Moussa Cisse Delays Decision: A Recruiting Update

The hottest name in college basketball recruiting seems to be Moussa Cisse, the 6’10” five-star and shot-blocking beast who just recently reclassified to the 2020 class. When I last wrote about him and his recruitment, I said Memphis and Florida State seemed to be the favorites in his recruitment, but that was well over a month ago.

Over the last month, every sign has seemed to point in LSU’s direction on where Cisse would land. He has prior relationships with that staff that go back years, and even though about half of that roster is big men, none are of Cisse’s caliber. After he reclassified on May 27, he also announced he would be committing and signing in the next week. Predictions started flying in for LSU, and I heard from numerous sources close to the situation that LSU was also the likely destination.

This morning, June 5, he announced he would be delaying his commitment to a later point saying “it’s bigger than basketball what’s going on right now. We are to wait until things calm down a little bit” in reference to the murder of George Floyd and the resulting protests that have happened nationwide over the last week.

Coincidentally, famed ESPN announcer Dick Vitale tweeted the night of June 3 that LSU had received their notice of allegations from the NCAA, before LSU’s senior athletic director openly denied it. Vitale then backpedaled and said the NCAA has an open inquiry on LSU football as well and their NOA will arrive soon, which is no secret at this point. Oklahoma State men’s basketball was just hit with massive penalties this afternoon: 2021 postseason ban, $10,000 fine, three-year probation, loss of scholarships, loss of recruiting visits, and a 10 year show cause. Louisville got their NOA a few weeks ago, and many around college basketball expect LSU and Arizona to be the next schools to receive their NOAs. When LSU gets hit, it’s likely they get similar penalties to what OK State received, and Cisse has said he wants the college experience. It’s hard to have a college experience if they aren’t allowed to participate in the postseason.

If Cisse has still not announced by the end of the weekend, I would think he’s very seriously considering going elsewhere and I would change on my prediction on where he’s landing. While LSU had pulled ahead as the favorite, Florida State always seemed to be not very far behind in his recruitment. Memphis, on the other hand, has lost a ton of momentum. As of now, I think he’d still prefer to go to LSU but is maybe holding off to see if they do get those allegations.

In Cisse’s top 6, he also listed Kentucky, Georgia, and Georgetown as schools he’s considering. I don’t think Georgetown has much of a chance, considering everything they’ve lost this offseason. Same goes for Georgia, but it’s hard to discount the “elite recruiting tools” *wink* they have at their disposal. Kentucky poses a very serious threat with every elite big man, and whether Wake Forest transfer Olivier Sarr gets immediate eligibility will be telling of how hard they go after Cisse. Memphis just lost assistant coach Mike Miller and it feels like they’re due for another NCAA allegation as well. The longer this recruitment and mulling process goes, I’ve been told that’s better and better for Florida State. It’s more chance for LSU to get hit with a NOA, and Kentucky’s Olivier Sarr to get immediate eligibility.

If Florida State does indeed miss on Moussa Cisse, it’s been expected they’ll increase their pursuit of Efton Reid, a five-star big in the 2021 class who is also expected to reclassify. The FSU staff has completed at least one virtual visit with Reid, but there isn’t a ton of information on his recruitment at the time. 24/7 has no crystal ball picks on him at the moment, and Rivals has no forecast predictions either. Virginia, Kentucky, and Michigan seem to be the biggest players there right now.

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