FSU Basketball Recruiting Round-Up: April 22

The signing period has been open for a week now, and although we are still waiting to see how Florida State will use their last two openings, there is still a lot of news. We are exactly three weeks away from when Coach Leonard Hamilton told Noles247 they should be finalizing the roster in the next 2-3 weeks. To me, this reaffirms my feelings from a week ago that the staff firmly believes they are in the running for 5* Moussa Cisse, who we’ll talk more about later.

The biggest of the news was Quincy Ballard signing his Letter of Intent last Wednesday. He committed on April 11, choosing the ‘Noles over Syracuse and Maryland. I still believe the staff intends to redshirt him, but if they have to play him I can’t see him playing more than Balsa Koprivica did last season.

Back to more Moussa Cisse news… I believe this is now a race between Memphis, Florida State, and the looming threat that is the NBA G-League. LSU is still in consideration, but by my math, LSU is out of scholarships once Trendon Watford and Darius Days pull themselves out of draft consideration. While they could always open spots up and process someone out, the Tigers already have two big men signed in this class with Josh Gray (who FSU was once interested in) and Bradley Ezewiro, while also having Shareef O’Neal (son of LSU and NBA Legend Shaquille O’Neal) transferring in from UCLA. With Courtese Cooper still on the roster, that gives them four guys that could run the 5, do they really want/need a fifth? Don’t tell LSU fans this though, they’re still 100% convinced they’re landing Cisse.

The G-League has taken number one overall prospect Jalen Green and former Michigan commit Isaiah Todd in the past week, giving both a massive amount of money, as well as advertising and scholarship money if they still want to get their college education. It’s a great opportunity for high school prospects if they get the offer, especially for those that need the money. It’s been said that Cisse has been contacted by the G-League, and while I highly doubt his offer is anywhere near the amount Jalen Green was given, it’s more than he’d make in college. The fact FSU has still been silent when it comes to 2020 players really has me thinking about the Cisse situation. If Cisse decides to go elsewhere, look for FSU to move in on Jermontae Hill out of the Atlanta area.

Florida State has reached out to Wake Forest’s Chaundee Brown, a talented scorer who only has one season left. As it stands, he’d only have a season left to play but he’d also have to sit one unless he’s given a waiver. I think the staff must be expecting him to get the waiver, otherwise they wouldn’t be after him. He is from the Orlando area, and playing close to home could mean something to him. While I was in the program, when the team would prepare for Wake Forest, the staff was impressed with Brown and liked his skillset. He’s scored double digits in each of his games against FSU, including 20 in February 2019. Brown is testing the NBA waters, so until he removes himself from NBA consideration, we likely won’t hear anymore on his situation.

While the news on 2020 prospects has been slow, the same cannot be said for 2021 prospects. Harrison Ingram, Ryan Mutombo, James White, and Josh Farmer have all received offers in the past 2+ weeks.

On Tuesday, five-star Harrison Ingram received an offer from Florida State. The Dallas, TX native is the 17th ranked player in the class and has already visited Texas Tech and Stanford. Stanford seems to be the favorite as of now. FSU is certainly joining the party late, but anything can change over the next year. He is described as one of the best passers in the class despite being 6’7″ and 200 pounds.

If Ryan Mutombo sounds familiar, it should. He is the son of NBA Hall of Famer Dikembe Mutombo and cousin of former Seminole Mfiondu Kabengele. He has been to a couple of Florida State games with Dikembe, and being from the Atlanta area plays right into FSU’s wheelhouse. Rivals had this to quote from Ryan Mutombo about the FSU offer:

“It’s actually funny because two days before they offered me I was on the phone with my cousin and he asked me if he should tell the Florida State coaches to offer me because they really like me but were worried I’m just going to end up at Georgetown. I told him to tell them to pull the trigger and we’ll see where it goes. I know Coach Leonard Hamilton really well. My cousin has said great things about the effort and time they put into him as a big man.”

If Kabengele really told the staff to offer his cousin, first of all that’s amazing, but FSU absolutely has a chance in his recruitment. He’s received a lot of offers recently; Florida, Virginia Tech, and Stanford just to name a few. He’s visited his father’s alma mater, Georgetown, as well as Georgia Tech a few times, unofficially. The FSU games I know he’s been to are at Georgia Tech and the 2019 Sweet 16 against Gonzaga. Kabengele was someone I spent a lot of time around at Florida State, and he was one of the hardest workers we had and always spoke highly of the staff. If Ryan Mutombo is anywhere near the same caliber, he’s worth it.

It is interesting that FSU would extend an offer to another big, considering Balsa Koprivica, Malik Osborne, Naheem McLeod, and Quincy Ballard will all still be on the roster. Either they’re planning on someone not being there or they’re moving Malik Osborne back to his natural position of power forward, giving FSU even more length on the wing.

James White is another high riser in the class recently. Since the beginning of April, the 6’5″ combo guard has picked up offers from Kennesaw State, Florida, and Florida State, with FSU being the first high major program to give him an offer. The ‘Noles are looking for playmakers, given that RayQuan Evans is a senior and Scottie Barnes is likely a one-and-done player. Current commit Bryce McGowens has said he’s been recruited to play the point guard position, but Hamilton and his staff will be looking to add more ball-handlers for the 2021 class. White is another player in the South Georgia area that FSU heavily recruits.

Josh Farmer picked up his offer in early April, which joins a list that consists of Texas A&M… and that’s it. Florida State usually seems to be out in front of offering hidden prospects, and this one is no different. At 6’8″ and 180 pounds, he has a lot of positional versatility between the 3 and 4 and should be athletic enough to hang defensively 1-5. He is from Houston, and seems to want to stay close to him given his current interests of LSU, Houston, and Texas A&M.

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