Somto Cyril liked what he saw during IU basketball visit, including opportunity to play next year – The Daily Hoosier

Nigerian center Somto Cyril says he hasn’t decided yet whether he will go to college in 2023 or 2024.

But during an official visit to Bloomington over the weekend, he was paying close attention to next year’s Indiana opportunity.

“They (Indiana) have four players leaving next year and two of them are the big ones so they have some playing time on their roster right now when I was going to go there next year,” Cyril told The Daily Hoosier.

This news also came on Mike Woodson’s radio show Monday night. “We’ve got to get some bigs,” Woodson said when asked about his two openings in next year’s roster.

Cyril is definitely checking the big box.

Listed by his Overtime Elite program as 6-foot-10 and 235 pounds with a 7-foot-5 span, the 17-year-old is a self-proclaimed rebounder and shot-blocker – who doesn’t like to overdo his game.

“I just want to win and get better as a player and also help my teammates get better and put us in a better position to be a good team,” he said. “My main concern is to be a good teammate and to do the best for my team.”

Cyril, the 2021 National Defender of the Year at Adidas Circuit, is helping his team by being a force in color on both ends of the floor. He’s known for his emphatic dunks on one side and top-notch rim protection on the other. Along with a powerful engine, his game has a ferocity that has earned Cyril the nickname “Baby Shaq”.

After a game in the Overtime Elite League on Friday night, Cyril flew to Indiana for his two-day visit. He said the basketball-centric aspect of both Bloomington and IU made a strong impression, noting that Indiana would be a “really nice place” to play basketball.

But the variable that really made an impression on Enugu, Nigeria’s product was the IU trainers.

“What struck me (at the visit) was the coaching staff,” Cyril told The Daily Hoosier. “They were really nice and told me how they want to help me develop my game and they think I can help them win games.”

Assistant coach Yasir Rosemond has ties to Overtime Elite and is Cyril’s lead recruiter for Indiana.

Cyril also liked what he heard and saw from head coach Mike Woodson.

“I think he (Woodson) is a really good coach and also a really good person,” said Cyril. “I’ve seen the relationship he has with his players and everyone has been really cool with him in training, on the walk-throughs and off the pitch. I think they have good chemistry.”

Cyril says he doesn’t have a specific timeline for deciding when or where he will go to college. He has visited Cincinnati and has involved many other schools including Florida, Georgetown, Kansas, Kentucky, Memphis and Tennessee. And there are rumors about the possibility of Cyril rising straight into the professional ranks.

Though there’s still a lot to be worked out, Cyril says he knows what he’s looking for.

“I just want to be in a place where I feel welcome, where I feel at home, where I can obviously improve and they can help me get to the next level,” Cyril said.

A full list of IU’s recruitment goals and prospects, including recent visits, can be found HERE.


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