basketball Edit

Florida Man: Yohan Traore to LSU; a coaching 'Real World'

Yohan Traore
Yohan Traore (


2022 Rankings: Rivals150 | Team | Position

2023 Rankings: Rivals150

2024 Rankings: Top 40



I never got a chance to weigh in on five-star Yohan Traore’s commitment to LSU on Sunday night, as I was at a family event when he pulled the trigger. Our LSU site handled the initial coverage. Still, Traore is one of the more interesting prospects in the class of 2022, so I wanted to dig into why I’m so intrigued by the Dream City Christian power forward.

A French import, Traore was just bursting onto the American basketball scene at this time last year. He was largely unknown in grassroots circles, and I happened to be at one of the first events he played. I could describe to you the awe surrounding his breakout performances at early-spring events, but this tweet from his former grassroots coach sums it up well.

Those rumors definitely existed and are just as funny now as they were at the time. An under-the radar French national showing up on a Texas-based AAU squad and dominating from the jump created buzz and some level of baseless accusations concerning age or geographic eligibility. Traore eventually landed a five-star ranking, enrolled at Arizona's Dream City Christian High School and switched to the California-based Dream Vision grassroots organization. His summer ascent from unknown to five-star was something to behold.

Still, the most encouraging thing about Traore at LSU is that a bet on him remains a bet on upside. He’s not a polished prospect just yet. He needs to become more consistent shooting the three-ball and become more of an impact player on the glass. That said, the tools he has are unmistakable. He has incredibly soft hands and an offensive game that includes a mid-range jumper as well as the explosiveness to dunk most opportunities he gets under the rim. Traore is a definite NBA prospect and could be a one-and-done type should he polish his peripheral skills in the year ahead.




The cast of "Real World: Sydney" in 2007
The cast of "Real World: Sydney" in 2007 (AP Images)

I was a loyal "Real World" viewer in the early days of the show, but haven’t tuned back in since the first Hawaii season, when 13-year old Rob wanted to be just like Tek and had a massive crush on Amaya.

Anyway, let’s do this. "Seven coaches picked to live in a house and have their lives taped. See what happens when people stop being polite and start getting real, etc. …”

1) Frank Martin (South Carolina) – A former Miami nightclub bouncer turned math teacher turned basketball coach that doesn’t mind raising his voice? How could I pass? The man was made for this cast. Let somebody leave their dirty clothes on the bathroom floor or put an empty juice container back in the fridge. I dare 'em.

2) Patrick Ewing (Georgetown) – This is admittedly a ratings move. Hard to turn away a former NBA star that will move the needle in the New York market. Bonus points if we get a late night “Why I still resent Michael Jordan” monologue.

3) Bruce Pearl (Tennessee) – I’m not even gonna waste the keystrokes to explain this pick.

4) Bob Huggins (West Virginia) – Introduce a bottle of Johnny Walker Blue and have somebody ask him to tell Frank Martin stories, please.

5) John Calipari (Kentucky) – A smooth-talking Italian with decades of stories to tell? Sign me up. Plus, now we have enough SEC coaches to get tipsy and accuse each other of cheating. I can already hear it. “Look, we all said a lot of things we regret last night. I’m calling a house meeting.”

6) Tim Miles (San Jose State) – One of the first coaches to truly embrace Twitter, Miles is legitimately funny and has a big personality. It actually might be just big enough to rub somebody (Huggins?) the wrong way. That’s the sort of pettiness the "Real World" was built on, after all.

7) Bobby Hurley (Arizona State) – Hurley arrives with the caveat that the only media the roommates are allowed to consume is a director's cut edition of "Blue Chips."

Just missed the cut: Tom Crean (Georgia), Kevin Willard (Seton Hall), Rick Pitinio (Iona), Mike Boynton (Oklahoma State), Kelvin Samson (Houston), Tom Izzo (Michigan State).