The University of Memphis Men’s basketball program struck gold during the July recruiting period by securing a commitment from Class of 2020 center Moussa Cisse, a 6-foot-11 freakishly athletic night man widely regarded as the top shot-blocker in the country. Convincing the five-star Cisse to spurn other big-time and remain in Memphis where he attended high school this past season, was the type of signature pledge that proved the Memphis staff’s staying power on the recruiting trail, and erased any doubts that Coach Penny Hardaway would have any trouble landing elite prospects following the departure of Assistant Coach Mike Miller.
After missing out on talent during the earlier part of the year the staff regrouped. They also have been working on future upcoming classes. Penny Hardaway and Assitant Coaches Tony Madlock and Cody Toppert have been hot on the recruiting trail.
The Moussa Cisse commitment was not the only fireworks that was set off during the month of July. Less than a week after landing the five star center, Memphis learned they received a commitment from five-start top 25 overall prospect Arterio Morris, who is a talented guard currently in the class of 2022.
The early commitment of Morris was a big boost to Memphis’ 2022 recruiting class which as of July 27 is rated the no 3. nationally according the 247Sports composite team rankings, trailing only Michigan State and Syracuse. Arterio is a big-time scoring machine who will add firepower to a Memphis backcourt that could still include Boogie Ellis, Damion Baugh, Lester Quinones, and Alex Lomax. It is also likely that a few of the aforementioned Memphis guards could enter professional ranks before Morris arrives on campus.
Morris is a player who could be a candidate to reclassify into the class of 2021. The smooth 6-foot-3 guard was born in Memphis and moved away at the age of 5. Despite living in Texas, Arterio has maintained that Memphis has always been his dream school. Next season he is expected to attend Prolific Prep in Napa, California, which is the same school that produced Jalen Green, a former Memphis recruit who skipped college to become the first player to join the NBA G League’s select program
So much energy has been brought back into the program after missing out on Greg Brown and Jalen Green. Moussa Cisse made the biggest block of his career by stopping the negative feedback from fans and national media. Head Coach Penny Hardaway’s recruiting skills are amazing and after losing a great recruiter in Mike Miller, Cody Toppert has increasing become more involved in high-level prospects on the recruiting trail.
The Tigers have also jumped into the running for Mikey Williams one of the top five players in the Class of 2023. Mikey also has strong ties to the Memphis area, as he previously played with the Memphis Dream Chasers , a Memphis-based AAU program who participated in several notable grassroots invitational tournaments. The experience playing with local fans helped Mikey learn more about Penny Hardaway, who at the time was in the early stages of his tenure as the University of Memphis Men’s basketball coach. The exposure to Memphis basketball culture rubbed off on Mikey, and he seemingly enjoys he receives from Tiger fans via social media. Mikey recently released a Top 10 list of schools and the Memphis Tigers made the cut.
The Tigers continue to be in the running several elite prospects and the Memphis staff has turned up the heat while notch silencing any critics or skeptics of their staying power amongst the elite of college basketball recruiting.