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Former UK target Frank Anselem commits to Syracuse

Tipton Edits

Photo via Tipton Edits

Four-star center Frank Anselem has officially chosen his new home, and it won’t be in the state of Kentucky. The big man is taking his talents to Syracuse University to play for the Orange and head coach Jim Boeheim.

The 6-foot-10, 220 pound center is currently listed as the No. 142 player in the nation, the No. 23 center and the No. 16 player in Georgia, according to 247Sports. Anselem is tabbed as a four-star recruit.

It’s been a wild recruitment for Anselem, who moved to the United States from Nigeria in 2016 and has only played basketball for five years. He was originally a member of the 2021 class, but he officially announced his decision to reclassify into the 2020 class on April 14. Following his reclassification, Anselem cut his list to three – Alabama, Georgia and LSU. Just four days later, 7-foot center Josh Gray committed to LSU, and Anselem announced his recruitment was once again “wide open.”

“In light of recent developments, my recruitment is now wide open as I take the time to evaluate the best fit for me both on the court and academically next season,” Anselem said via Twitter. “Thank you to everyone for your interest. Please stay safe and always keep the family close.”

Anselem narrowed his list of colleges down to six on May 1. At the time, Anselem said he was considering Kentucky, Syracuse, Arkansas, San Diego State, Seton Hall and Western Kentucky. On June 1, he announced a different top four on Twitter – Syracuse, San Diego state, Georgia and New Mexico.

Now, the big man has settled on Syracuse.


KSR’s recruiting expert Jack Pilgrim wrote about Anselem in his Insider Notes in late April, calling Anselem a “major project” with “elite potential.”

After speaking with individuals close to the Prolific Prep program, along with numerous other sources in high school and AAU recruiting circles, it’s clear that the Suwanee, GA native is a major project and will likely need anywhere from two to four years at Kentucky before becoming a serious threat on the floor in Lexington. It’s a general consensus at this point. While he has physical tools – great frame, phenomenal wingspan, and solid athleticism – he is extremely raw offensively and needs elite coaching to refine his footwork and post moves. Above all else, Anselem struggles with his hands, fumbling the ball with crisp passes down low and in transition. While he thrives catching the ball off the rim for putbacks and offensive rebounds, he simply isn’t there to be a difference-maker on the floor, at least initially.

As a freshman, Anselem would likely see minimal playing time, serving primarily as a clean-up specialist on offense and shot-blocker on defense, similar to what we saw from Nick Richards in his first years in Lexington. The staff, however, sees elite potential out of the 6-foot-10 center, believing they could mold him into a player like Richards down the road. If he gets on campus and grasps the system early, they obviously won’t hold him back, but the expectation is that a long-term plan would be in place.

If the Wildcats want to add another big man to their roster for the 2020-21 season (even if its just a contingency plan to have in place if Olivier Sarr does not gain immediate eligibility from the NCAA), they’ll have to look elsewhere.

Article written by Maggie Davis

I love sports, podcasts, long walks on the beach and Twitter (@MaggieDavisKSR)

6 Comments for Former UK target Frank Anselem commits to Syracuse

  1. lexattorney
    10:54 pm June 3, 2020 Permalink

    Good luck to him! A school like Syracuse is a good place for him to develop over 3-4 years.

    • Corder
      8:29 am June 4, 2020 Permalink

      I’ll never understand rankings or stars. How is a kid that is 142nd in the country a four star?

  2. RDF922
    10:10 am June 4, 2020 Permalink

    Never to be heard from again
    The Cuse is on a bad trajectory

  3. Dustin Rumbaugh
    10:55 am June 4, 2020 Permalink

    I sorta get guys going to UL (in the pitino era) or Duke or Mich St or Gonzaga, good place to develop the skills you don’t have yet, but I can’t wrap my head around someone going to Syracuse that has NBA dreams…you realize they don’t play zone in the NBA right?! You realize you are learning nothing that will help you at the next level right?! I’m not going to say it but I’ll say it…$

  4. Dustin Rumbaugh
    11:04 am June 4, 2020 Permalink

    Anytime we have a fringe recruit that has a crazy list that includes the likes of San Diego State, Arkansas and Georgia…we should just go ahead and mark them down as pay-for-play schools. San Diego State is DEFINITELY cheating…lets just be honest with ourselves. And you’re gonna tell me that a guy that could play at UK or Duke or UCLA is choosing to see Tom Crean everyday and bake in the hot Georgia sun…for free?! No. Lets just be honest with ourselves. 🙂

  5. Dustin Rumbaugh
    11:08 am June 4, 2020 Permalink

    When you see our name next to “Syracuse, Arkansas, San Diego State, Seton Hall and Western Kentucky,” you need to realize that we’re just a hat on the table, a hat that was unwilling to pay because we don’t have to. Ok…rant over.