University of Memphis targeting a big man for the class of 2014

As of right now Memphis doesn’t have a verbal commit for the class of 2014. Chris Chiozza could have been a Tiger, but he decided to take his talents to Florida to play for the Gators. Oh yeah, we could have had a big man by the name of Sidy Djitte Mohamed, but what happened? Once again, Pastner came up short and let Mohamed fall into the hands of the Clemson Tigers.

Pastner now has a new target to look at for the class of 2014. He goes by the name of Abdoulaye Gueye; the 6’10” 220-pound center from Senegal. He recently just moved to Birmingham, AL last October and has received interest from Division 1 schools. But his coach at Central Park Christian recognized that he has some bad habits.

“He was hesitant,” said Donavan Broadnax. “If we were running a set, you’d throw it to him, and he’d be hesitant to make the next pass. … But the way he is, as big and athletic as he is, you could tell he was much better than the guys he was playing against in Senegal.”

He has improved since then and due to that, he has received interest from schools including the University of Memphis. Josh Pastner now has Gueye on his radar.

Broadnax describes Gueye as “super skilled”, which is a plus for a center. With his talent, he has become a target that the Tigers have been seriously lacking in the past years and that is having a center. Not only the Tigers are looking at him, but other schools are interested as well.

Auburn, Mississippi State, Texas A&M, Tennessee, California, Kennesaw State, and UAB are the other Division I schools.

Last year was his first year performing inside the United States and he performed very well. He averaged 11 points, eight rebounds, and three blocks.

“He can put it on the floor, bring it up if you want him to, and he’s got a back-to-the-basket game,” said Broadnax. “He blocks shots, rebounds, and runs the floor like a deer. He’s very competitive and he’s got a high motor.”

After the 2013-2014 season, Memphis will be losing five seniors so, Pastner will be looking to have another solid recruiting class for 2014. Pastner is really high on effort and high motors so, Gueye fits his philosophy. Who knows, Pastner could possibly snatch up Gueye and another center before the 2014-2015 season gets here.

Broadnax teamed up with Pastner before he got to Memphis. He was involved in the recruiting process of former Auburn players Willie Kouassi and Bernard Morena. Broadnax feels very optimistic about Memphis under the fifth-year coach.

“It’s just the pedigree he comes from,” said Broadnax. “Lute Olson is as good as it gets as far as coaches go. Pastner brings that mindset and energy from Arizona, and that’s what we need in the South, because we’re dominated by football.”

Gueye first paid attention to Memphis last year when they played UAB at the Bartow arena in Birmingham.

“They play good,” said Gueye. “I like it. I know Pastner, he’s very good. He’s a nice coach.”

Gueye is not the prospect that a lot of schools would hear about. He is currently unranked by many of the college sports websites. With the months coming up, this could change.

He didn’t get a chance to play AAU basketball due to his late arrival to the United States last summer. Coaches and scouts have not seen what he is capable of doing on the court, but they will now see whether he is any good or not.

“He got that first offer from Auburn, and he was excited,” said Broadnax. “He came from another country, so his expectations of America are high.

“Once the offers are put in your face like that, it becomes more of a reality. I don’t think he can comprehend how big it’ll get, because I’m foreseeing it to be huge for him.”

I received this information from the Commercial Appeal.

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