Indiana reloads, stealing key transfer from Arizona

Mike Woodson and the Indiana Hoosiers are making an all-out effort to reload their roster ahead of next season, landing one of the top-ranked transfer portal options in the form of former Arizona Wildcats big man Oumar Ballo.
Clemson v Arizona
Clemson v Arizona / Harry How/GettyImages

Mike Woodson is sharpening his tools this offseason to ensure the Indiana Hoosiers return to the NCAA Tournament after a one-year hiatus, landing Jeff Borzello of ESPN's top-ranked transfer portal prospect, big man Oumar Ballo.

Ballo has spent the past three seasons with the Arizona Wildcats after transferring from Gonzaga ahead of the 2021-22 campaign. But he will take his talents to the Hoosier State for his fifth and final year of NCAA eligibility, Jon Rothstein of CBS Sports.

Indiana lands top transfer portal player Oumar Ballo from Arizona

An All-Pac-12 First Team selection in consecutive years, Ballo has blossomed into one of the most dominant big men in the nation under Arizona head coach Tommy Lloyd. He averaged 12.9 points, 10.1 rebounds, and 1.3 blocks per game this past season, ranking near the top of Division I basketball in field goal percentage (65.8).

After losing talented sophomore center and projected lottery pick Kel'el Ware, who took to Instagram to announce he will be declaring for the 2024 NBA Draft, Woodson and the Hoosiers quickly find a replacement in the form of Ballo.

Indiana is an ideal landing spot for Ballo, especially considering the past two starting centers Woodson has deployed have become touted NBA prospects (Ware and Trayce Jackson-Davis of the Golden State Warriors).

Ballo wasn't the only marquee player Woodson and the Hoosiers have successfully landed via the transfer portal. Washington State guard Myles Rice, the No. 10 prospect on Borzello's list, recently committed to Indiana. Moreover, Stanford combo guard Kanaan Carlyle is reportedly "trending towards" taking his talents to Bloomington.

It will be intriguing to see how all the pieces fit as Woodson reloads his roster for the upcoming season. But Ballo will undoubtedly be the focal point for the Hoosiers in the paint on both ends of the floor.

Next. BYU goes to the NBA to find their replacement for Mark Pope. BYU goes to the NBA to find their replacement for Mark Pope. dark