The 2017 class will be a critical one for Syracuse. They should have multiple scholarships available, with the center position being of critical importance. With that in mind, assistant coach Adrian Autry extended an offer to five-star 2017 center Mohamed Bamba on Tuesday.
Syracuse was not the only school to extend an offer as Arizona and Connecticut, among others, did the same. Why has he become so attractive to major programs? His AAU coach, Munch Williams, thinks the answer is simple.
”It’s his overall length at 6-foot-11 and mobility,” Williams said. “He can really fluidly run up and down the court. Obviously, defensively, one of the better kids in the country in blocking shots and rebounding. He can anchor your defense. He does a great job showing on ball screens and communicating. Just overall, being on the defensive side.
”On the offense side, the things he can do are limitless at 6-11. He can handle the ball, shoot the 15-foot jumper, sideline extended or short elbow, shoot the occasional three and hit that. He’s got post moves too. The sky is the limit for the kid. He’s coming in with a package.”
With the skills coach Williams described, Bamba seems like an ideal fit for what Syracuse likes to do on both ends of the floor. He believes that the five-star prospect would be an ideal fit within the Orange zone.
”A place like Syracuse, he could play the wing of their zone,” Williams said. “Or, he could anchor their zone in the middle. He’s a kid with limitless potential.”
Williams believes Bamba compares favorably to some other elite players coming out of high school in Kevin Garnett and Anthony Davis because of his ability to play in the post, off the ball or handle and run the show. Despite that comparison, Williams admits there is a lot of work to be done.
Despite all of the offers coming his way lately, Bamba is not dividing his attention. He remains focused on academics and becoming a better basketball player. Visits will happen down the road, but he is in no rush.
”He’s not really worried about the visits right now,” Williams said. “Those things will come. He’s a kid that takes academics seriously. So he’s constantly working on finishing out the school year strong. He probably won’t visit until he’s done with school towards the end of May.
”The visits are not an issue. I’m sure he’ll make his way over (to Syracuse).”
Syracuse should have a lot of playing time for bigs available in the 2017-18 season. DaJuan Coleman and Chinonso Obokoh are both scheduled to have used up their eligibility while Moustapha Diagne will be a junior. Those facts could play in Syracuse’s favor.
”He’s a kid that could play the four or the five,” Williams said. “It’s not a matter of which one, it’s a matter of where the playing time is at. Ideally, he’s going to be good enough to go to any program in the country and make an immediate impact.”
Williams added that as long as Syracuse is able to go to the postseason and remains nationally competitive, he has no issue with his kids playing there in light of the recent NCAA sanctions.