Video: Mohamed Bamba talks final four schools

Dylan Burkhardt

Five-star big man Mo Bamba sat down with to discuss his four final schools at the McDonald’s All-American game.

Bamba is down to Michigan, Texas, Duke and Kentucky, but is in no hurry to make the NCAA Tournament.

“As far as picking and deciding and a time frame I’m not really sure,” Bamba told Bossi. “I don’t really feel any pressure with time because with guys last year like Marques Bolden (Duke) and Jarrett Allen (Texas), they both waited until close to June. I don’t want to drag it out that long but I feel real comfortable in my own skin and taking my time.”

Bamba told Bossi that John Beilein has been focusing on Michigan’s player development.

“I’ve had a conversation with coach (John) Beilein on where I would fit. He’s told me, ‘We’ve had guys outside the top 100 and not ranked and two-stars, and have turned them into pros.’ He was saying that he can’t even imagine what they could do with someone like me.”

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  • gobluemd16

    If I had to guess, from that video, i’d say he is headed to Duke.

  • Stephen Chang

    It sounds like Duke, Kentucky and Michigan have a good shot at landing him. Texas’s situation seems more unclear

    • gobluemd16

      May mean nothing at all, but he did slip in a “we’re” when talking about Texas.

      • Stephen Chang


  • robpollard

    It would be great if he came here, but I’m not expecting it — at all.

    Besides, while I would be very pleased if our last scholarship for 2017-2018 was used on a 5-star big, the front court is not exactly our biggest need, assuming (as I do) that DJ and Moe come back.

    As a plan1B, it would be wonderful if there was some high asst/low to PG grad transfer who wanted to come here and play 15 or so quality minutes a game, but I don’t know if one exists (and if he does, whether he’d want to come to UM, where it is unlikely he’d get a starting job). I looked a this handy-dandy list of some potential options and absolutely no one jumps out as a real possibility. But maybe there is someone out there who just hasn’t made himself known yet.

  • Ernie Silverthorn

    I agree with gobluemd16 that if I had to guess, I’d expect it to be Duke, but I really don’t believe he tipped his hand. He did say two things I liked. He talked about a coach going with a player and kind of riding him in the NCAA Tournament. There is no question that Coach B did that with Derrick, to whom he literally handed the reins of our team in the latter part of the season. I think Mo Bamba was paying attention in that regard. He also talked about the recruiting process bringing his family closer together. I got the impression that is really important to him, family. Listening to our players, and especially listening to Moe Wagner, they love the family atmosphere at Michigan. Finally, he is an articulate, well spoken, thoughtful young man. He would fit in well with our kids. We’ll know fairly soon.

  • bobohle

    I agree with Ernie on this. I don’t think he tipped his hand. A very intellegent individual who was very effectively eluding the trap question. Whenever Coach Beilein targets an elite recruit most comments on this site say Michigan doesn’t stand a chance. I’ve always said one day will be Michigan’s turn. Why not now? I believe Billy Donlan would be estatic having a back end rim protector on the D side not to mention Mo’s upside on the O side. I would say the 5 ft and closer misses would be drastically reduced. Looking forward to watching the game on Wed. I hope Coach Beilein will be at the game in person.

  • bobohle

    Also thank you Dylan for this update and video.

  • More from Bamba

    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.

    • bobohle

      Michigan is going to have to stay after him for sure. Don’t give up! Give your best sales pitch. Even bring in Mr. Ross if need be. Hey Charles Matthews you can help. Maybe Livers and Poole also. Even Juwan Howard,Jalen Rose,Robinson III or Hardaway Jr. Don’t leave any stone unturned!

      • jemblue

        I don’t think they’re allowed to talk to him (unless he’s on campus).

        • bobohle

          Home visits are coming up again!

    • Nick

      His answer about how not knowing whether certain guys are leaving complicates his decision was interesting. I know that applies to the Texas guy but have to think he is keeping an eye on what moe and dj do. If one leaves, seems like UM chances improve.

    • Tony DeMaria

      It sucks that putting Michigan on a list with Duke and Kentucky causes people to ask them why he is even considering Michigan. A) I’m not saying Michigan is a blue blood, but if there was a tier right below blue blood status I think we are probably in it (maybe I’m a homer), so its not insane for a 5 star guy to have us in his top 4 even if historically we don’t pull in 5 stars very often.
      B) Michigan should absolutely be considered for a “1 and done” guy if Beilein is targeting him, as Michigan can hold its own with Duke and Kentucky in terms of players that have gone to the NBA in recent years. Even better, Beilein has done with the unheralded 3 star guys as well as top 50 prospects. You give him talent he will find a way to make you into a legit NBA prospect. Or you could go to Kentucky, find yourself learning the system slowly and suddenly you are ending your freshman year as a bit player coming off the bench like Matthews. Not saying that doesn’t happen here (Brundidge, Donnal, Chatman, Teske) but there is a lot less room for error when you have 3 other Top 10 recruits on the roster fighting for PT.

  • AAtoLA


  • Coltrane

    So he wants to play the 4? At least in watching Michigan he got to see how Beilein used Wagner in the offense. Can Duke or Kentucky show him that? Still, I’ve thought this for a while, his family wants him to go to a good academic school. If I’m guessing, I think he goes to Duke.

    • bobohle

      He wants the best business school. No better school than Michigan’s Ross School of Business. IMO!

      • Coltrane

        Duke and Texas aren’t shabby when it comes to business schools either. His coach though says he’s only going to college because he can’t go directly to the NBA. Who knows, and if he’s only going to school for a year, what real difference does it make.

  • PJohnson

    I could see Wilson moving into Irvin’s role with relative ease (on both ends of the floor). Imagine a starting frontcourt of Wilson/Bamba/Wagner – wow!!!

    • bobohle

      Impressive ehh! Wilson will need to work on his foot work extremely hard to keep up with the smaller three position though.

      • PJohnson

        He often ended up covering guards on D due to switches and more than held his own. Reminded of Tayshaun Prince.

  • Wayman Britt

    Mr. Bamba:

    You are already a great shot blocker and defensive player, but I think you would agree you need to develop your offensive game. There is no better coach in America than John Beilien in developing offensive fundamentals. He could improve your all around game to increase your earning power in the NBA. While, Duke is a good school and Coach K is a great coach, you should really look at the who has the best offensive player development.

  • 987987987987

    KENTUCKY! Please come here! You will be practically a god to everyone on campus. We want you here so badly.

  • Amaizeman

    A worldwide network of excellence. Arguably the greatest athletic history in collegiate sports. A pinnacle of diversity. Repeatadly rated the best college town. Unparalledled prestige in all academic areas. A culture that encourages tackling each day with enthusiasm unknown to mankind.

    Put simply, the leaders and best.