Five-star center Mohamed Bamba of the PSA Cardinals and Westtown (Pa.) says he has a timetable set to cut down his list.
The 6-foot-11 class of 2017 center with a 7-foot-9 wingspan says he will have finalists by August.
In a wide-ranging interview, scout.com’s No. 2 player in the nation in the 2017 class discussed his recruitment timetable, key schools involved and factors that are important to him.
“I’m still letting schools recruit me for the month of August, but at some point in August, I plan to cut my list to 10,” Bamba said, adding that he’ll look at “who’s going in, who’s coming out. What the school can do for me personally, my development, all kinds of things.”
Player development is a major factor for Bamba, who is elite defensively and still development sophistication on the offensive end.
“It’s very big for me,” he said. “When I was growing up as a basketball player, all I heard was the word ‘potential.’ It was potential, potential, potential.
“After a while, potential has to turn into some kind of work, some kind of production. I think if I can channel my potential into some actual production at the collegiate level, I should be ready for the NBA.”
Bamba has a host of schools recruiting him, including Connecticut, Duke, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, North Carolina, Syracuse, Arizona, Louisville, Florida State, Villanova, Maryland and many others.
Indiana is among the schools that have been involved for a while. IU coach Tom Crean and assistant Chuck Martin both have seen Bryant in person at every spring and summer event as well as in high school at Westtown.
“I know a lot from Thomas Bryant. He’s like a brother to me,” Bamba said of the current Indiana sophomore center who also played AAU for the PSA Cardinals. “When we played out there, he came to our games.
“I know a couple other people there like Curt and Devonte.”
The PSA Cardinals played in Westfield, Ind., on a Nike EYBL stop in the spring.
Curtis Jones and Devonte Green will be Indiana freshmen this fall.
Duke also has been recruiting Bamba hard.
“I’m looking for someone who plays like. I don’t think Duke has had anyone who played like me in a while. The closest as far as being active on defense is Luol Deng,” Bamba said.
“It’ll be interesting to see Harry (Giles), Jason (Tatum) and those guys. As far as like positionless and being able to play most of the positions, I see a little bit of that with Harry this year.”
Kentucky is another schools aggressively pursuing Bamba, and the positionless player has been a part of that discussion with John Calipari.
“It’s bene a part of his pitch when you talk about current player,” Bamba said. “One that’s going to play next year in Wenyen (Gabriel), who is sort of like me as far as being positionless. He’s another guy that’s going to be fun to watch and I could probably learn from him.”
North Carolina also is a serious school with Bamba.
“They’re another school I really like. They’ve been to Westtown and I think to every game on the circuit you could possibly go to. I like coach (Roy) Williams,” Bamba said.
During the Q&A, someone asked about North Carolina not landing high-level recruits.
Bamba cut off the question and referenced five-star incoming UNC freshman center Tony Bradley.
“Tony Bradley is pretty good,” Bamba said. “Tony Bradley is really good actually.”null