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Published on April 20, 2024
Former Villanova Guard TJ Bamba Narrows Transfer Options: Memphis, Kentucky, and More in the MixSource: Unsplash/ Markus Spiske

As the college basketball transfer portal heats up, former Villanova guard TJ Bamba makes waves by narrowing down his potential landing spots to a final six. These schools, reported to include Memphis, are set to jockey for the veteran guard's final year of eligibility. The list of suitors is rounded out by Kentucky, Louisville, Florida, Stanford, and Oregon, according to The Commercial Appeal.

Bamba, originally from the Bronx and concluding his high school career in Denver, spent three seasons with Washington State before transferring to Villanova. Despite seeing his numbers slightly dip to consistently average 10.1 points at Villanova, Bamba has previously shown to really explode, as with his junior year averages of 15.8 points and 3.7 rebounds per game Bluff City Media noted. The 6-foot-5 guard also brings a commendable defensive presence, boasting a 95.1 adjusted defensive rating and contributing significantly to Villanova's top defensive rankings.

Memphis coach Penny Hardaway is currently in the market to substantially rebuild his squad, as he's set to see several players exit the program either via graduation or the transfer portal. Should Bamba choose Memphis, he would potentially join forces with transfers PJ Haggerty, Colby Rogers, and Dain Dainja, helping to fill the gaps left by the outgoing players. The Tigers' roster still awaits a final decision from leading scorer David Jones on whether he'll be returning or going pro, as The Commercial Appeal reports.

Meanwhile, the Cardinals over at Stanford are to eagerly keep their fingers crossed, hoping the connection between Bamba and former Washington State coach Kyle Smith would bear fruit in their favor. Stanford's roster is poised for a major overhaul with only Maxime Raynaud expected to return as a starter. Landing Bamba would inject critical experience into a team looking to reshape itself for the upcoming season. "If the Cardinal are able to land Bamba, he would provide some much-needed experince," asserts a report from Sports Illustrated.

The courtship of TJ Bamba is further intensified by the recent announcement of a hefty name, image and likeness (NIL) deal made by FedEx with the University of Memphis. The Memphis-based logistics behemoth has pledged to gift $5 million a year for the next five years to benefit Tiger athletes across multiple sports, ensuring the men's basketball program has the financial support to attract top talent. How this NIL windfall will be allocated remains in FedEx's hands, but it's a significant edge for Memphis in the high-stakes game of college recruitment, as detailed by The Commercial Appeal.