Who’s Left in 2017 Recruiting: Top 5 Big Board
With the High School All Star Season starting to come to a close, it’s time to have a final look at which of the top players are left available and what impact can they can have on this upcoming season and the college basketball landscape.
1. Mohamed Bamba ***** #3 Overall (247 Sports Composite)
Also known as Mo Bamba, he’s from Harlem but goes to school at Westtown School in Pennsylvania. He’s a hybrid big man and at 6’11” 215 he is as long as they come with a 7’8” wingspan paired with a 9’5” standing reach making him a dominant shot blocker which will easily translate to the next level. He moves well and was athletic enough to enter the McDonalds All American dunk contest but his performance was underwhelming. With his combination of length and athleticism he probably has the most amount upside in this entire class.
Bamba can already stretch the floor and knock down the open jumper when needed, but at the end of the day he will need to play center in college and with that he will need to work on his post moves and strength to really dominate at the next level.
He’s considering a group of four schools: Duke, Kentucky, Michigan, and Texas. Obviously wherever Mo chooses to go he’ll make a huge impact but given Kentucky’s roster my pick is he ends up in Austin in what hopes to be Shaka Smart’s breakout year in Texas. Bamba would also mesh well with current Longhorns signee Jericho Sims who’s a big man hybrid as well.
2. Trevon Duval ***** #5 Overall
This is a guy that really jumps out on film, literally and metaphorically. Originally from Wilmington, Delaware, Trevon transferred to Florida at the infamous IMG Academy, a school more well know for football, for his senior year. At 6’3” 190, he’s bigger than your typical point guard. His strength is underrated as he continuously out muscles his opponents. With that comes great finishing at the rim, probably the best at it in this class, whether it be layups through contact or thunderous slams on the rim. He’s a very exciting player to watch, just peep his mixtapes.
What sometimes gets forgotten would be his unbelievable ball handling, which gives him the Kyrie Irving comparison. As much as I hate comparisons though, with his athleticism, strength, and ball handling, I can’t help but get a young Derrick Rose vibe from him. I say young because his glaring flaw, similar to Rose at the time, would be his shooting. Everything about his jump shot needs improvement. However, I’m not worried it eventually getting fixed, but it could hurt him a bit at the next level with better defending.
Duval has narrowed his list down to a group of five schools: Arizona, Baylor, Duke, Kansas, and Seton Hall. For me, I feel like it has been Duke the whole time and I am not sure why he hasn’t committed. Coach K is getting himself another good one.
3. Kevin Knox ***** #8 Overall
Word on the street is that this kid may be the most underrated player in this entire class which is scary considering how highly he’s rated. A lot of this has to do with the fact that he is very young for this class at 17 years old and won’t turn 18 until well after he’s moved in to a college campus. He’s from Tampa, Florida where he plays at Tampa Catholic. He has your stereotypical small forward build at 6’8” 205 so the length you want is there. He’s very versatile at both sides of the floor. He can guard multiple positions, score in a multitude of ways, and get rebounds if needed.
The one facet of his game that really goes unnoticed about his game is his playmaking ability. He’s a very accurate passer and sees the floor very well. What really stood out this year was his improvement shooting the basketball both from distance and off the dribble. He does need to work on his consistency but I have a feeling that will just come with age.
His recruiting has really been a mystery through this entire process but five schools stand out: Duke, Florida State, Kentucky, Missouri, and North Carolina. Where he goes can be anyone’s guess but his best fit would definitely be at Chapel Hill and Roy Williams’ squad especially with the probable departure of Justin Jackson.
4. Brandon McCoy ***** #10 Overall
Brandon McCoy is probably the least talked about top 10 recruit of all time just due to the simple fact that he gets lost in all the glitz and glamour of Southern California basketball. He’s an old school, hard-nosed basketball player at Cathedral Catholic in San Diego. At 7’0” 240, he’s the most physically imposing big in this class and arguably the best rim protector as well. His offensive game is not quite there yet but it’s coming along nicely as well as his mobility.
As far as a competitor, he’s second to none. His recruitment can easily be labelled as a circus at this point but has five schools, as of right now cause it can change, of note: Arizona, Michigan State, Oregon, San Diego State, and UNLV. At the end of the day he ends up at Oregon, the momentum Dana Altman has built there is outstanding and they also need another center. I wouldn’t be surprised if he ends up somewhere I didn’t even mention.
5. Brian Bowen ***** #15 Overall
The man known as “Tugs” already has a reputation for scoring at will. The best player for arguably the most talented team in the country, La Lumiere, the kid from Saginaw, Michigan has shown tremendous potential time and time again. The man with the craziest hair in this class may also be the best scorer, but at the same time has flaws to his game.
At 6’7” but only 190 lbs, Tugs is skinny. Listing him at 190 may be a reach because he might be closer to 170. This is reflected in his lack of strength as well as explosiveness. However, if or when he bulks up, guarding him may present an even bigger challenge especially with that improving 3 point jumper.
There are six schools to keep in mind when it comes to Bowen: Arizona, Creighton, DePaul, Michigan State, NC State, and Texas. Right now it appears to be neck and neck between Arizona and Michigan State with Creighton as the long shot, but I think Bowen has liked Michigan State more than any school this entire process and it would take a lot to pull him away from Tom Izzo and Co.
Stay tuned for the rest of the Top 10 uncommited recruits which will be posted next week.