Ole Miss Basketball: Moussa Cisse Granted Eligibility Waiver by NCAA

OSU's Moussa Cisse (33) celebrates in the final seconds of a 64-51 win against Texas on Jan. 8 in Stillwater.cisse
OSU's Moussa Cisse (33) celebrates in the final seconds of a 64-51 win against Texas on Jan. 8 in Stillwater.cisse /

Moussa Cisse has been granted his eligibility waiver by the NCAA right before tip-off in the NC State game. He becomes immediately eligible to contribute to the Rebel’s squad, starting this Saturday versus Memphis at the Pavilion.

Cisse and Chris Beard have been waiting months to hear back from the NCAA about the status of Cisse’s eligibility. Moussa Cisse, a 6-foot-10 shot-blocking machine, is a two-time transfer who started his collegiate career with the Memphis Tigers during the 2020-21 season. As a freshman with the Tigers, he led the American Athletic Conference in blocked shots. Because of his strong freshman season, he earned AAC Rookie of the Year.

After a strong freshman campaign with his hometown Memphis Tigers, Cisse ultimately decided to transfer to Oklahoma St. His career continued to skyrocket in Stillwater.

While playing two seasons for the Cowboys, Cisse won two consecutive spots on the Big 12 All-Defensive Team and a Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year Award. During his time with the Cowboys, Cisse averaged two blocks and eight rebounds per game. He even managed to lead the Big 12 in rebound percentage in both of his years in Stillwater.

Ultimately, after two productive seasons with Oklahoma State, Moussa Cisse decided to transfer back to the Mid-South and attend Ole Miss for his senior season.Due to Cisse being a two-time transfer, he and Chris Beard had to wait for an NCAA ruling in order for Cisse to play. The news of his waiver being granted spread all across Rebel Nation last night when he was dressed and warming up with the team ahead of their contest with NC State.

Cisse did not play against NC State, but he will be a huge addition to the Rebel frontcourt for the rest of the season. Before the waiver came through, Ole Miss was very thin in the front court. Jamarion Sharpe, another shot blocker, is the team’s starting center. He has performed very well this year, averaging three blocks per game. Outside of Sharpe, the Rebels have been playing an inexperienced freshman in Rashaud Marshall and senior forward Jaemyn Brakefield in the five slot. Cisse will bring much-needed experience and comfortability in playing the backup 5 for the Rebels.

His presence alone will make teams hesitate to drive to the basket, as he is such a dangerous shot blocker. While Jamarion Sharpe is not on the floor, opposing teams typically try to drive to the rim, with Ole Miss not having another presence to replace Sharpe. However, with Cisse back in the lineup, Ole Miss will have another dangerous shot blocker that teams must gameplan against.

Moussa Cisse is an invaluable member of the roster, and I can’t wait to see him step on the court this Saturday against Memphis.

Looking ahead, Chris Beard is still waiting to hear back about Georgetown transfer Brandon Murray. Hopefully, his letter will be coming Beard’s way any day now.