Hometown: Bamako, Mali
High School: Wasatch Academy
Fousseyni Traore Player Preview
“Fouss” is one of seven freshmen on the roster and the most likely to contribute day one. We got a taste of his talent during Friday’s blue-white intrasquad scrimmage, where he put up 20 points and 11 rebounds on 8-10 shooting from the floor. Fouss is a bit undersized for a big man at 6-foot-6, but he has a 7-foot-1 wingspan and is strong and thick at 254 pounds that allows him to be a problem in the post.
Traore has a soft touch around the rim and also has range out to the three-point line, as evidenced by his 2-2 showing from deep in the scrimmage. Traore won’t start year one, but he will be part of the rotation and will eventually be a key piece for BYU as they transition to the Big 12. Look for him to be a guy this year that creates second chance points with his length and strength on the offensive glass and gets some easy post-up baskets as opposing defenses focus on other players. He’ll have one-on-one opportunities in the post since defenses won’t want to leave perimeter guys such as Barcello, Lucas, Knell, Knight, and others.
Player Comp: Yoeli Childs
Yep, I went there. Fouss has similar size to Yoeli as an undersized big and isn’t quite as twitchy, but he is stronger and has a similar skill set. Fouss is a better shooter than Yoeli was as a freshman and plays similarly around the basket as Yoeli did early in his career. Multiple people around the program have told me that Fouss’ ceiling and player comp is Yoeli Childs, which is incredibly high praise.
2021-2022 Expectations: Rotation Player
I think Fouss is the one freshman that will get fairly consistent minutes. BYU isn’t a very big team, so Fouss may get some time at the 5 and at the 4 next to Harward or Baxter. BYU will play Lohner more at the 5 this year to get the most skill on the floor at once, which will limit Traore’s minutes some, but Fouss is too skilled to not be part of this deep team. Putting Fouss in the main rotation will allow BYU to go at least 10 players deep. Fouss may not have the ceiling as fellow freshman Atiki Ally Atiki, but he is advanced in his development and skill set for a true freshman and can compete with the bigs in the WCC.
Fouss got valuable experience this summer playing for Mali in the FIBA U19 tournament where he went against some of the best young players in the world, including Gonzaga freshman Chet Holmgren. He didn’t get as much fanfare as other BYU recruits in the past, but he’ll be a great BYU Basketball player.