Today's Mary Kline Classic has a distinct Syracuse flair. The all-star event, organized by SU student/recruiting guru Alex Kline in support of brain tumor research, already featured future Orange players Chris McCullough and Franklin Howard, and as most of us expected, it became the site of another Syracuse commitment.
2015 center Moustapha Diagne, the 6-foot-9, 240-pound big man from Pope John XXIII in Sparta, NJ, has announced that he will play for Jim Boeheim and Syracuse.
2015 top-25 PF Moustapha Diagne announced his commitment to Syracuse at the Mary Kline Classic tonight. pic.twitter.com/cDXBzbDlAD— Alex Kline (@TheRecruitScoop) May 31, 2014
Thank you @thealexkline for selecting me for @mkc2k14 game and for sharing my decision to attend Syracuse University. #orangenation— Moustapha Diagne (@Tapha35) May 31, 2014
Diagne (pronounced "jang", so prepare your Tarantino-based nicknames accordingly), is a consensus four-star player, ranked between 24th and 37th in his class. Scout has him ranked as the fourth best 2015 center. He joins fellow Syracuse commits Howard, Malachi Richardson, and Tyler Lydon in Syracuse's 2015 class.
Diagne selected Syracuse over Memphis. He also reportedly had offers from UConn, Cincinnati, Kansas, Minnesota, St. John's, Temple, Villanova, West Virginia, and a slew of others.
In the next two seasons, Syracuse reloads the roster with a point guard (Kaleb Joseph), a sharp shooting two guard (Richardson), a versatile combo guard (Franklin), a couple of dynamic wings (McCullough, Lydon), and now another top center in Diagne.
Diagne and Howard participated in the underclassman game prior to the commitment, where Diagne's Team Bravery beat Howard's Team Inspiration 137-105. Diagne was extremely impressive offensively, with a combination of dunks, lay-ups, reverses, hooks, and a jumper or two to score 16 on 8-of-9 shooting by my count. He also runs the floor very well. Howard was rusty early on, but scored a bit late. He scored 11 points, all in the second half, and recorded at least seven assists by my count. He certainly looked like a point guard.
Other Syracuse targets that participated in the underclassmen game included forward Derrick Jones, who looked like the best player on the court. He finished with 31 points to lead Team Bravery to a win, including a number of ferocious dunks. 2016 point guard Jamal Murray (Toronto, ON) was very impressive and showed a nice jump shot. He's supposedly high on Syracuse. Cheick Diallo and Tyus Battle also played well in the contest.
2014 commit Chris McCullough is set to play in the senior game coming up shortly. Live stream the game here.