Syracuse basketball fans had plenty of reasons to watch the Mary Kline Classic that took place Saturday evening in West Orange, NJ. First, 2015 commit Franklin Howard played among the best high school players in the area. Second, 2014 commit Chris McCullough played later in the night in the senior game. Finally, top recruit Moustapha Diagne (pronounced Jang) announced his college decision at the conclusion of the underclassmen game.
As one could’ve guessed, Diagne announced his commitment to the Syracuse Orange, making him the fourth player to do so for 2015. The class was already considered pretty stacked before Diagne made his announcement. Now, the group of four should be considered one of the best in the country. 247sports has Syracuse atop its recruiting class rankings after Diagne’s announcement.
Diagne is a native of Senegal, the country that Baye Moussa-Keita hails from. His final choice was between the Orange and Memphis, but the 4-star center also had offers on the table from Kansas, Florida, Connecticut, and Villanova, among many others.
The 6’9”, 240-pound big man is a consensus top-30 prospect in the class of 2015. His length is prototypical for the Orange’s 2-3 zone defense. Last season, Diagne averaged 17.1 points per game and 9.2 rebounds per game. He was also a New Jersey Third Team All-State selection. Diagne will have plenty of time to polish his skills before heading up to Syracuse, because he still has an entire season of high school basketball to play.
While Diagne’s length is an obvious asset for the Orange, he also has an impressive offensive game too – something that Syracuse big men have recently lacked. He can put the ball on the floor and also pull up for a jump shot outside of the paint. He also drove to the hoop on Saturday night. Diagne scored 18 points in the Mary Kline Classic and was often defensively matched up against Howard, his future teammate. Howard scored 11 points, all coming in the second half.
With the addition of the 4-star center, the Syracuse recruiting class now has three 4-star players and a 5-star player. Diagne and Howard join forward Tyler Lydon and guard Malachi Richardson in the class. While the Orange have no more available scholarships left to hand out to recruits, they may take a fifth player assuming someone leaves early—most likely McCullough.
Posted by: Jason Weingold