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Touted recruit Moussa Cisse reclassifying to 2020 class
9:12 AM ET
  • Jonathan GivonyESPN

Moussa Cisse, the No. 8 prospect in the ESPN Class of 2021, has elected to graduate from high school a year early and reclassify to 2020, he told ESPN on Wednesday.

Cisse will be eligible to enroll in college this summer, and he will have the option to enter the 2021 NBA draft in April.

“I’ve decided to reclassify to the 2020 class,” Cisse told ESPN. “I will get my high school diploma as soon as I finish the last two core classes I need to qualify, which should happen next week.”

The 6-foot-11 Cisse told ESPN he will commit to one of six finalists: Kentucky, LSU, Florida State, Georgia, Memphis or Georgetown. He said he intends on announcing where he will attend college sometime next week, after he receives his high school diploma. Because of the coronavirus pandemic, he was able to take only one official visit to Florida State, but he did make unofficial visits to Memphis and Kentucky.

“I am trying to find the best way to the NBA,” Cisse told ESPN. “I want to see how my college career will go, but if I do well, I will definitely try to make a move to the NBA. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to compete at the Basketball Without Borders Global Camp scrimmages because of Tennessee rules. I was invited to the Nike Hoop Summit, which was canceled, and I missed playing in the EYBL again this summer, so I will try to catch up with what I lost in college and make sure NBA teams learn more about me. I have a lot of work to do.”

Cisse, who was born in the West African country of Guinea, moved to the United States in December 2015. He played at St. Benedict’s Prep in New Jersey and Christ the King High School in New York before electing to move to Memphis last summer to attend Lausanne Collegiate School.

Having grown up playing soccer for much of his life, Cisse’s basketball skill level hasn’t caught up to his physical ability, but he made strides last season, averaging 18.4 points, 15.3 rebounds and 9.2 blocks per game while winning a state championship and being named Tennessee’s Mr. Basketball DII-A.

“College and high school are very different. Reclassifying is going to help me playing against better competition,” he said. “I’ve been playing in open gyms in Memphis against top college players like James Wiseman and Precious Achiuwa and saw that I can compete against them. Playing against older and more experienced players in college will speed up my development.”

Cisse immediately becomes one of the top big men prospects in the 2020 high school class and is a candidate to be a one-and-done first-round draft pick. He is considered one of the best athletes in high school basketball and measured a shade under 7 feet with a 7-4 wingspan and 9-4 standing reach in February at the NBA’s Basketball Without Borders Global Camp, where he participated only in drills. He led the Nike EYBL in blocked shots last season at 4.5 per game and finished second in rebounding with 11.3 per contest.

“Blocking shots is a gift for me,” Cisse said. “I’ve never worked on it. It comes from my motor and my energy. I like to win and playing defense helps, but I can do more than that.”

“In terms of my college decision, I’m looking for a good explanation of how I am going to be used,” Cisse added. “I’m not worried about starting, or minutes. If I work hard, that will take care of itself. I’ve been watching a lot of film. The situation with [the coronavirus] made my college recruiting a little more difficult, but I’ve adjusted to the situation and will make the best decision for my future.”

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