Christian Koloko was a potential rebounder and defender. The Arizona big man is working to improve his NBA draft stock by learning offensive skills.
In his third season, he has made a huge leap with the third-ranked Wildcats. He also added some back-to–the-basket moves such as a hook shot to give scoring options beyond just lobs and dunks.
This has allowed him to significantly increase his scoring average from his first two seasons when he scored just 3.7 points per game and never exceeded 11 points. His offensive skills have helped him to become a floor-running big man who can hit the glass and a rim protector.
Tommy Lloyd, first-year coach, stated earlier this season that he has told his players for years how great he thinks (Koloko). He’s a problem for anyone, I think. The biggest thing for a while was making sure he believed it. He believes it now, I believe.
It’s evident in his effort and how his teammates react to it. It’s been an amazing progression to see.
SIZE: 7-foot-1, 230 pounds.
STATS: 12.0 points, 7.3 rebounds, 60.2% shooting.
STRENGTHS – Koloko is a shot blocker, which is his biggest upside. By averaging 3.08 blocks per game, he ranked 11th in the nation. He also showed promise in his work on his game. For example, he went from being a 35% shooter at foul line two year ago to 74.1% now – which is a good sign for a player with nine games that have at least five free throw attempts.
WEAKNESSES – Koloko still has much to learn about his offensive game, despite the season’s successes. Koloko’s ability to jump away from the basket and make consistent jumpshots is one example of this.
DRAFT PROJECTION – Second round prospect.
Other NBA prospects in the Pac-12
JOHNNY JUZANG (UCLA): After leading the Bruins to their Final Four, the 6-7 guard was named an All-American by the Associated Press. From last season, he’s improved his scoring (17.8) and rebounding (5.2), as well as his 3-point percentage (.371) since he was a second-round prospect.
HARRISON INGRAM (Stanford): The 6-7 freshman wing, a McDonald’s All-American, is averaging 11.6 points, 6.6 rebounds, and 2.8 assists per game. Although he is only shooting 41.9% this season, he has shot better in the last four games (54.4%, 26 of 46),
BENNEDICT MATHURIN (Arizona): This 6-6 guard is a lottery prospect. He averages 17 points per game and has athleticism as well as a wide shooting range (37% behind the arc). In four of his five previous games, he’s shot at least half of his shots.