VALPARAISO | It’s coming two years later than expected, but Moussa Gueye will finally put on a Valparaiso uniform next season.
Valparaiso basketball coach Bryce Drew announced that Gueye, the one-time Valparaiso commit, will transfer to the Crusaders after playing his last two years at Alabama.
Gueye graduated this spring and will have one season of immediate eligibility.
“We’re very pleased to add Moussa, who was one of the better shot blockers in the SEC last year,” Valparaiso coach Bryce Drew said. “We had a good relationship with Moussa when we recruited him and it helped having that relationship when we started talking again.”
Gueye gave his verbal commitment to the Crusaders in 2009 after he enrolled at Lake Land College in Mattoon, Ill. Gueye reopened his recruitment in 2010 and the Crusaders were still in the mix.
The Senegal native eventually picked the Crimson Tide, but tore his ACL at the beginning of the 2011-12 season and played just 12 games. The seven-foot center averaged 3.9 rebounds and 1.4 blocks while starting 27 games for Alabama last season.
Gueye took an official visit to Valparaiso last week and connected with the players, notably sophomore Vashil Fernandez. With Kevin Van Wijk unable to practice for much of the last two season, Fernandez hasn’t had the chance to work with many low-post players in practice and Gueye’s arrival should boost Fernandez’s development.
“Whenever we bring a guy in for a visit we look for feedback from the current players,” Drew said. “The players all spoke very highly of Moussa. I’m really excited to see Moussa work with Vashil. The coaches are very excited because we’ve gotten much bigger.”
Gueye joins a seven-member incoming class that includes St. Louis transfer Keith Carter as well as five freshmen. Rice transfer David Chadwick will also be eligible next season. The Crusaders currently are at their limit for scholarships for next season if everyone on the current roster returns. Valparaiso has not had an offseason without a player transferring from the program since 2001.