Syracuse basketball's 2015 recruits find their teams ranked in New Jersey's Top 10

Syracuse Basketball 2015 recruit Moustapha Diagne

Moustapha Diagne and his Pope John XXIII High School teammates are No. 3 in NJ.com's preseason rankings for the state of New Jersey.

(Dennis Nett | dnett@syracuse.com)

Syracuse, N.Y. -- The Syracuse Orange basketball team currently isn't ranked in the Associated Press' Top 25, but two of the school's 2015 recruits enter the season on teams that are ranked in the Top 10 of the state of New Jersey.

Moustapha Diagne, a 6-foot-8 forward at Pope John XXIII High School in Sparta, N.J.; and Malachi Richardson, a 6-6 guard at Trenton Catholic Academy, have both signed letters of intent to play at Syracuse next year.

The Pope John Lions are No. 3 in NJ.com's preseason rankings of the high school boys basketball teams in the state.

Syracuse basketball recruit Malachi Richardson takes a jumper in a five-on-five scrimmage in September at Trenton Catholic Academy.


In addition to Diagne, Pope John's roster includes several other Division I prospects, including senior point guard Matt Zignorski, who has signed with Fordham. The Lions have won three straight New Jersey Athletic Conference championships and come into this season with high expectations.

Meanwhile, Trenton Catholic Academy came in at No. 8 in NJ.com's preseason rankings. The Iron Mikes will be led by Richardson, but also boast several other Division I recruits.

Pope John opens the 2014-15 season on Friday with a home game against Blair Academy. Tipoff is at 7 p.m.

Trenton Catholic Academy's season opener is on Saturday against Hun School. TCA is the host school.

Richardson and Diagne will be on the same court, although not at the same time, on Sunday. Pope John and Trenton Catholic Academy are both playing in the inaugural Mary Kline Winter Classic at Archbishop Wood High School in Warminster, Pa., which is located just outside of Philadelphia.

The event consists of five games. The first game starts at noon. In the second game of the day, Pope John will face Life Center Academy of Burlington, N.J., at 1:45 p.m. In the fourth game on the schedule, Trenton Catholic will play Imhotep (Pa.) Charter at 5:15 p.m.

The Mary Kline Winter Classic, which named after the late mother of tournament director and current Syracuse University junior Alex Kline, benefits cancer research.