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Starting Five: Five-star Mo Bamba sets final visit


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The best big man left in the class of 2017, five-star shot blocker Mohamed Bamba, has set his final official visit. Four-star junior A.J. Reeves is piling up offers and 2018's No. 2 player, Zion Williamson, took an unofficial visit recently. All of that and more in this week's Starting Five.


Duke has a visit in place for the one five-star senior the Blue Devils are left chasing who hasn't been on campus officially. After already hosting targets Trevon Duval and Kevin Knox this season, they now get a visit out of shot blocking machine Mohamed Bamba.

Bamba said during January that he would likely visit Durham near the end of February and that it was just a matter of making sure that Mike Krzyzewksi had returned from his surgery. Coach K is back and sources confirmed to Rivals.com on Sunday that Bamba will visit the weekend of Feb. 28 when the Blue Devils host Florida State.

Bamba has previously visited Kentucky, Michigan and Texas and after the visit to Duke he should enter decision-making mode. As the visit date approaches, talk is how this last trip could be the tipping point between Duke or Kentucky.


Many programs have been looking overseas for talent and one of the hottest names right now is four-star french big man Olivier Sarr.

Although he didn't put up big numbers, Sarr was seen by many NCAA coaches during the summer at the FIBA 17U World Championships in Spain. His ability to run, fluid athleticism, length, better-than-average hands and upside caught many eyes and now Sarr is amid a visit tour of four programs.

Last week Sarr saw California and Wake Forest. Sarr just finished up his trip to Winston-Salem on Sunday and he has stops at UCF and Vanderbilt planned for this week.


One of the more physical and athletic wing players in the class of 2018, A.J. Reeves hasn't exactly been wanting for scholarship offers.

Heading into his junior season the 6-foot-5 wing held offers from programs Providence (where he visited Saturday), Virginia Tech, Creighton, Rutgers, VCU, Xavier, Connecticut, Boston College and several others. However, a big week yielded more high-profile offers.

After seeing him play last week, Syracuse, Northwestern and defending national champion Villanova all stepped up with scholarship offers. Reeves isn't in any rush to cut things down at this point and will be one of the most heavily watched players this spring.


A decision for top 10 senior Kevin Knox might not be far. This weekend, the high-scoring forward from Tampa will make his final official visit when he sees North Carolina as it hosts ACC foe Virginia.

Knox has already taken official visits to Duke, Florida State and Kentucky, and each program has a strong pull. Duke has spent the last few years highlighting similar players like Jayson Tatum, Jabari Parker and Brandon Ingram. At Florida State his father played wide receiver on its 1993 national championship football team and his mother played volleyball. At Kentucky, Knox is the type of big wing that John Calipari has struggled to land.

This weekend will give North Carolina – where Knox has been unofficially – a chance to make one last impression. Likely, it will center around the idea of replacing star junior Justin Jackson, who is probably going to test the NBA Draft waters.

We don't expect an immediate decision from Knox, but look for him to have something in the first half of March.


Realistically, Wofford probably doesn't have any real shot at landing the nation's No. 2 ranked junior, Zion Williamson. However, it's great pub for the Terriers to have the homegrown talent on hand for a game.

Williamson stopped by on Saturday night to see Wofford drop a home game to Chattanooga and his appearance stirred up social media and the local fans.

Moving onto realistic places that Williamson, who will once again play on the Adidas Gauntlet circuit this spring, might land, Kentucky appears to be making its move. Williamson was in Lexington for the Kansas game and Calipari was recently out to see him. Word is the Wildcats' increased attention has been well received.

It's too early to rule out home state schools Clemson and South Carolina but Williamson's recruitment looks to be one that is tracking as a battle of the bluebloods with Duke, Kansas and North Carolina also showing major love to the big time athlete.