5-Star Center Recruit Moussa Cisse Commits to Penny Hardaway, Memphis over FSU

Paul KasabianSenior ContributorJuly 15, 2020

Official March Madness 2020 tournament basketballs are seen in a store room at the CHI Health Center Arena, in Omaha, Neb., Monday, March 16, 2020. Omaha was to host a first and second round in the NCAA college basketball Division I tournament, which was cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic. (AP Photo/Nati Harnik)
Nati Harnik/Associated Press

Moussa Cisse has chosen to stay home as the Memphis, Tennessee, native will be joining head coach Penny Hardaway's Memphis Tigers.

The 6'10" center 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. I've been in Memphis for a year now and everyone is telling me to stay. With all this stuff we're facing with the pandemic, I didn't get to go visit any other schools except Florida State. I'm getting a lot of love from the fans."

He also said he received an endorsement from former teammate Precious Achiuwa, who spent last year with the Tigers.

Cisse, who plays ball at Lausanne Collegiate School in Memphis, was ranked as the ninth-best 2020 prospect in the 247Sports composite rankings. The native of Guinea is among 27 5-star recruits.

Though he was originally part of the 2021 class, Cisse told Givony in May that he reclassified as a member of the class of 2020, making the 220-pound shot-blocker eligible to play NCAA basketball in the 2020-21 season. He'll also be eligible for the 2021 NBA draft.

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He had 16 offers, with the finalists including LSU, Georgia, Georgetown, Kentucky and Florida State. But the arrow pointed toward Memphis, with 247Sports' prediction leaning in that direction prior to the announcement.

Jerry Meyer, who is 247Sports' director of college basketball scouting, compared Cisse to Washington Wizards big man Thomas Bryant and offered the following report in January:

"Has a slender build with a long wingspan. Plays with energy and chip on his shoulder. Is a mobile athlete who will chase down the ball. Quality finisher around the rim. Is a tremendous rebounder. Limited in his offensive skill set at this point. Tough defender who is a top-level shot-blocker. First-rounder on length, athleticism and energy. Must develop offensive skills to be an impact NBA player."

Meyer also wrote that he believed Cisse would be a first-round NBA draft pick.

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