Moussa Cisse
Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Five-star center Moussa Cisse has committed to the University of Memphis. He announced his decision on Instagram on Wednesday. He chose the Tigers over schools such as Florida State, Kentucky, Georgia, Georgetown, and LSU.

Cisse planned on announcing his decision in June, but pushed his decision date back. The 17 year-old native of Guinea was originally a member of the class of 2021, but recently reclassified to the class of 2020. He is listed as the number 24 ranked prospect in the ESPN Class of 2020.

Cisse decided on Memphis partly because he wanted to stay close to home amid the concerns of the COVID-19 pandemic (he now lives in Memphis). Head Coach Penny Hardaway was also an important factor in Cisse’s decision. This is Hardaway’s third five-star recruit in only two years, after James Wiseman and Precious Achiuwa played for Memphis last season. Cisse he told Jonathan Givony of ESPN:

“Coach Penny Hardaway is a legend and can help me develop my game and take it to the next level. He has a lot of influence in the league.”

ESPN

Cisse also received influence from the AAC Player of the Year, Precious Achiuwa. Achiuwa was a former five-star recruit and thrived in his one season at Memphis. He has now entered the draft and is a projected first-round pick. Cisse projects to fill a similar role in Penny Hardaway’s offense for the 2020-2021 season as a rim protector and rim runner in transition.

Before committing to Memphis, Cisse was dominant force in his high school years. Cisse was Tennessee’s Mr. Basketball in 2020, averaging 18.4 points, 15.3 rebounds and 9.2 blocks per game. Cisse’s play along side of Boogie Ellis, Lester Quinones, DJ Jefferies, and Lance Thomas, could help push Memphis to a top 25 season.

Moussa Cisse is a 6’10”, 220 pound big man who will likely play the five in college. He excels in blocking shots and is an overall strong defender, due to his lengthy wingspan of 7’4″. Cisse is also very athletic and can run well in transition, similar to Achiuwa, as well as finish in the paint. If Cisse can add to his offensive potential during his freshman season at Memphis, he can easily become a one-and-done first-round pick in the 2021 NBA Draft.

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