Today marks the last day of the NCAA’s Late Signing Period, yet four players in the top 40 of the ESPN 100 have yet to decide on where they’ll suit up next season.
No, that doesn’t mean that Mo Bamba, Brian Bowen, M.J. Walker and Tremont Waters will have to rush a decision today or skip college on altogether; all four will likely sign financial aid agreements unless they make the call today.
Waters can’t sign another letter of intent since he already signed one at Georgetown.
In essence the fact that they haven’t chosen a college yet means, well, nothing.
Conventional wisdom says that, at this point, most are likely waiting for the May 24 deadline for players to withdraw from the NBA Draft in order to get the full scope of who will and won’t be on campus next season.
Here’s a closer look at Bamba, Bowen, Walker and Waters and the latest rumblings on where they could ultimately end up.
Mo Bamba, Westtown School (West Chester, Penn.), F
The Breakdown: Bamba is a 6-11 power forward who has near-perfect timing on the defensive end coupled with a 7-9 wingspan, making him, arguably the best shot blocker in high school basketball. Bamba, who is ranked No. 3 overall, is far from a finished product offensively, but he works hard and plays with an impressive motor which allows him to impact the game on the offensive end. His current list stands at four: Kentucky, Duke, Texas and Michigan.
Most believe that it’s down to Texas and Kentucky and, for what it’s worth, we asked Bamba which head coach he’d pull on a lifeboat with him in the middle of the ocean if he could only choose one and Bamba settled on Texas coach Shaka Smart.
Granted, his reason was because Smart was the lightest, but, hey, every little bit helps in recruiting.
Brian Bowen, La Lumiere (La Porte, Ind.), SF
The Breakdown: Bowen combines great size (6-7), the ability to score on all three levels and a nonstop motor to dominate games. This past season he led the Lakers to the coveted DICK’s Nationals title, knocking off Montverde 70-52 on April 1.
Bowen, who is ranked No. 13 overall, has already visited Arizona, Michigan State, North Carolina State, Creighton and Texas. His latest visit was to Oregon last week. Michigan State has been on Bowen the longest, but Miles Bridges returning could hamper the Spartans’ chances since Bowen plays the same position.
M.J. Walker, Jonesboro (Jonesboro, Ga.), SG
The Breakdown: Walker is a brute, 6-5 scoring guard who imposes his will on perimeter players using his elite athleticism and driving ability. Walker, who is ranked No. 25 overall, averaged 27.8 points and 6.5 rebounds a game this past season.
Just last week he visited Ohio State and has already taken visits to Virginia Tech, Florida State and Georgia Tech. Walker’s high school coach said that he could potentially take a visit to UCLA as well, which would mean that a decision wouldn’t happen until around the end of the month.
Tremont Waters, Notre Dame (New Haven, Conn.), PG
The Breakdown: Waters is a crafty floor general with limitless range and the ability to create shots for himself and his teammates. Waters was originally signed to Georgetown, but received his release last month after John Thompson III was fired.
Waters and Co. have been radio silent in regards to his recruitment since receiving his release. Duke was potentially an option before the Blue Devils got a commitment from No. 1 overall point guard Trevon Duval last week. The Hoyas are still pursuing Waters, who is ranked No. 32 overall, but Creighton, Western Kentucky and Connecticut are believed to have the edge at this point.
Follow Jason Jordan on Twitter: @JayJayUSATODAY