Lukas Harkins | @hardwiredsports | 06/04/20
Welcome to the first edition of the recruiting roundup! This piece, which will drop on Thursdays throughout the offseason, will dive into the most prevalent recruiting stories of the week and analyze their potential impacts on college hoops. These could come in the form of rumors, commitments, or other tidbits on rising stars.
Since the start of June, there have already been several headlining stories in the recruiting world. Perhaps most notably, one of the most highly-coveted uncommitted prospects in the 2020 class is nearing a decision. Additionally, Syracuse picked up a big-time commit while a rising star from Nicolet (WI) is continuing to experience a boom in his recruitment.
So, here’s the latest in the uncertain world of recruiting.
Frank Anselem commits to Syracuse
There are not many highly-regarded 2020 recruits left in the 2020 class, but Syracuse struck with a solid late commitment earlier this week in the form of Frank Anselem. A 6-foot-10 big man out of Prolific Prep, Anselem is ranked as the No. 182 overall prospect in the class by 247Sports Composite and he joins Kadary Richmond and Woody Newton in an underrated three-man recruiting class headed to the Orange.
With Anselem, Syracuse is getting a very athletic center with a high ceiling, particularly on the defensive end of the floor. He brings the size, athleticism, and instincts needed to be a solid rim protector and rebounder at the “5” spot for a high-major program. Additionally, he should continue to develop on the offensive end and could emerge as a major piece of Syracuse’s future.
The Orange have a few options for their center spot in ’21-22 (Anselem’s sophomore year) after the graduation of Bourama Sidibe, and Anselem will be in that conversation.
James Graham’s recruiting boom continues
Class of 2021 recruits have been unable to showcase their skills on any shoe circuits to this point in the year, but that has not stopped colleges from evaluating players in the class. As coaches have rigorously dove into high school film over the past few weeks, a few players have experienced major booms in their recruitments.
James Graham III is among these notable risers as he has seen his offer list explode in recent weeks. Over the course of just the past month (May 4th-present), the talented 6-foot-8 small forward has collected offers from the likes of Maryland, Wake Forest, Florida State, Missouri, Cincinnati, Georgia, Virginia Tech, Xavier, Michigan State, Vanderbilt, Auburn, Georgetown, and Iowa. He is also receiving continued interest from other programs as well.
Quite simply, Graham is in the midst of an absolute blowup in the recruiting department. The Nicolet (WI) product is a highly versatile performer that brings great size and tremendous shooting ability to the wing. That combination is certainly difficult to find and is highly sought-after in prospects. Graham also rebounds and defends well at his position while being unafraid to find the open man offensively.
Top remaining 2020 recruit Moussa Cisse is nearing a commitment
Moussa Cisse’s recruitment is arguably the most important to follow in the entire nation heading into this coming college basketball season. The 6-foot-10 rim-protecting and glass-cleaning superstar recently announced his decision to reclassify to the 2020 class, making him eligible to play right away in the fall, and he is reportedly gearing up to commit.
Cisse was long rumored to be a reclass candidate but only just made the move and is now regarded as the No. 9 overall player in the 2020 class. As a result, it is easy to understand why his impending decision could have such an impact on this coming college basketball season. He is a five-star prospect and a true difference-maker that will raise the ceiling for whichever program he will call home.
Cisse’s final list includes LSU, Memphis, Florida State, Georgetown, and Georgia. While LSU holds the lead in crystal ball predictions for his commitment, Memphis has been oft-discussed as a potential destination and the other four schools shouldn’t be counted out quite yet either. His final decision is expected to come in the near future and that program will be landing a serious stud for their center spot in the fall.
Lukas Harkins is a college basketball writer for HeatCheckCBB.com and covers the nation with rankings, bracketology, analysis, and recruiting breakdowns. He is currently a Rockin’ 25 voter and is credentialed media for Butler. He previously worked as one of the site experts at Busting Brackets. Harkins graduated from Butler University in 2019 and majored in Healthcare and Business.