Moussa Cisse, a coveted power forward regarded as a potential first-round pick in the 2021 NBA Draft, committed to Memphis on Wednesday, greatly bolstering the outlook for the Tigers' roster in coach Penny Hardaway's third season.
The 6-foot-10 power forward announced in May that he planned to reclassify from the 2021 class in order to play college basketball this season. When he did, he immediately became the most high-profile uncommitted player in the class. Cisse also considered Kentucky, LSU, Florida State, Georgia and Georgetown.
LSU was considered the frontrunner as recently as last month, but the fact that Cisse chose Memphis should come as no surprise. He moved from New York to Memphis last year to play what turned out to be his final high school season at Lausanne Collegiate School. Despite playing in a district consisting mainly of small private schools, Cisse kept his stock high through the 2019-20 season. 247Sports director of scouting Jerry Meyer noted in January that Cisse is slender with a long wingspan and a quality finisher and rebounder.
"Tough defender who is a top level shot blocker," Meyer wrote in his evaluation. "First rounder on length, athleticism and energy. Must develop offensive skills to be an impact NBA player."
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Cisse is considered the No. 9 overall prospect in the 2020 class, slotting in ahead of Gonzaga signee Jalen Suggs and Arizona State commitment Joshua Christopher, according to the 247Sports Composite ranking. His commitment is particularly significant for Memphis, which had yet to land a player from the 2020 class just a year after securing the top-rated 2019 class headlined by No. 1 overall player James Wiseman.
Wiseman played just three games for the Tigers before leaving school to prepare for the NBA Draft amid NCAA eligibility issues. His departure allowed for Precious Achiuwa to play a starring role for Memphis. Achiuwa, who was ranked No. 15 overall in the 2019 class by 247Sports, declared for the NBA Draft after winning the AAC Player of the Year award.
Cisse's arrival should help replace much of the production that Achiuwa brought, and it keeps the program's momentum under Hardaway alive as he enters his third season as coach looking for an on-court breakthrough to accompany his impressive recruiting results.