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Michigan basketball needs to pursue former five-star forward in transfer potal

The Wolverines need to be in pursuit of a former five-star power forward in the portal.



Michigan basketball, transfer portal, Yohan Traore
Jan 21, 2023; Columbia, South Carolina, USA; Auburn Tigers forward Yohan Traore (21) attempts a three point basket against the South Carolina Gamecocks in the first half at Colonial Life Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Blake-USA TODAY Sports

The Michigan Wolverines are coming off of one of the most disappointing seasons in recent memory. Despite having been to the Final Four twice in the past decade and winning numerous Big Ten titles — as recently as 2021 — Michigan basketball appears to be heading in the wrong direction right now after being knocked out of the NIT by Vanderbilt. Heading into the 2023-24 season, it’s clear that Juwan Howard and his staff will need to hit the transfer portal a bit in order to remaining competitive, and a perfect candidate is now on the market: former five-star forward Yohan Traore.

Yohan Traore hits transfer portal, Michigan basketball should be in pursuit

As a recruit, Yohan Traore was rated as a five-star prospect and was ranked as the No. 23 player in the nation, the No. 4 power forward in the 2022 class, and the No. 1 player in the state of Arizona. Now, after just one season with the Auburn Tigers, Traore is in the transfer portal in search of a new home. His freshman year stats are not impressive, though he only appeared in 10 games and averaged less than nine minutes of playing time per game.

Michigan basketball is in need of some help at the power forward position, and getting one of the better players in the transfer portal to fill that need would be massive for Juwan Howard’s team heading into a must-win season next year. Traore boasts an impressive 6-foot-10, 225-pound frame and loads of talent, so he should be a top priority recruit for the Wolverines right now.

Traore says farewell to Auburn

Here is what Yohan Traore had to say before entering his name into the transfer portal (per On3):

“I am grateful to be a part of the Auburn Tiger community. My time in Auburn has taught me lessons that extend far beyond the basketball court. I have given 100% to the University on and off of the court. A heartfelt thanks to Coach Pearl for recruiting me and giving me the opportunity to play at Auburn. I also want to thank the entire Auburn staff for giving me the opportunity to play under their leadership this past year. To my teammates, thank you for always being by my side, you guys have become family to me.

“Most importantly I would like to thank the Auburn community for embracing and supporting me throughout my time here. I will always remember and appreciate you, but the time has come for me to enter the transfer portal and take that next step as a basketball player. Thank you all for respecting my decision. WarDamnEagle!”

Now, it’s time for Michigan basketball to get to work on his recruitment and bring his talents to Ann Arbor in order to build more of a presence when it comes to the team’s power forwards.

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CJ has covered college athletics in paid roles for around five years, including numerous sports and beats. His most recent work revolves largely around Penn State and Michigan football and basketball as a member of the credentialed media at both schools. Right now, CJ writes for Blue by Ninety, where he also serves as the site's credentialed football reporter. He also does some credentialed basketball coverage. Previously, CJ has made stops with sites like GBMWolverine, Saturday Blitz, Steeler Nation, and more.