Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
Syracuse Commit Moustapha Diagne Headed to Northwest Florida State (UPDATED)
Former Syracuse commit Moustapha Diagne won’t enroll at the school and will instead head to Northwest Florida State and play for head coach Steve DeMeo, sources confirmed to SNY.tv.
The Northwest Florida State news was previously reported by NJHoops.com. Diagne will play there alongside his former Sparta (N.J.) Pope John teammate Jeromy Rodriguez.
Pope John coach Jason Hasson told NJ Advance Media that the NCAA is still in the process of determining Diagne’s eligibility because of one class he took as a freshman in Senegal before he arrived in the United States in 2012.
“Moustapha is still waiting for his eligibility status from the NCAA. Unfortunately, the ruling hasn’t come soon enough,” Hasson told NJ Advance Media. “To ensure that he gets free education, he is going to a reputable two year school, thus allowing him to return from Africa, keep playing basketball, and go to classes while waiting for his final NCAA ruling.”
Hassan said Diagne faced an Aug. 20 deadline to pick a school because his student visa required that. Thus, they chose Northwest Florida State for Diagne, who had been in Senegal, visting family.
While there have also been questions surrounding Diagne’s age, Hasson told NJ Advance Media the player is 19 and a source who has seen Diagne’s passport confirmed that his birthdate on that document is Oct. 6, 1995.
Ranked the No. 7 power forward in the Class of 2015 by 247Sports.com, Diagne helped lead Pope John XXIII to the New Jersey Tournament of Champions final in March, where they lost to Kentucky-bound point guard Isaiah Briscoe and Roselle (N.J.) Catholic. He averaging 14.7 points and 12.0 rebounds on the season.
A native of Senegal, Diagne was part of an incoming class that includes 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.
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.
As Syracuse.com points out, his absence leaves Syracuse with limited option up front. They lost Chris McCullough to the NBA Draft and have Dajuan Coleman returning from knee surgery that kept him out all of last season. The Orange also have 6-9 junior Chinonso Obokoh, 6-8 junior Tyler Roberson and 6-8 freshman Tyler Lydon. The Orange have nine players on scholarship.
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Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle.
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.