Para bailar la bamba! Sorry, that song has been stuck in my head all week. Thanks, Chris Notaro.
43/43! La La La La La La BAMBA https://t.co/f57iFTgeNw— Villanova Tip Time (@NovaTipTime) April 11, 2023
Anyways, the Villanova Wildcats have inked their first transfer in the Kyle Neptune era by signing Washington State guard TJ Bamba. This is the first incoming transfer to Villanova since Caleb Daniels came in 2019. Bamba announced his move on Friday.
Bamba, one of the top players to enter the transfer portal this off-season, had a breakout campaign in the 2022-23 season in Pullman, Washington. Bamba led the Cougars in scoring netting 15.8 points per game on 37% shooting from deep, while contributing 3.7 rebounds as well.
Bamba has two years of eligibility remaining, but is on track to graduate from Washington State in just three years. In an interview with 247Sports, Bamba called Villanova’s graduate program “rigorous” and “prestigious."
It is important to note that when Bamba entered the transfer portal, he also entered his name into the NBA Draft (while maintaining his college eligibility). In the same interview, Bamba told 247Sports that the NBA is his “main focus” right now, and will continue to go through the pre-draft process.
It is not a guarantee that Bamba will get drafted however and he transferred to Villanova with intentions of becoming a player that will not only get to the next level but will succeed there as well.
Villanova is just the place to do that. After taking a deep dive into Bamba’s game, one thing is abundantly clear: his work ethic is impeccable.
Bamba was unranked coming out of high school and was a very raw talent his first year at Washington State. He struggled to gain control of his game, turning the ball over and picking up offensive fouls with frequent regularity.
His sophomore season, Bamba started exactly half of the Cougars games, and nearly doubled his stats. More impressive however was the improvement he made in regards to his body control. Truly a night and day difference.
As previously mentioned, last season was the one where Bamba really burst on the scene and made a name for himself in the national spotlight. It may be a bit of a stretch, but definitely within the realm of possibility to assume that he has gotten exponentially better year-by-year.
Bamba is a willing and capable defender, that posses strong versatility in covering multiple positions on the floor. He was often called on to guard the other teams best player in his days at Washington State.
His offensive game is very diverse. He can score from deep with efficiency, but is also extremely quick. His first step is one of the quickest in the game and he can finish at the rim with power or finesse.
Villanova has made professionals out of guys with Bamba’s skill set a dime a dozen. This is a perfect fit and a great way to kick off the off-season. A home run for Kyle Neptune and Co.