2018 NBA Draft Profile: Mohamed Bamba
Mohamed Bamba is one of the most unique center prospects in recent memory with an unprecedented combination of length and athleticism that gives him tantalizing upside. A McDonald’s All-American and consensus top-5 prospect in the high school class of 2017, Bamba had a few excellent games this season at Texas, offering several extended glimpses into the caliber of player he could become down the road when he learns how to make the most of his physical gifts. Putting together a solid season overall, Bamba averaged 12.9 points, 10.5 rebounds, and 3.7 blocks per game to earn All-Big XII Second Team honors and helped lead Shaka Smart’s Longhorns to an NCAA Tournament berth.
- One of the longest high-level players in basketball history measuring 7’0.75 in shoes with an otherworldly 7’10 wingspan at the 2018 NBA Draft Combine. Remains on the skinny side tipping the scales at 226-pounds, though his frame has come along in recent years. Possesses very good mobility for his size, able to run the floor impressively and play above the square on the move.
- Was a major difference maker on both ends on his best nights at the college level, but primarily served as a complementary offensive option on a Texas team that had six players average between 8 and 14 points per game. Proved to be a game changing shot blocker, a productive lob target, and an imposing offensive rebounder when his motor ran hot. Did much of his scoring as a finisher, but also got some opportunities to operate with his back to the basket and even flashed some potential as a jump shooter. Still early in his development in terms of skill and polish, but had more than a few flashes of brilliance last season.
- Did much of his damage last season by virtue of his reliable hands and the massive target he presents around the rim. Has a huge catch radius for lobs and can get to a lot of rebounds others players can’t by virtue of his length alone. 15% of his possessions last season were Cuts and another 19% came on Put Backs. Scored 1.527 points per shot around the rim in the half court [97th percentile] and had some of the marquee plays of the college season by getting the ball up near the top of the backboard and attacking the rim with a head of steam. Touch on scoops isn’t bad either, which is a plus given his long reach.
- Flashes some skill and coordination, but has a lot of room to grow as a scorer. Had no shortage of opportunities to score in one-on-one situations inside last season with 27% of his possessions coming on Post Ups, which he converted for 0.730 points per Post Up possession [34th percentile]. Strength, feel, and touch to score over defenders are still developing.
- Looks to have some raw potential as a jump shooter. 22% of his shot attempts in the half court last season came on the perimeter and he converted those looks for 0.820 points per jump shot [32nd percentile]. Knocked down a handful of 3-pointers with a smooth release and can put the ball on the floor a bit to attack in a straight line, but consistency as a shooter and footwork away from the rim are still a work in progress.
- Ranked 1st in the Big XII in Put Back scoring (3.2 ppg)
- Ranked 5th in the Big XII in Cut scoring (2.8 ppg)
- Made many of his best contributions last season on the defensive end. Game changing rim protector whose length and ability to cover ground makes opposing scorers think twice about attacking the basket. Doesn’t have to leave his feet to block shots at times, but will go up an pin attempts against the backboard in impressive fashion as well. Quick enough to step out and guard the perimeter. Still learning how to use his tools in some areas. Allowed 0.831 points per Post Up possession [50th percentile] last season. Has massive upside defensively given the impact he makes at this point in his development.