During his time at Lake Land College 7-foot center Moussa Gueye verbally committed to attend Valparaiso, only to change his mind and ultimately end up at Alabama.
After two seasons in Tuscaloosa, Gueye will transfer to Valparaiso where he will be eligible to play immediately. The news was first reported by Bill Potter and then confirmed by Paul Oren of the Northwest Indiana Times.
Gueye played in just 12 games as a junior due to a knee injury, returning to average 3.9 rebounds and 1.4 blocked shots per contest last season. His addition will give Valparaiso more size and depth in the paint with both Ryan Broekhoff and Kevin Van Wijk having graduated.
“We’re very pleased to be adding Moussa to our basketball program,” head coach Bryce Drew said in a statement released by the school. “As a coaching staff, we are very excited to get him on campus and to start working with him.”
In addition to Gueye the Crusaders will add five freshmen, with small forward Alec Peters being the most notable of the five, and former Saint Louis guard Keith Carter. Carter will be eligible to play in games at the end of the 2013 fall semester.
Inside Valparaiso’s most experienced returnee is one-time Indiana Hoosier Bobby Capobianco, who played an average of 16.2 minutes per contest last season (5.4 ppg, 4.5 rpg). Vashil Hernandez played just 7.3 minutes per game, and David Chadwick sat out last season after transferring from Rice.
Raphielle can be followed on Twitter at @raphiellej.
An interesting recruiting development hit on Friday as Josh Gershon of Scout.com reported that four-star center Jayce Johnson is reclassifying to the Class of 2015 and looking to join a program at semester break.
The 7-foot native of California is down to Cal, Colorado and Utah and Johnson is on an official visit to Utah this weekend after transferring to a charter school this week. As Gershon notes, only Cal has a scholarship to offer Johnson this season, but the family is willing to pay a semester at the other programs if it’s the right fit. Johnson would like to redshirt and train with his future college while playing against more mature players.
But if Johnson is persuaded not to redshirt, he could be an intriguing big man off the bench later in the season for a couple of teams looking to make a postseason appearance. As the No. 67 overall prospect in the Class of 2016, Johnson is a talented prospect and he isn’t afraid to score with either hand. With some time to fill out, Johnson can turn into a talented Pac-12 player down the road.
New Utah Valley head coach Mark Pope made quite an impression on fans at the team’s Midnight Madness celebration last night. That’s because Pope did a dance and lip sync routine with his four daughters that turned out to be pretty impressive.
The former BYU assistant looks to be the leader in the clubhouse for best coach dance so far this preseason. We’ll see if any other coaches pull out elaborate routines at madness celebrations the next few weeks.