“I want to be the most complete basketball player I can, and I feel Coach Beard can help me reach that,” Cisse said.
Cisse, a former co-Big 12 defensive player of the year, is considered one of the best defensive players returning to college basketball, providing the Rebels a boost as they transition into a new coaching staff. He picked Ole Miss over offers from UCLA and Cincinnati.
Cisse, born in Guinea, was a five-star recruit in the 2020 class, ranked No. 24 by ESPN. He won AAC freshman of the year honors at Memphis, but he moved to Oklahoma State after his freshman year when he helped the Tigers win the NIT championship. He spent the past two seasons at Oklahoma State.
At 6-foot-11, with a 7-foot-4½ wingspan, Cisse has outstanding size, length and mobility, which helped him rank as one of the best rebounders and shot-blockers in college basketball last season.
Cisse says the opportunity to get a “new start” along with newly appointed coach Chris Beard played a significant role in his decision to transfer.
“His track record, system and style of play speak for itself,” Cisse said. “He’s been one of the most successful coaches in college basketball the past few years.”
Ole Miss is replacing virtually most of its roster from last season following the coaching change, reeling in several four-star high school recruits and transfers Brandon Murray (Georgetown), Jamarion Sharp (Western Kentucky) and Austin Nunez (Arizona State).
They await a decision from leading scorer Matthew Murrell, who is currently testing the NBA draft waters and competing at the G League Elite Camp, underway in Chicago this weekend.
Jonathan Givony is an NBA draft expert and the founder and co-owner of DraftExpress.com, a private scouting and analytics service utilized by NBA, NCAA and international teams.