Thomas Bryant has been the big man in the headlines for Syracuse recruiting in the last few months, but 6-foot-9 forward Moustapha Diagne is trying to change that. While everyone has wondered if Bryant will be allowed to come to SU because of NCAA sanctions, Diagne quietly carried his team to a New Jersey high school championship.
In just 20 minutes, Diagne put up ten points and five rebounds in the state championship game. He only played limited minutes because his high school team demolished its opponent, winning 71-35.
Diagne, widely considered to be the Orange’s second-best incoming prospect, could play a huge role in the next four years depending on Bryant’s destination. The whole situation is still up in the air. When he committed to the Orange over the summer, he was a consensus top-30 prospect. Currently, he is 55th-best according to ESPN.
In his senior season, Diagne has put up huge numbers: totaling 14.8 points per game, 12.2 boards per game, and 2.3 blocks per game. The young man from Senegal helped carry Pope John all the way to its state title, and consequently, its tournament berth in New Jersey’s Tournament of Champions.
Tyler Roberson won a Tournament of Champions title in high school, as did Malachi Richardson two years ago. However, Richardson’s Trenton Catholic team was eliminated this year in its respective state finals game.
Diagne will have to battle a crowded frontcourt for minutes in his first year in Orange. Despite not having a true “go-to” guy, the bottom of the zone has plenty of candidates to step into the role. Michael Gbinije and Chris McCullough (when healthy) are practically locks to start for the Orange next fall. There will also be a healthy DaJuan Coleman.
Realistically, Diagne will be coming off of the bench with limited minutes to start the year. The Orange’s frontcourt depth is a blessing in disguise, and Diagne may have to wait for an opportunity to earn minutes. Regardless, it is encouraging to see that Diagne is still a force down low that has rounded his game in his senior season.
Posted: Jason Weingold