Mohamed Bamba is coming to Austin, instantly becoming the most talented player Shaka Smart has landed in his head coaching career.
He’s also tied for the highest-rated recruit to pick Texas since the advent of true recruiting rankings, according to 247 Sports.
The talented 6-foot-11-inch, 216-pound center from New York City is the No. 2-rated player by 247 Sports Composite rankings, the same as former NBA MVP and All-Star Kevin Durant, who in 2006 picked Texas.
Durant picked Texas over a number of blue-blood programs, including North Carolina. Bamba has done the same, picking the Longhorns over Kentucky and Duke (as well as Michigan).
Bamba is also the highest-rated recruit to pick Texas since Myles Turner revealed a burnt-orange bucket hat in 2014. Turner, from Euless Trinity in Texas, was the No.6-rated recruit per 247 at the time.
According to 247 Sports, the 10 highest-rated recruits to pick Texas include Durant, Bamba, Avery Bradley (2009), Turner, Jordan Hamilton (2009), Tristan Thompson (2010), Cory Joseph (2010), LaMarcus Aldridge (2004), C.J. Miles, who did not sign, (2005) and Myck Kabongo (2011).
Bamba gives the Longhorns the No. 4-ranked recruiting class in the nation, the highest since 2009, when Texas landed Bradley, Hamilton, Shawn Williams and J’Covan Brown. Texas’ class was third in the nation that year.
Earlier this year 4-star guard Matt Coleman picked Texas. The 6-foot-1-inch guard was the No. 47-rated player. Meanwhile, forward Jericho Sims was rated the No. 49 player his class. This gives Texas a trio of top 50 recruits for the first time since 2009.
Smart had previously won recruiting battles for Jarrett Allen and Andrew Jones. Allen had been the highest-rated recruit ever to sign with Smart until Bamba.