WEIGHT: 215 lbs
SCHOOL/ TEAM: Texas
Positional size - Good positional size at 7'0, Frame should be able to fill out
Wingspan - Ridiculous 7'9" wingspan that would rank at the largest in NBA
Rim protector - Massive wingspan and good instincts. Averaging over 4 blocks per game in first 7 games of season
Defensive star potential - Has the tools to be a special defender with his length, instincts and mobility
Athleticism - Agile athlete that can move his feet with the ability to switch. Has the speed to run the floor in transition
Rebounding - Double digit rebounder, Threat on both offensive and defensive glass
Strength - Must get stronger to handle physical play. Struggles with stronger players
Motor - Energy, motor and effort aren't always there.
Screen setting - Weak screen setter, does not like to make contact.
Offensive game - At this point he's not polished in the post, is not a good screener and his shooting touch hasn't translated to college game
Turnovers - Tendency to commit unforced turnovers or pick up charges.
Texas freshman Mohamed Bamba entered his freshman as one of the top NBA prospects in college basketball. His massive 7'9' wingspan along with his athleticism, mobility and improving offensive skill set is built for the modern NBA.
5 games into the season and you can see Bamba's strengths, upside and glaring weaknesses. His biggest asset to an NBA team will be his ability to defend and protect the rim. He's currently averaging 4 blocks per game and his defensive impact was evident vs Duke and their starting lineup which features 5 NBA prospects. Texas was up by as many as 16 and the game changed in Duke's favor once Bamba was in foul trouble.
Marvin Bagley dominated Texas inside doing by doing most of the damage in the second half while posting 34 points and 15 rebounds. Bamba posted a respectable 9 points, 10 rebounds and 2 blocks in 26 minutes, but was clearly outplayed by the hyper athletic and active Bagley. While at this point in their careers, neither player is super skilled but Bagley's motor and energy level was clearly head and shoulders above Bamba's. For a guy who's going to hang his hat on his defensive skill, Bamba's effort level was a bit of a concern for me.
Offensively Bamba is still raw and looking for his niche in the college game. His offensive struggles could be related to Texas' system where he's not playing with the same space he'll have in the NBA. He doesn't look really comfortable posting up do to his lack of strength/bulk and also does not look to be much of a threat as the roll man in the pick & roll due to his weak screens. On the block he struggles to establish position and doesn't full use his length to shoot his jump hook over the defender. He also seems to prefer popping out and shooting as his strength and in my opinion he settles for too many jumpers. Another issue I've noticed is he's not very strong with the ball and is easily stripped.
Bamba is a good agile and mobile athlete that can run the floor in transition and also has a quick second jump to put back his own misses. He has the potential to be dominant on the offensive glass, especially paired w/ the a driving point guard than puts pressure on the defense.
On defense, Bamba has the mobility to move his feet and switch on guards while giving them a cushion and still altering their shots. He has the potential to become one of the best defenders in the world with his physical tools. He has a tendency to pick up fouls, but once he understands verticality and keeping his arms up he'll be a game changer. Personally, I want to see a little more dog and effort out of him.
RAFAEL BARLOWE - NOVEMBER 30, 2017
Size: Arms for days, 7’9” wingspan will him comparisons to Rudy Gobert.
Shooter: Potential to stretch the floor. Percentages don’t reflect but he’s comfortable shooting 3s and shows good touch a the foul line.
Toughness: Rebounds in traffic and out of position. He’s skinny as a rail but he’LL lower his shoulder into you. He’s not afraid to bang.
Rim protector: averaging 4 blocks per game through 6 games; 3 blocks per game against Power 5 teams. Should have the mobility to move his feet on the perimeter.
Athleticism: Very good athlete, runs the floor, explosive off of a no dribble gather.
Physical: wiry frame is going to get him abused on the block at the next level. Poor lower body strength right now.
Scoring: Should be used as a rim running/PNR big in college but is force fed on the block at times. Seems more comfortable popping instead of rolling but his jumper isn’t there yet.
Defense: He’s struggled with fouls against Power 5 teams averaging 4 per game. Picks up silly fouls not being vertical and taking advantage of his unreal wingspan.
JAMES BARLOWE - NOVEMBER 30, 2017