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Shaka Smart, Texas to visit 5-star PF Mohamed Bamba Thursday

So you’re saying there’s a chance?

Basketball: Nike EYBL Finals at Peach Jam Joshua S. Kelly-USA TODAY Sports

According to a report from 247Sports, Texas will be among the final two schools to visit five-star Westtown School (N.Y.) power forward Mohamed Bamba, along with Harvard. Connecticut and Duke visited the nation’s No. 3 prospect Tuesday and according to a report for Adam Zagoria, Bamba, who hasn’t released a formal list, is down to seven schools and the Longhorns are among those, joined by Duke, Kentucky, Connecticut, Harvard, Syracuse and Michigan.

Of those still reportedly being considered, Texas stands as the team that seems to be a bit of a surprise inclusion. The Longhorns have received virtually no publicity regarding Bamba’s recruitment, which has been centered around Kentucky, Duke, Harvard and UConn, as well as Michigan, which received his only official visit thus far. Texas likely found some favor during the summer, as Bamba was a part of the Team USA U18 squad, which Smart served as the head coach of.

In any case, it would appear Texas’ chances of landing the elite 6’11 power forward over the likes of Kentucky and Duke are slim. But after having played under Smart for Team USA and considering Smart’s well-known ability to establish a trustworthy relationship with targets, there’s reason to believe Smart is still capable of luring New York’s top tier talent to the Lone Star State, despite the odds certainly not appearing in his favor. The relationship aspect also aligns quite perfectly with Bamba’s High School Diary, in which he called Smart, Conn’s Kevin Ollie and Maryland’s Mark Turgeon his three favorite coaches, “just relationship-wise.”