Indiana lands top-ranked transfer Oumar Ballo from Arizona

Oumar Ballo should be a big boost for Mike Woodson’s group in Indiana after they missed the NCAA tournament last season

Oumar Ballo is headed to Bloomington.

Ballo, who was the top-ranked player in the transfer portal this spring, committed on Tuesday to play at Indiana next season. The 7-foot center spent the past three seasons at Arizona, and he was easily one of the best big men in the Pac-12.

Ballo, who got his start at Gonzaga and then transferred to Arizona to follow head coach Tommy Lloyd there in 2021, has dominated in the Pac-12 the past two seasons. He averaged a double-double with the Wildcats last year with 12.9 points and 10.1 rebounds per game, and he got them to the Sweet 16. Ballo had 20 double-doubles on the season, and he shot just shy of 66% from the field.

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Oumar Ballo
2023 - 2024 season

Clemson beat Arizona in the Sweet 16 and Ballo had 15 points and 15 rebounds in that loss.

Oumar Ballo averaged a double-double last season with the Wildcats while leading them to the Sweet 16.
Oumar Ballo averaged a double-double last season with the Wildcats while leading them to the Sweet 16. (Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

Ballo announced last week that he was entering the portal as a graduate transfer. He’ll now join Mike Woodson in Indiana for his final season of eligibility, where he should be a key piece in turning the Hoosiers around after a rough campaign last season. They went just 19-14 and missed the NCAA tournament for the first time in Woodson’s tenure. The Hoosiers reportedly considered parting with Woodson, too, but the school opted to retain him for a fourth season.

Ballo will now join former Washington State guard Myles Rice in Bloomington. Rice committed to Indiana on Saturday after his impressive first season with the Cougars, where he earned Pac-12 Freshman of the Year honors while putting up 14.8 points and 3.8 assists per game. The duo should be a big boost for Woodson’s group as they try to rebound in what will be an expanded Big Ten conference this fall.