Syracuse basketball, still in hunt for more center depth, in mix for transfer

Syracuse basketball (Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images)
Syracuse basketball (Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images) /

Syracuse basketball remains on the look-out for an additional center to bolster its depth at this position ahead of the 2022-23 campaign.

According to a tweet from Pro Insight director of scouting Andrew Slater, the Orange recently welcomed center Mounir Hima to the Hill for an official visit.

Hima, who is 6-foot-11 and 240 pounds, is a redshirt freshman who announced via Twitter toward the end of April that he was entering the NCAA’s transfer portal, with three years of eligibility remaining.

Originally from Tillabéri, Niger, Hima has been suiting up for Duquesne out of the Atlantic 10 Conference.

In 2021-22, he appeared in 21 games for the Dukes, averaging 9.6 minutes, 1.9 points, 2.8 rebounds and 1.0 blocks per contest, while connecting on 42.5 percent from the field and 83.3 percent from the free-throw line, according to ESPN statistics.

Syracuse basketball is showing interest in center Mounir Hima, a Duquesne transfer.

Based on recent roster developments, the ‘Cuse appears to have two open scholarships at this juncture for 2022-23. At the center spot, graduate student Bourama Sidibe has exhausted his eligibility, while sophomore Frank Anselem transferred to Georgia.

The Orange coaching staff, in mid-April, pursued Florida State transfer Quincy Ballard, but the Syracuse-area native decided to head to Wichita State rather than the ‘Cuse.

On the current roster, junior Jesse Edwards was the starting center for much of the 2021-22 term, before he got injured this past February. With Anselem gone, it’s understandable if Syracuse basketball coaches want more depth at center.

Besides Edwards, 2022 three-star commit Peter Carey can suit up at both power forward and center, although he was injured and didn’t play during his senior year for the Northfield Mount Hermon School in Mount Hermon, Mass.

Other big men on the Orange roster can likely play some minutes here and there at center, but Hima would absolutely provide additional depth at this position.

In late April, Slater tweeted out that Hima had heard from a bunch of college squads, including Charlotte, Southern Illinois, Brown, Santa Clara, Robert Morris, Radford, Louisiana Tech and Eastern Michigan.

I came across a handful of media reports online that speak to Hima having a strong work ethic and being a wonderful, enthusiastic teammate while at Duquesne, which is located in Pittsburgh and had a 6-24 overall record in the 2021-22 stanza.

In reading a bit about Hima, my sense is that he’s still a work in progress on offense, but he has a really long wingspan and could provide a rebounding and shot-blocking presence in the Orange’s zone defense.

As a member of the 2020 recruiting cycle, Hima prior to joining Duquesne suited up for the St. Benedict’s Preparatory School in Newark, N.J.

According to the Duquesne athletics-department Web site, as a senior, Hima averaged 8.0 points, 8.0 rebounds and 3.0 blocks per affair as St. Benedict’s tallied a 30-4 mark and was nationally ranked by ESPN.

In his recruiting process, he earned other offers from Robert Morris, St. Bonaventure, UMass, Rhode Island and VCU, per the Verbal Commits Web site.

His bio on the Duquesne Web site said that Hima also considered Pittsburgh and Texas A&M. We’ll certainly keep tabs on Mounir Hima as it relates to Syracuse basketball moving forward.

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