Standing close to seven feet three inches tall, the first thing you notice is Bol’s striking height. It doesn’t matter how many times you’ve come across a seven-footer, Bol puts them all to shame. To make Bol appear taller, his wingspan can cover the entire lane. Even though he’s stretched out higher than almost anyone I’ve ever seen, he still fits the cliche, “He can scratch his knees standing straight up.”
Bol’s height appears uncommon, but he’s not the only seven-foot African on the AAU circuit. I once played against two of them on the same team (that also featured Vinny Zollo) and am not ashamed to say I was dunked on. Players like Bol fail to get to the top of the rankings because they can’t move. Bol can. He runs the floor with the best of them in break and can finish lobs with ease.
Bol is a threat all over the floor. If he can’t run in the break because he got the rebound, as a trailer he’s lethal from outside. At one point Thursday night, a pump fake from behind the three-point line, got not one, but three opponents to bite for the fake, leaving more than one option wide open.
Bol does not make his money hitting threes, but he hits open ones, about 50 percent on the EYBL circuit. He’s most deadly from midrange. A shot that cannot be blocked, his smooth stroke is fundamentally sound.
To add to the previous two points, Bol doesn’t waste movement. It’s all one smooth, fluid motion. When double teams come, he drops off perfect passes. There’s a nice touch to each pass, making it catchable for teammates half his size. It can be difficult to describe. Simply put: watching Bol play basketball is beautiful.
Naturally, when he’s in the game against inferior opponents, he draws double and triple teams almost every time down the court. If he’s in the right position near the rim, he’ll finish. If they can’t get it to him, he’s still making a positive impact by drawing fouls and forcing opposing defenses to constantly keep an eye on him.
When Anthony Davis finished his successful one-year career at Kentucky, many said we’ll never see another player like him ever again. Bol Bol disproves that notion. Davis was a better shot-blocker and more powerful near the rim, but not as nearly skilled offensively as Bol. Like Davis, he’s a late-riser who’s improved exponentially since the start of his junior season. His ceiling is higher than his extreme height.
Now that Marvin Bagley is apparently considering other options, Calipari’s primary focus in the post for the 2018 class is Bol. There’s a long way to go, but you better believe John Calipari will be there until the very end.