Willy Kouassi

Arkansas adds graduate transfer big man

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Arkansas added some interior depth for next season late this week as Kennesaw State big man Willy Kouassi announced that he would finish his college basketball career with the Razorbacks.

The 6-foot-10 Kouassi announced his decision on Twitter:

A native of the Ivory Coast, Kouassi should be able to help Arkansas as a rebounder and interior defender after the team lost sophomore Bobby Portis to the 2015 NBA Draft. In 19.6 minutes per contest last season, Kouassi averaged 4.6 points and 5 rebounds per game while also registering 1.3 blocks per night. Although limited offensively, Kouassi shot 46 percent from the field on the season.

A former four-star recruit out of high school, Kouassi was rated as the No. 66 overall prospect in Rivals‘ Class of 2011 national rankings and committed to Auburn out of high school. In one year with the Tigers, Kouassi averaged 1.6 points and 2.6 rebounds per contest in a little over 10 minutes a game.

The addition of Kouassi should give the Razorbacks more interior depth and a big man with some SEC experience under his belt.

 

Auburn transfers land at Kennesaw State

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Sometimes, dudes are just inseparable. Think Tom and Huck. Sam and Dave. Crockett and Tubbs. At Auburn, the BFF market has been cornered by Willy Kouassi and Bernard Morena. Both players came from West Africa’s Ivory Coast, played prep hoops together at Birmingham’s Central Park High School, and both ended up at Auburn.

Now, the two friends are bolting from the Tigers in tandem as well. They’ll leave the SEC school for Georgia-based mid-major Kennesaw State, a school that went 0-18 in the Atlantic Sun last season. Auburn wasn’t much better, but a 5-11 SEC record wasn’t the only reason Kouassi and Morena got off to a slow start, as the article explained:

Morena, a 6-foot-8 forward, took a redshirt this season after suffering an injury. Kouassi, a 6-10 center, averaged 1.5 points and 2.6 rebounds in 25 games. Morena injured his hand early in the year. Kouassi spent most of the season as third-string center behind Rob Chubb and Adrian Forbes, but got more minutes late in the season.

While neither player made much of an impact at Auburn, there’s no denying that the Owls will have a huge advantage over rival schools after the two big men sit out a season. That kind of size just doesn’t come along every day at the A-Sun level.