Oregon men’s basketball gets five-star Bol Bol
On Monday, five-star center Bol Bol announced on the Players’ Tribune that he has committed to the University of Oregon.
— Bol Bol (@bolmanutebol) November 20, 2017
After missing out on the No. 1 recruit in the nation, RJ Barrett, the Ducks get the No. 2 recruit, according to Scout.com, and will become the No. 1 recruiting class for 2018. Bol, a 7-foot-3 center who recently transferred from Mater Dei High School in Orange County, California, to Findlay Prep in Las Vegas, was fielding offers from Kentucky and Arizona among others.
“I didn’t know much about the school until I started getting recruited by Oregon’s assistant coach, Tony Stubblefield,” Bol wrote. “And then later by Coach Altman. Before that, I knew they had a lot of jerseys, a lot of different shoe combinations, but that was about it. But it was really those first few meetings with Coach Stubblefield that impressed me the most. He was accessible. He got to know me. He was really real with me.”
He wrote that part of the decision was based on Oregon’s brand, clothing options (especially his size 14 shoes) and the school’s social media presence.
“During my official visit — it was on a recent weekend — we got to go into a room someone said was known as the Phil Knight room,” he wrote. “It was this special room where they showcase all the new Oregon gear Nike is working on.”
He is the son of former NBA player Manute Bol, who passed away in June 2010. Bol says he made the decision to go to Oregon over his childhood dream school, Kentucky.
“I made my final decision to go to Oregon pretty recently,” Bol said. “It was during a long car ride. I had made my official visit to Kentucky a few days before that. So I had a lot to think about. I was super stressed. Kentucky had been my dream school ever since I was a kid.”
In a press conference on Monday, Altman talked about what he saw in Bol and how Chris Boucher’s success at Oregon might have helped sway Bol to the Ducks.
“I think he can really run, he’s very mobile for his size, I love his ability to block shots and his timing with that,” Altman said. “He saw where we allowed Chris to shoot threes and encouraged it, spread the floor, and he’s a good shooter. I think as his shot develops, as his game develops, that will be a really big weapon for us.”
Altman doesn’t think that there’s much else Bol can accomplish in college other than refine the skills he already has to prepare himself for the next level.
“He’s a good player and we’re excited about helping him grow, helping him develop, and I think getting stronger — I don’t think he’s ever going to be big, so we’re just going to need to develop who he is and make him a better version of what he is and that’s shooting the ball, handling it, he’s a good passer,” Altman said. “But that shot-blocking is very unique.”
Being a top recruit, scouting sites have already pegged Bol as a potential top-pick in the 2019 NBA Draft. NBAdraft.net lists Bol as the No. 4 pick in 2019, even though Bol hasn’t even completed his senior year of high school yet. Oregon may have its first one-and-done player this year in Troy Brown. But if Brown elects to stay for his sophomore year, Bol will likely become Oregon’s first one-and-done. Altman said that he’d be shocked if Bol didn’t go pro after his freshman year.
“That’s pretty much a foregone conclusion,” Altman said. “I mean he’s not going to grow anymore, it’s development. I’d be shocked if he did [stay], but we didn’t talk about it. You just kind of assume that.”
Altman has already added Miles Norris, Louis King and Will Richardson as the Ducks look to fill in gaps left after losing six players from the Final Four team.
The Ducks take on Connecticut on Thursday in their first game of the PK 80 in Portland.
This post has been updated to include Altman’s comments from Monday’s press conference. Gus Morris contributed to this story.
Follow Shawn Medow on Twitter @ShawnMedow
Do you appreciate independent student journalism? Emerald Media Group is a non-profit organization. Please consider a donation to support our mission.