UC SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - Highly-touted 6'10 power forward Yohan Traore is transferring from Auburn to UCSB.
He chose the Gauchos over several power-5 schools including Alabama, Oklahoma, Michigan, TCU and others.
Traore will be the highest-rated player to come to UCSB based on his 5-star high school rating.
As a freshman at Auburn this past season Traore played in 25 games averaging 2.1 ppg with 1.4 reb in less than 10 minutes per contest.
While those numbers were not impressive he turned heads when Auburn played 3 games during a preseason international tour in Israel posting back-to-back 20 point performances.
Traore is a native of France and came to the United States at the age of 17 for basketball.
After starting out at Prolific Prep in Napa he played his senior season at Dream City in Glendale, Arizona and was one of the top recruits in the class of 2022.
He first committed to LSU but after a coaching change he reopened his recruiting and picked Auburn over offers from other big schools such as Kansas, Gonzaga and Houston.
Traore fills a big hole inside for UCSB with the departure of seniors Miles Norris and Andre Kelly.
UCSB won a school-record 27 games this past season and advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the second time in three years.
They were co-Big West regular season champions and won the Big West Tournament title.
The Gauchos return a bevy of talent led by Big West Player of the Year Ajay Mitchell at point guard.
Fellow guards Cole Anderson and Josh Pierre-Louis are back as well as new additions Creighton-transfer Ben Shtolzberg and incoming freshman Jason Fontenet.
In the front court the Gauchos return Koat Keat Tong who had a strong freshman season before a late season injury kept him out of the postseason.
Matija Belic and Evans Kipruto showed promising signs late in the year and in the postseason.
UCSB also welcomes in 7-foot Mezziah Oakman who will be a junior after playing for City College of San Francisco where they advanced to the State Final.
With the addition of Traore UCSB will be the overwhelming favorites to win the Big West.