Arizona junior center Christian Koloko has turned the heads of NBA scouts and draft analysts with his latest performances.
Koloko is playing his way to near-first round status on ESPN’s big NBA Draft outlook chart. He is currently 32nd in the table, just two places from the first place expected in the first round.
ESPN’s Jonathan Givony believes a lasting breakout season can put Koloko in the first round.
NBA scouts have seen parts of this movie before, with Koloko showing signs of taking the next step with his productivity and approach, only to be disappointed when he crashed to earth. This time seems much more lasting, especially considering how he completely dominated All-American Hunter Dickinson at both ends of the pitch in the Michigan bombing, but only time will tell if Koloko has indeed taken the next step and is ready to go. be seen as a legitimate choice in the first round.
Koloko’s outstanding performance came in the Roman Main Event final against Michigan. He shone in a game against Dickinson, scoring 22 points with seven rebounds. Dickinson, by comparison, scored just 11 points while matching Koloko’s rebound numbers.
Koloko won the Pac-12 Player of the Week award on November 22 for his efforts in the multi-team event, which also included a 13-point, 11-rebound performance in an overtime victory over Wichita State.
Including a 20-point performance on Saturday against Sacramento State, Koloko has scored at least 13 points in five of Arizona’s six games. He only scored at least 10 points in two games during his college career heading into this season.
Givony said Koloko has improved in almost everything required for major offensive production.
Offensively, Koloko has also taken a big step forward with his skill level and awareness, showing a knack for operating off ball screens and transfers while providing a constant presence as a lob-catcher thanks to his enormous reach. standing and its improvement. hands and touch.
Koloko averaged 16.2 points and 7.5 rebounds per game in his first six games of the season, the first of which places him fourth in the Pac-12.
His shot blocking has progressed further this season. Koloko’s 3.5 blocks per game lead the conference.
Givony attributes Koloko’s physical attributes to his blocking ability.
With his 7-4 wingspan, well-improved 230-pound frame, and exceptional mobility, Koloko is the anchor of Arizona’s fierce defense and demonstrates impressive versatility covering the ground on the perimeter as well. than rotation to challenge and block shots around the rim.