By: Justin Wells and Tim Preston
In back-to-back years, Texas has gone toe-to-toe with national blueboods to gain the commitment of a top rated big man. In back-to-back years, they have come out on top.
Consensus five-star 2018 F/C Mohamed Bamba committed to Texas today over offers from Kentucky, Duke, and Michigan among others. The McDonald’s All-American 7-footer hails from New York City but attended the Westtown School just outside of Philadelphia.
This is when we get excited, people.
Shaka Smart and the Longhorn Basketball Program were looking for an answer on the interior after freshman Jarrett Allen decided to keep his name in the NBA Draft and they got the best one they could have hoped for when Mohamed Bamba chose Texas today.
Mo, as he is known to those around him, is a consensus five-star prospect, a McDonald’s and Jordan Brand All-American and arguably the best prep post player in the country. Adding a player of Bamba’s capability is beyond a rarity for the UT program and an opportunity for Texas to add a special player into a crucial next season for Shaka and his team.
· Tremendous athlete with explosiveness and quickness around the basket and in space
· If Bamba were in the NBA, his wingspan would be number one in the league (7’9” wingspan and 9’6” standing reach)
· Attacks the rim as a rebounder and with the ball in the paint
· Similarly to Allen, has the foot speed and lateral quickness to switch onto smaller players and not get beat
· Can recover even when beat and has the length to be a special rim protector
· Is a capable shooter out into the midrange
· Possesses a solid free throw stroke
· Great agility in traffic
· Special all-around player
· Needs to fill out
· Not a perimeter shooter at this point
It’s difficult to overstate how important this get is for Texas, but we’ll try:
1. Allows Osetkowski to play his more natural pick and pop four spot
2. Allows Banks, Sims and Hamm to progress in a low pressure environment
3. Gives Texas an elite rim protector/rebounder/low post scorer
4. Gives Texas great flexibility in their defensive looks
5. Gives Texas another high draft pick low post player under Shaka
6. Represents Shaka’s ability to recruit even under difficult circumstances