Kim English is swinging for the fences in his first season as Providence College Head Coach. It leaked out this past weekend that 2024 Top 50 Somto Cyril of Overtime Elite (originally from Nigeria) will be taking an official visit to Providence April 25th – 27th. Cyril, a 7 foot 240lb mountain of a man, is a 2024 recruit, but does graduate in May. There are rumors that he may reclassify to 2023 class, which would make a lot of sense given that Providence’s exclusive gap to the 2023-2024 roster is a true 5 man that can play above the rim offensively and protect the basket defensively.
If Providence can somehow land Cyril (either for the 2024 or 2023 class), they land an immensely athletic and talented big that I personally haven’t seen on this Friar roster since I started following them in 2007. He’s that much of a unicorn of a big man, and Providence fans shouldn’t overlook how crucial it is for Kim English to even get a big man of this caliber on campus.
Below, we break down Somto Cyril’s recruitment, his game, and how he’d fit on the Providence roster.
Somto Cyril Recruitment
The 247 Composite ranking has Cyril as the 32 overall player in the 2024 class and #5 Center in his respective class. For perspective, the sixth ranked big man is James Brown committed to North Carolina. The third ranked player is committed to Baylor. The second ranked player, Derik Queen, recently received an offer from Kim English. I mention all of these names for perspective on how uniquely talented Cyril in. PC doesn’t often get these type of talented players on campus.
Cyril is being pursued by all the big names in college basketball. He took an official visit to Indiana and Cincinnati and holds offers from LSU, Florida, Tennessee, and Kansas, notably.
The “in” for Providence here is that Cyril plays for head coach Ryan Gomes at Overtime Elite. Does that name ring a bell for Friar fans? Assistant Coach Tim Fuller has also been loosely tied to an opening on the English staff. Clearly, Providence has a lot going for it.
Somto Cyril’s Game
Cyril’s nickname is Baby Shaq. That should tell you enough about what folks think about his game.
When thinking about the modern NBA game, there are consistently 4 shooters on the court, with the 5 man often being a mobile, athletic big that thrives in the pick and roll setting offensively and defensively protects the rim with ease. This is Cyril. Cyril is one of the best defensive players in his class. He won Defensive Player of the Year in the league he is currently in, which is comprised of elite prep talent. He led the league with 3.4 blocks/game.
Not only is he all of 7 feet, but he also possesses a 40 inch vertical with a 7 foot 5 wing span. He would be a rim protector that Providence hasn’t had since Carson Desrosiers. The difference is Cyril is Desrosiers with a jet pack strapped onto his back.
This is the type of 5 man that Kentucky, Duke, Baylor, and Alabama land with regularity. They find these freak athletes that play above the rim, can run like a gazelle, and provide a safety blanket on the defensive end by putting a proverbial lid on the rim.
I’ve been thinking hard about a comparison for Cyril and have admittedly been struggling. The one name that comes to mind is Willie Cauley Stein. Both are long, far too athletic for their body types, and impact both sides of the court. WCS was a menace in the lob game and routinely sent opposing shots into the stands.
Where Cyril needs to improve is working on his offense in the half-court. I haven’t seen a ton of low post moves from him or the ability to knock down a mid-range shot with consistency. A lot of his production primarily comes off being set up by his point guard for easy lay-ins/dunks and in transition.
To round his game out to be a complete player, Cyril needs to develop in the half-court where he can’t necessarily rely solely on his superior athleticism. Having a year to learn under Oduro would do WONDERS for Cyril. Oduro doesn’t come close to the measurables or athleticism of Cyril, but produces offensively at an elite level because of his footwork and post moves.
Cyril & The PC Roster
Even if Cyril doesn’t reclass into the 2023 class, he’d walk into a starting spot in the 2024-2025 class as a true freshman. Providence has absolutely no big men on the roster after this season besides Rafael Castro. The thought of being a starter as a true freshman has to be appealing. I’m certain English is hammering home that recruiting angle.
Even if Cyril does reclassify into the 2023 class, I have a really hard time seeing him come off the bench. That is how highly I think of his game and athletic attributes. It wouldn’t shock me to see a starting line-up of Pierre, Carter, Hopkins, Oduro, Cyril. If he does come off the bench to start the year, he’ll still be getting 20 minutes a game and would then earn 30+ minutes in his sophomore year. This is the type of guy that plays 1 or 2 years in college and then goes to the NBA. He’s legitimately that good.
We should know by week’s end where PC stands with Cyril. I’m nervous that this visit leaking opens the flood gates for more blue bloods who didn’t realize he was openly considering the possibility of reclassing. If English does land Cyril, he will have signed Top Consensus Two Top 50 recruits in the 2023 Class. English really is exceeding expectations.
2024 Recruiting Primer, Version 4.0: https://theprovidencecrier.com/2023/03/27/providence-college-basketball-recruiting-class-of-2024/
Transfer Portal Primer, Version 3.0: https://theprovidencecrier.com/2023/03/28/tracking-the-transfers-pc-targets-in-the-2023-portal-providence-crier-transfer-portal-primer/
Garwey Dual Commitment Article: https://theprovidencecrier.com/2022/09/01/deep-dive-analysis-of-2023-providence-commit-garwey-dual/
Transfer Portal Spotlight: Graham Ike: https://theprovidencecrier.com/2023/03/31/crier-recruiting-corner-introducing-wyoming-forward-graham-ike/
Transfer Portal Spotlight: Davonte “Ticket” Gaines: https://theprovidencecrier.com/2023/04/08/davonte-ticket-gaines-following-kim-english-to-friartown/
Rich Barron Commitment Article: https://theprovidencecrier.com/2023/04/10/richard-barron-commits-to-providence-analyzing-the-impact/
Transfer Portal Spotlight: Taran Armstrong: https://theprovidencecrier.com/2023/04/08/transfer-portal-spotlight-introducing-cal-baptist-guard-taran-armstrong/
Transfer Portal Spotlight: Josh Oduro: https://theprovidencecrier.com/2023/03/25/transfer-portal-spotlight-george-mason-forward-josh-oduro/
Transfer Portal Spotlight: Justyn Fernandez: https://theprovidencecrier.com/2023/03/26/transfer-portal-spotlight-george-mason-wing-justyn-fernandez/
Crier Recruiting Corner: George Turkson Jr.: https://theprovidencecrier.com/2023/03/03/the-crier-recruiting-corner-introducing-2024-forward-george-turkson-jr/
Crier Recruiting Corner: Andre Mills (for the Texas A&M crowd): https://theprovidencecrier.com/2023/02/08/crier-recruiting-corner-introducing-andre-mills/
Crier Recruiting Corner: Junjie Wang (for the millions of San Fran Dons readers): https://theprovidencecrier.com/2023/01/24/crier-recruiting-corner-junjie-barry-wang/
Crier Recruiting Corner: Kur Teng (for the Michigan State fans in this thread): https://theprovidencecrier.com/2023/01/16/crier-recruiting-corner-introducing-2024-guard-kur-teng/
Crier Recruiting Corner: Kany Tchanda: https://theprovidencecrier.com/2022/12/29/crier-recruiting-corner-introducing-kany-tchanda/
Crier Recruiting Impact: Kayvaun Mulready (for those Georgetown fans scrolling through this): https://theprovidencecrier.com/2023/01/09/friars-land-24-worcester-academy-guard-kayvaun-mulready/#more-5741