Allow Mohamed Bamba To Spread His Wingspan And Watch Him Soar To The Top Of The 2018 NBA Draft Class
What do we know about Mohamed Bamba?
We know that he is agile, mobile, athletic, freakishly long and bursting with potential. He’s a big that weighed in at 225.6 lbs, measured up at 7’ 0.75” with shoes, and recorded a standing reach of 9’ 7.5” (Food for thought: an NBA rim stands at 10’ 0”). His wingspan came in at an enormous 7’ 10”. According to an NBA.com article, Bamba’s wingspan is said to be the longest measured in the history of the NBA Draft combine.
Great Intro but how does Bamba contribute on the basketball court? (His scouting report)
In his first and only season at Texas, Bamba protected the rim, grabbed rebounds, finished plays around the basket and at times stepped out to shoot the mid or long range jumper.
He’s a double-double threat every time he steps on the floor. For the season he recorded 15 double-doubles (points/rebounds), which tied for 20th in NCAA rankings for the 2017-2018 season. He ranked 12th in NCAA rebounds per game. He averaged 10.5 boards and grabbed a total of 316 for the season.
What’s his deal on the defensive side of the ball?
Mohamed is a big that uses his monstrous length, solid lateral movement, mobility and decent timing to defend. He’s a big that will defend in the half court and get back on defense in transition.
An excellent rim protector that changes, contest and blocks shots. In NCAA competition he ranked 2nd in the nation in blocks with an average of 3.7 per contest. He also ranked 4th in total blocks as he recorded 111 for the year.
Defending the post
Bamba displays solid lateral movement when defending the post. He moves his feet against attacks off the dribble and contests shots at the rim. But there’s potential for trouble in the early stages of his NBA career. Bamba will need to get stronger in order to stop NBA opposition from going through him. His length and shot blocking ability have been his saving grace in bully ball situations.
Show and recovery/Pick and Roll coverage
Mohamed has the ability to show and recover but needs to improve this area of his defense. He’s capable of showing out to the wing & recovering to the painted area and basket to contest/disrupt field goal attempts. He also has the ability to defend (dribble drives) off the switch; solid lateral movement.
But on occasion Mohamed is a bit slow, late or lost on the recovery after showing. Mistakes which typically lead to easy lay ups, close range field goal attempts or mismatches around the basket.
Mohamed’s agility allows him to close-out to the three-point line quickly and with ease. He’s capable of being a discipline defender; close-out under control, stay down on shot fakes and slide his feet to stay with ball handlers attempting to attack past his closeout. But closing-out effectively on a consistent basis will be the key for Bamba. He must cut down on allowing ball handlers to attack past him off the dribble.
As a help defender Mohamed can cover a lot of ground. His mobility affords him the opportunity to leave his man in order to disturb/cut off penetration into the paint, contest & block close range field goal attempts or jump shots along the perimeter and out to the three point line.
Bamba ranked 18th in NCAA defensive rebounds per game. He averaged 7.33 boards and collected a total of 220 for the season.
Mohamed appears to have some understanding of defensive rebounding fundamentals. On many occasions he finds a body to box out. Combined with a solid pair of hands, he grabs one handed boards with ease. The ball sticks to his palms like glue. He also has the ability to disturb, contest and then rebound a missed close range attempt.
Whats does his offensive game look like?
On the offensive end Mohamed is a work in progress. But he did make some offensive strides from the beginning to the end of the season. He finishes plays around the basket, cleans up on the offensive glass and possesses a post game which has room for improvement.
Finishing plays around the basket
Teammates create for Bamba often. He’s a reliable drive, draw and dish option. Excellent target for lobs. Solid set of hands; catches most passes in his vicinity. He has lift; can finish plays with a lay in or an explosive flush.
Clean up duties
On the offensive glass, Bamba puts in work. For the season he collected a total of 96 offensive boards. He ranked 26th in NCAA offensive rebounding with an average of 3.20 per game.
He’s quick off his feet for put backs attempts. He cleans up teammates' missed shots as well as his own. Second chance opportunities are finished with lay-ins or strong flushes.
Bamba on the blocks
On the low blocks, Bamba has the ability to create with his back to the basket and shoot the jumper off the face-up. Off the backdown, he’s capable of using baseline spin moves to set up jump hooks and close range field goal attempts.
But there’s a lot of room for improvement to his post game. It needs growth and polishing. At times he struggles in the post. Mohamed needs to get stronger. On post moves, more strength will allow him to maintain balance, move past or go through his defenders. This will result in cleaner looks and increase opportunities to score around the basket… Also, at times he can be weak with the ball off the face-up.
The flick of Mohamed’s wrist
For a big man, Bamba has a decent looking stroke. But his jump shot still needs work. He’s a big that's capable of shooting off the face up, catch & shoot or the pick and pop. Knocking down the mid range jumper and stretching the defense are within his capabilities. His range extends out to the college three point line. He’s just not very effective from long range. For the season he attempted 51 three pointers but connected on less than 30 percent of those attempts.
Putting the ball on the deck
The ability to attack off the dribble is there. From the post, foul line area and the three point line, he’s good for a few dribbles on a straight line attack. Mohamed is capable of getting to the basket for field goal attempts.
Free throw shooting
Decent foul shooter, slightly below average. But he has a good looking stroke for a big man. On average, nearly three of his points per game came from the charity stripe for the season.
What can we expect at the NBA level
Mo Bamba has the potential to become the best player in the 2018 NBA Draft. But first he needs to be selected by the right franchise.
So who's the right franchise?
The right franchise is one in which the Front office and Coaching staff have a plan in place that will seamlessly incorporate Mohamed into their system. The right franchise will have a plan to develop Mohamed’s offensive skill set and physical strength. The right franchise will provide Mohamed with a clear and defined role. The size and significance of his role will set the altitude for his production potential. The right franchise will provide Mohamed the opportunity to develop via playing time. The right franchise will allow Mohamed to experience and play through the on-court growing pains.
Bamba’s level of success in the NBA will be greatly influenced by the team that selects him on June 21, 2018. Will he become the best player from the 2018 draft class? Only time will tell how far a lucky franchise will guide "The Bamba" as he spreads his 7’ 10” Wingspan!
Role and how he can contribute at the next level:
Shot blocker/rim protector
Clean up on offensive glass/2nd chance opportunities
Finish plays around the rim (guard penetration feeds and lobs)
Potential to be the best prospect of the 2018 Draft class
Rim protector/Shot blocker
Rebounding: 2nd Chance opportunities
Hands; ball sticks like glue
Areas for improvement/Weakness/Question Marks:
Ability to stretch the defense/Long range jumper efficiency
Show & Recover (defense)
Become stronger with the ball
Lottery Pick: 1- 4
Hometown: Harlem, NY
High School: Westtown School (PA)
College Major: Business
McDonald's All-American (2017)
Jordan Brand Classic (2017)
Nike Hoop Summit (2017)
All Big 12 - Second Team (2018)
All Big 12 - Defensive Team (2018)
All Big 12 - Newcomer Team (2018)
Brother of prized Texas recruit Mohamed Bamba alleges NCAA violations involving financial advisor