... I think, I’m not sure… It’s just a great balance, he’s real personable, he formed a connection with my family members pretty easily just being him being a charismatic guy. I don’t know, he’s just a good dude.
Michigan…they kind of look liked a team of destiny late in the season…
I’m glad people saw that like later on in the season because people always asked, “Why is Michigan on your list?” but Michigan is on my list because of it’s excellence behind the university and behind it’s athletics like they have state of the art, like every one of these places is going to have state of the art places, but their strength and conditioning program is so ideal because they really work for like your biomechanics and make sure how your loading and landing is just on point. But they’re like excellent all the way through as far as like coaching and playing style, I think I can fit into their playing style pretty well. I mean I’ve been watching D.J. and Moe Wagner play a lot and they’re shooting it, they’re driving it, they’re dribbling it, they’re doing all of that and they’re impacting the game and that’s something I want to do.
Duke was the last official visit… how was that? And what about them sticks out to you?
It was great. It was a great visit, my mom really liked it. Just the legacy, I remember we were meeting, we were having like one of the meetings with coach and my parents and unlike a lot of different schools, Duke offers three different brands they offer program, they offer the school, and they offer Coach K. Coach K has a name for himself, “Coach K”! Him being his own brand says a lot about the program and says something that you definitely want to be a part of as a player and that’s why I’m really looking into it.
What about Kentucky has piqued your interest?
I room with my sister and she always tells me, “Man, I didn’t know Mohamed was serious about this, like I always hear about it distantly but I didn’t know he was serious about this basketball stuff until he took the Kentucky visits.” Like you look at the walls, and you see all the one-and-dones, you see all the pretty much like all of the fantasy and all of the dreams that I want to have later on in life and that’s just something I can’t stress enough juts wanting to be a part of.
What has been the best pitch to you out of any of these schools?
I’d say all of the recruiting pitches have been pretty similar. Nothing out of the ordinary. A lot of them are saying that I’m going to be a player that like doesn’t have a position. I’m going to be a player who’s not just out there, but a position-less player and I’m hearing that from a lot of different places.
Are you going to do any more in-home visits?
Yeah I think I’m going to try and get a couple more in-home visits with each of these schools before I like sort of look to… no none of them are scheduled yet.
If you were forced to make a decision today, could you make it?
Honestly, I couldn’t. I would second guess it and honestly I think I can see myself at any four of these places and that’s why it’s really hard. Like it’s really crazy, it’s a great process to be a part of but like I can see where some guys see it and like it can be a little bit stressful but it’s still a blessing… I can honestly say I can see myself at any four of these places.
When do you think you may make a decision?
I don’t want to like drag out the decision but if that’s something that I feel as if I’m going to need to do then I am absolutely going to do it. Guys are like slowly declaring for the Draft and like I kind of want to see like what their Draft grades are going to be like and what their coaches think.
It seems like to me who goes and stays factors into your deal…How much of a factor is that?
Absolutely. It’s a pretty big factor. I mean I kind of categories things like “big rocks”, “stones”, “pebbles” and “sand or water”. As far as the “big rocks” definitely would want to be like a head coach. Like the head coach I play for is one of the biggest rocks. Alumni and making sure I’m making the most of my education as 1 of 4 years is another “big rock”. But some of the smaller rocks are like honestly it may seem a little silly, but how I feel about the school. Obviously when you get there it’s going to feel a certain way but honestly that might change so much so I’m not really worried about me loving the college town and all four of these are great college towns. There’s a lot of things that are “big rocks” and a lot of things that are like “sand”.
Is there a head coach that you feel like you have the “best” relationship with?
I hate to say this but all four of these coaches are unique in how they talk to me and I know I’m 18 years old but I feel as if I have like a friend in each one of these coaches. I don’t know if that’s just because it’s recruiting but I’ll get to see if any of it is true after I pick a school. But I feel like as if I can have a relationship with any four of these coaches even after.