Moustapha Diagne could have been the only thing SU needed to win a national title last season. Now that’s something absolutely crazy to think about. When Diagne was questionably ruled ineligible by the NCAA before the season started, few Syracuse fans would understand the ramifications of this move come March. Now, after playing a full season at Northwest Florida State College, Diagne has decided to enter the draft without an agent after signing his letter of intent with the Orange in November of 2014.
Like Malachi Richardson the week before, it really makes no sense for any player not to give the NBA Draft a try with the new rules. Diagne, like Richardson, can elect to pull out and return to school with no penalties. The deadline to enter names in the draft is tomorrow, while exactly a month later (May 25) is the deadline to return to college.
At Northwest Florida State College, Diagne averaged 10.2 points per game and 7.3 boards per game. His impressive season and recruiting history kept Syracuse interested in Diagne, and the coaches were still trying to recruit him as a junior college transfer in 2017. While this is certainly still possible, the NBA obviously becomes a huge obstacle to finally seeing Diagne in the Carrier Dome. It is very unlikely that Diagne will be drafted, however.
If Diagne was able to suit up for SU this past season, it would have drastically bolstered the rotation. Down low, Diagne would have slotted into the backup center role behind starter Dajuan Coleman, which would have allowed Tyler Lydon to play the wing, where he naturally belongs in the zone. Having Diagne would have placed less emphasis on foul trouble and given SU a rebounding force off of the bench, something that it severely lacked this year. Diagne measures in at 6-foot-9.
Be sure to follow the Fizz on Twitter @OrangeFizz for all of your SU basketball recruiting news. Follow along as SU tries to secure its first commitment for the Class of 2017.