The UCF men’s basketball team has secured a landmark recruit, signing Moustapha Thiam, the highest-rated player in the program’s history. Head coach Johnny Dawkins announced that Thiam, originally the top-ranked center in the 2025 class, has reclassified to join the Knights for the 2024-25 season, bringing exceptional talent to the upcoming roster.

“We’re excited to have Moustapha join our team this year. The timing is great. He will be wonderful in the community and our UCF family. His defensive and offensive versatility will be a great addition to our frontcourt. He’s been improving at a fast pace and we are looking forward to helping him maximize his potential.” – Johnny Dawkins, UCF Men’s Basketball Head Coach

The 7-2 center is a five-star recruit, the first in program history, with a .9943 composite ranking according to 247Sports. He was ranked as the No. 1 center in his class and the No. 14 overall recruit before reclassifying. Thiam was originally slated to join UCF for the 2025-26 campaign before his reclassification. He cracked into ESPN’s top 100 over the summer of 2023.

Thiam just recently wrapped up his time at 3-Stripes Select Basketball this summer where he averaged 15.2 points, 7.2 rebounds and 3.7 blocks per game, while shooting 60% from the floor. He earned defensive MVP for his efforts over the 10-game schedule.

Thiam attended DME Academy in Daytona Beach, Florida, after arriving in the United States from Dakar, Senegal.

In his final season at DME Academy, Thiam averaged 14.4 points, 8.5 rebounds, 4.1 blocks and 2.3 assists per contest. He helped his squad reach the semifinals of the Grind Session tournament.

Thiam is the sixth newcomer officially signed to the 2024-25 squad. He is joined by Keyshawn Hall who can play as either a guard or forward and averaged north of 16.5 points per game last season. Rokas Jocius, JJ Taylor and Benny Williams join Thiam as forwards. Cameron Simpson, a fellow freshman, will join the Knights as a guard ahead of UCF’s second season in the Big 12 Conference