The top shot-blocker in all of high school basketball is set to reclassify to the class of 2020, and Kentucky remains in contention.
This morning, five-star center Moussa Cisse announced he would be making the jump from 2021 to 2020 and making a final decision next week after finishing up his coursework to make the move official.
“I’ve decided to reclassify to the 2020 class,” Cisse told ESPN. “I will get my high school diploma as soon as I finish the last two core classes I need to qualify, which should happen next week.”
Cisse, a 6-foot-11 center originally out of Guinea, is set to decide between his six finalists – Florida State, Georgetown, Georgia, Kentucky, LSU, and Memphis – at an unspecified time next week.
“In terms of my college decision, I’m looking for a good explanation of how I am going to be used,” Cisse added. “I’m not worried about starting, or minutes. If I work hard, that will take care of itself. I’ve been watching a lot of film. The situation with [the coronavirus] made my college recruiting a little more difficult, but I’ve adjusted to the situation and will make the best decision for my future.”
But where will the five-star center, who averaged 18.4 points, 15.3 rebounds, and 9.2 blocks this past season, choose to attend this fall?
Let’s break down the contenders.
Will Wade and the Tigers have been seen as strong contenders for the top-ten prospect since we headed into the winter months, with that buzz only picking up further this spring.
Rivals expert Corey Evans first submitted a FutureCast in favor of LSU back in October, with two more picks coming in favor of the Tigers on Rivals in April, and four additional picks coming this morning alone over at 247Sports.
Heading into the final week of his recruitment, LSU – a team in need of size and talent down low – is seen as a strong favorite, building a solid relationship with Cisse’s camp and presenting the opportunity for serious playing time. It’s a strong offer, one most in recruiting circles feel he will ultimately accept when it comes time for a decision next week.
Last summer, the five-star center made the decision to transfer to Lausanne Collegiate School in Memphis, TN after previously attending Christ The King Regional in Queens, NY,
Throughout the Nike EYBL season, Memphis was seen as a solid contender in Cisse’s recruitment. Following the move to Memphis, many put two and two together that Penny Hardaway was likely to secure the commitment.
With LSU picking up significant momentum in recent months, Memphis has held firm as a contender, but they’re far away from the surefire favorite they seemed to be last summer. Memphis insiders continue to stress Hardaway’s relentless effort in recruiting Cisse down the stretch and feel confident, but as of now, they remain behind LSU as the team to beat.
Due to the stoppage in on-campus recruiting in the midst of the COVID-19 outbreak, Cisse has only taken one official visit: a trip to Florida State back in January. He’s also taken two unofficial visits to Memphis and another to Kentucky since his recruitment picked up in 2019.
Behind the scenes, there has been growing buzz that the Seminoles have done a terrific job making up ground with the five-star center and quietly establishing itself as a dark horse.
I’m not confident enough to pick against LSU, but Florida State continues to be discussed as a team to look out for in Cisse’s recruitment. In fact, if I were a betting man, I might even take the Seminoles over Memphis right now.
On the surface, Kentucky has made it clear for quite some time they have serious interest in Cisse. Outside of watching the five-star center during the summer at various events, UK head coach John Calipari first made the trip to see Cisse in September, hosted him on an unofficial in October, and then made back-to back trips to see him again in December.
But does Kentucky actually have a chance to land the five-star center?
While Calipari likes to work behind the scenes and has come up with some surprises in the past, those close to the UK program haven’t indicated the Wildcats are a strong landing spot going into the home stretch of his recruitment. Elsewhere, individuals in various recruiting circles have made it clear that Kentucky is likely the top option of the “rest,” but feel the school is still in the class behind the likes of LSU, FSU, and Memphis.
Georgetown and Georgia
Both schools picked up brief momentum with the 6-foot-11 center, but there is little-to-no current buzz with either program for Cisse. Barring a major change of heart or swing of momentum over the course of the next week, neither the Hoyas nor the Bulldogs are expected to land the five-star big man.