Auburn landed a commitment from five-star center Yohan Traore on Thursday after Traore de-committed from LSU following LSU’s firing of Will Wade as coach. Traore is considered the No. 15 overall prospect in the 2022 class and the No. 4 center by the 247Sports Composite.
Traore’s commitment marks Auburn’s third straight recruiting cycle landing a five-star prospect. The Tigers also signed five-star power forward Jabari Smith from the 2021 class and five-star point guard Sharife Cooper from the 2020 class. Traore joins a 2022 Auburn class that also includes four-star small forward Chance Westry and three-star point guard Tre Donaldson.
While Smith is regarded as a sure bet to declare for the NBA Draft and be a lottery pick after a standout freshman season, the role Trarore plays as a freshman with the Tigers could be determined in part by what Auburn center Walker Kessler decides to do. Kessler shined as a sophomore this past season after transferring in from North Carolina and is ranked the No. 37 overall on Kyle Boone’s NBA Draft Big Board.
If Kessler returns to Auburn for another season, he figures to be the featured player in the Tigers’ front court. But if Kessler decides to turn pro, then Traore could find himself playing a featured role. Unlike Smith, who shined as a 3-point shooter this past season, Traore is not regarded as a perimeter shooting threat. Therefore, playing Traore and Kessler together could prove more challenging to Auburn coach Bruce Pearl than it was to play Smith and Kessler together.