Former Arizona center Oumar Ballo commits to Indiana

Clemson v Arizona
Clemson v Arizona / Ronald Martinez/GettyImages
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Yearly improvement

Ballo has aged like a fine wine in his time with the Wildcats. He's not a perfect player, but he's got miles better since following Lloyd from Gonzaga to Arizona in 2021. He came to the U.S. from Mali to play for Lloyd, and he saw action in 24 games with no starts in his freshman year, where he posted just 6.3 minutes and 2.5 points per contest.

He saw more playing time in his first year at Arizona, where he saw action in all 37 games as a reserve. His 15.3 minutes per game more than doubled his previous year's minutes and he logged 6.8 points, 4.4 rebounds, and 1.2 blocks on average.

Oumar Ballo
Long Beach State v Arizona / Christian Petersen/GettyImages

Things took a massive upward swing in Ballo's junior year. Not only did he start the first game of his collegiate career, he started all 35 games he played. The 14.2 points per game he scored were the highest of his career, and he paired it with 8.6 rebounds, 1.6 assists, and 1.2 blocks per game. He also played in a career-high 27.6 minutes per game and shot 64.7% from the field en route to his first First Team All-Pac-12 honor and the Pac-12 Most Improved Player of the Year award.

In his final year in the Old Pueblo, he somehow got even better. He started all 36 games played while playing 25.9 minutes per tilt and appeared to be in even better shape than in his junior year. Despite his minutes and scoring output dropping slightly, he still averaged a double-double at 12.9 points and 10.1 rebounds per game. He matched a career-high 1.3 blocks per game and shot an absurd 65.8% from the field.

During the season, he surpassed 1,000 career points with Arizona and earned his second consecutive First Team All-Pac-12 nod, capping off quite the illustrious Wildcats career before finishing out his eligibility elsewhere.

Impact on Indiana

The former two-time First Team All-Pac-12 honoree will immediately land the starting job in Bloomington and has the chance to really boost his NBA draft stock for 2025. Adding both Ballo and former Washington State standout Myles Rice to the roster gives Indiana a real shot at being Big Ten contenders next season.

In the end, this is the best move for all parties involved: Arizona gets to focus on developing its promising young big men, Indiana adds NBA-caliber talent to the roster, and Ballo gets both more playing time and (likely) a larger NIL paycheck. Ballo's three seasons in Tucson were a wonder to witness, and he'll continue doing great things with the historic program in the Midwest.

Boz. Former Arizona guard Kylan Boswell transfers to hometown Illinois. dark. ICYMI

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