WEST ORANGE, N.J. — At 6-foot-9 with an athletic build, Moustapha Diagne would seem to be a perfect fit for the back end of the Syracuse zone in years to come.
And that’s exactly where Diagne will play after he committed to the Orange over Memphis during the Mary Kline Classic at West Orange High School.
“It’s a good school, they have a good basketball program,” Diagne said. “And Coach [Adrian] Autry, we built a good relationship and I feel comfortable with Syracuse.”
Ranked the No. 7 power forward in the Class of 2015 by 247Sports.com, Diagne has visited Syracuse three times, including for the epic Duke game in February, and Orange head coach Jim Boeheim has visited him at least once at Pope John.
“He brings a lot of energy to the court, he’s got a lot of athleticism,” Pope John XXIII coach Jason Hasson said. “He definitely is improving his offensive skills, stepping out to 15 feet. He’s going to start being able to step out to the three next year. I think he brings a lot of versatility to [Syracuse] because he can play multiple positions. He can guard multiple positions.”
Diagne is Syracuse’s fourth 2015 commit, joining Trenton (N.J.) Catholic shooting guard Malachi Richardson, Fairfax (Va.) Paul VI shooting guard Frank Howard and New Hampton (N.H.) power forward Tyler Lydon.
Howard also participated in the Mary Kline game, as did 2014 pledge Chris McCullough, who recently became academically eligible.
Diagne also held offers from Villanova, Memphis, Penn State, Rutgers. St. John’s, Cincinnati, UConn, Seton Hall, West Virginia, Temple, Cleveland State, Oregon State, Iona, Manhattan, La Salle and Rhode Island.
But he opted to commit now because he was ready.
“He wants to commit now,” Hasson said. “He feels comfortable with his choice. He’s ready to do it so there’s no sense waiting around.”
Diagne said he’s not focused on a potential pro future, only what lies ahead at Syracuse.
“For right now, I’m not thinking about NBA,” he said. “I’m just going to go there, learn and focus on school.” Follow Adam Zagoria on TwitterAnd like ZAGS on Facebook
Adam Zagoria is a New York Times contributor and Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.