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Moussa Cisse reclassifying to 2020, considering Kentucky

Photo: Jon Lopez/Nike

Photo: Jon Lopez/Nike

Well, here’s some interesting news to start your Wednesday. Five-star center Moussa Cisse, a top ten 2021 recruit, is graduating high school early and reclassifying to 2020. He will be eligible to enroll in college this summer and Kentucky is one of his six finalists, along with LSU, Florida State, Georgia, Memphis, and Georgetown. He intends to announce his college decision next week when he receives his diploma.

“I am trying to find the best way to the NBA,” Cisse told ESPN. “I want to see how my college career will go, but if I do well, I will definitely try to make a move to the NBA. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to compete at the Basketball Without Borders Global Camp scrimmages because of Tennessee rules. I was invited to the Nike Hoop Summit, which was canceled, and I missed playing in the EYBL again this summer, so I will try to catch up with what I lost in college and make sure NBA teams learn more about me. I have a lot of work to do.”

Cisse, a 6’10” 220 lbs. big man originally from Guinea, moved to the United States in 2015 and has been living in Memphis since last summer. He took an unofficial visit to Kentucky back on October 11, 2019 for Big Blue Madness, and hosted John Calipari in back-to-back weeks in December. Because he lives in Memphis, the Tigers have the momentum and he tells ESPN he’s played in open gyms against James Wiseman and Precious Achiuwa. He grew up playing soccer, so his basketball stills are still taking shape, but the tools and raw talent are there. He has a 7’4″ wingspan and 9’4″ standing reach, and led the Nike EYBL in blocked shots last season with 4.5 per game and finished second in rebounding with 11.3 boards per game.

“Blocking shots is a gift for me,” Cisse said. I’ve never worked on it. It comes from my motor and my energy. I like to win and playing defense helps, but I can do more than that.”

Hmm. Kentucky could certainly use a big man next season, especially if Olivier Sarr isn’t eligible.

Jack Pilgrim will have more on Kentucky’s chances later today. In the meantime, watch Cisse’s film below.

Article written by Mrs. Tyler Thompson

No, I will not make you a sandwich, but you can follow me on Twitter @MrsTylerKSR or email me.

27 Comments for Moussa Cisse reclassifying to 2020, considering Kentucky

  1. UKLugo
    9:53 am May 27, 2020 Permalink

    Would be a nice insurance policy.

  2. KentuckyBoy
    10:03 am May 27, 2020 Permalink

    Hope I’m wrong, but he sounds like Memphis lean to me. Penny will do a good job lowering his draft stock. What a train wreck.

    • Dark Soul
      10:10 am May 27, 2020 Permalink

      I thought the same thing

    • mashburnfan1
      11:52 am May 27, 2020 Permalink

      Yea Cal did not lower anyones draft stock ever…..cough Nick, Poy, Skal…… cough Twins, Briscoe, SKJ and so many more. Funny when a top pick from HS like Wall, MKG or AD goes high it is because Cal develops NBA players. Yet a much greater number of players have been drafted much lower than their HS projection after playing for Cal for 1-3 years. Look at the last 2 years as the most recent examples. Yet our fans bash others

    • Han
      12:11 pm May 27, 2020 Permalink

      Seriously, what do you get out of pretending to be a UK fan, Mash? How miserable are you?

      “our fans” – as if

    • WatchutalkinboutWillis
      12:56 pm May 27, 2020 Permalink

      Mashburnfan fan has to be very miserable. Here is a project for you mashburnfan. Take every player Cal has recruited that committed to UK over his time here. Compare the success rate of those players being drafted and/or playing in the NBA to any other program. Any. And see what you come up with. Also, if you want compare what their draft stock was at the beginning of their UK career to when they left. There will be some that lost stock for sure but there will also be many who gained stock. Until you do that and have some actual statistics, do us all a favor and stop commenting.
      P.S. You surely can’t be so dumb to think a player should be drafted at the number that they came out of high school with as you stated. I hope you are intelligent enough to take into consideration European players and upperclassmen.

    • TonyMontana
      1:55 pm May 27, 2020 Permalink

      In the past 5 years only 8 freshmen have been drafted in the lottery after not even being projected to get drafted at all prior to the start of the season. Of those 8 players, 4 of them were from Kentucky (Herro, Shai, Lyles, Booker). That is what’s known as the Kentucky effect. Yes you can come here and perform poorly and your stock will fall, conversely if you work hard you will get exposure and be rewarded.

    • WatchutalkinboutWillis
      2:53 pm May 27, 2020 Permalink

      Exactly Tony, but don’t get too factual or mashburnfan’s head might explode!

    • dcforuk
      5:57 pm May 27, 2020 Permalink

      Good post Tony and very accurate statement. I think Mash must be an attorney (hey I do like some attorneys!) but an attorney who forgets to leave his cynicism at the office. Naive is not good but neither is cynicism. Hey Mash, put on some professional skepticism when you get dressed tomorrow morning!

  3. lexattorney
    10:15 am May 27, 2020 Permalink

    Cue Penny selling his ludicrous “Memphis beat Kentucky for a recruit” narrative LMAO

  4. BobbyBlue
    10:50 am May 27, 2020 Permalink

    Wonder how much it cost to move from Guinea to Memphis. Some say it is $11,500 just to get to Memphis from Nashville.

    • Bluehender
      12:22 pm May 27, 2020 Permalink


    • T-Town Cat
      12:39 pm May 27, 2020 Permalink

      Ha! I was thinking the same thing. Seems to be a lot of talented kids out there now that”moved to Memphis” to finish high school.

  5. Alex90
    11:13 am May 27, 2020 Permalink

    “I am trying to find the best way to the NBA”. So if you don’t choose Kentucky this is a lie like all the others that say this. I’m biased as a UK fan but just look at the talent/development that has come out of UK to the NBA especially out of the bigs

    • mashburnfan1
      11:55 am May 27, 2020 Permalink

      Maybe he saw how Cal took Nick, who was a projected lottery pick and #1 center to a guy the NBA dud not want the last 2 years and after 3 years MIGHT get drafted in 2nd round. You people need ti stop with this Cal develops NBA BS. NO COACH develops players for the nba in 8 months.

    • WatchutalkinboutWillis
      1:01 pm May 27, 2020 Permalink

      Mashburnfan…see above. Also, where was Nick a projected lottery pick? Evidence?

    • TonyMontana
      1:57 pm May 27, 2020 Permalink

      Pat Riley disagrees with you mashburnfan.

  6. UKFanSC
    11:35 am May 27, 2020 Permalink

    It would be nice to get clarity on Starr’s status so we can hone our pitch to talents like this guy. I have no idea how to talk playing time with him, and he will need some assurance as to where he fits in. As long as Sarr is in limbo this guy will pass on UK I believe…..I would.

    • UKFanSC
      11:36 am May 27, 2020 Permalink

      Sarr…..f:cking spellcheck.

  7. BobbyBlue
    11:47 am May 27, 2020 Permalink

    Emmert still but hurt over Terrance Jones will drag the Sarr deal out until August, when it is no longer possible for the zCats to sign any serviceable replacement, before he declares him not eligible.
    Meanwhile kids like Juzang will be ruled eligible immediately on application, because they were home sick.

  8. BobbyBlue
    11:51 am May 27, 2020 Permalink

    At one time Cisse was LSU bound, with Memphis lurking. Ky has never been predicted to be anything but a hat on the table, and Cal does not make “Big ass offers”

  9. ClutchCargo
    2:02 pm May 27, 2020 Permalink

    We need Sarr to be eligible and just call it a class.

    • IrishCat
      6:08 pm May 27, 2020 Permalink

      That’s what I’d like to see too, Clutch, but relying on that makes me nervous.

  10. TonyMontana
    2:08 pm May 27, 2020 Permalink

    “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.” Cisse averaged a double double last year with 9 blocks per game!

    • lexattorney
      5:27 pm May 27, 2020 Permalink

      High school stats aren’t a guarantee of college performance. Averaging a double-double plus 9 blocks is impressive but I remember a player who averaged a TRIPLE-double (pts, reb, blocks) came to play for Tubby a few years ago. That player’s name was Perry Stevenson, who I LOVED, and we saw how his game translated at the college and professional level.

  11. Thetruthshallsetbennyfree
    2:29 pm May 27, 2020 Permalink

    I thought Memphis didn’t have any scholarships? So my argument to him would be that Pennywise has already shoved one kid out the door for another player and would have to do the same for you. So who says he wouldn’t do the same to you if you don’t immediately pan out. Sarr is our only center and could easily get him acclimated to the spot by not only giving him time to grow but also a monster to practice against and learn from.

    • Thetruthshallsetbennyfree
      2:32 pm May 27, 2020 Permalink

      And before some idiot says Cal and transfers, Cal gives them the freedom and is completely honest with them, he doesn’t force them out the door. Not many who have ever transferred have been successful somewhere else.