Last week, I came clamoring that Syracuse desperately needed to figure out its situation at backup center and that it was going to get increasingly more difficult as more time passed. We even took comments from Jim Boeheim on how tough that task is!
Little did The Fizz, or anyone else know, that Boeheim was once again pulling the leg of everyone in Syracuse, and hosted a transfer target on an official visit early this week. Mounir Hima, a redshirt freshman from Duquense, finished up a trip to SU on Tuesday and could be the Orange‚Äôs answer behind Jesse Edwards.
After the departure of Frank Anselem, Boeheim has been searching far and wide for someone to come in to provide depth in the center room behind Edwards. Former recruiting target Quincy Ballard turned out not to be the answer, but maybe Hima is an even better solution than the FSU transfer.
The St. Benedict‚Äôs Prep product‚Äôs (former high school of Tyler Ennis and Bourama Sidibe) numbers don‚Äôt jump off the page, but his 7‚Äô5 wingspan does. A native of Niger, Hima came to the United States to play basketball and has improved each year he‚Äôs been in America.
He averaged less than two points and three rebounds per game in the 2021-22 season for the Dukes but was thrown into the fire late in the season when his numbers jumped to over three and a half points per game and over five rebounds per game in more extended minutes.
Hima would be the perfect developmental depth piece behind Edwards. Someone who has playing experience, but still needs time to develop his body and his game. Edwards has two years left of eligibility and Hima has three, but if the Dutchman has a good season, it is not out of the question that he could not use his last season similar to Cole Swider and Buddy Boeheim.
After a year of learning behind Edwards and getting 10-15 minutes per game, and on some occasions maybe more, Hima could step into the starting role after a year in the system and take a leap as Edwards did after his first couple of years in college.
The foreign center path is nothing new to Syracuse, whose starting big man has not been American since DaJuan Coleman in 2017. Hima would continue that path and is a good fit in terms of physical attributes. Wingspan aside, he stands 6‚Äô11, or 7‚Äô0 depending on who you ask, and weighs 220 pounds.
Hima will likely take a couple of weeks before a decision is made, but the Orange should be firmly in the mix for the transfer center. This is a perfect match between Boeheim, assistant coach Allen Griffin (who coaches the centers), and Hima. All that‚Äôs left is making it official.