Mobile center with 7-foot-5.25 wingspan is coming off a breakout junior season at Arizona that saw him emerge as an impactful rim protector and make some real strides with his feel for the game on offense.
About Christian Koloko
Koloko is a long, athletic big man who turned a corner in his development as a junior not just emerging as a more polished rim protector, but also showed major signs of growth on the offensive end, too. Picking up the game at age 12, the Douala, Cameroon, native emerged as a prospect at Basketball Without Borders Africa where he earned an invitation to come to the United States ahead of his junior year of high school. Finishing his senior year at Sierra Canyon School (Calif.) ranked among the consensus top-100 prospects in the high school class of 2019, the athletic center committed to play at Arizona.
Averaging only 2.3 points per game as a true freshman in limited action and 5.3 ppg as a sophomore in a rotation rule, Koloko made a major leap as a junior under first-year coach Tommy Lloyd. Averaging 12.6 ppg, 7.3 rpg, 2.8 bpg in 25.4 mpg, the 21-year-old was one of the most improved players in the country en route to earning All-Pac-12 first team and Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year honors.
• Standing 7 feet with a 221-pound frame and a 7-foot-5.25 wingspan, Koloko has impressive dimensions for a center though he has room to continue to fill out his frame. He is also a very fluid athlete, which pays dividends on both ends of the floor.
• Finishing as the Wildcats’ third-leading scorer, Koloko filled an important offensive role as he contributed with his athleticism and as a lob threat, made an impact on the glass, scored opportunistically in the post and made major strides as a passer from the block and out of short rolls. Making several midrange jumpers with promising touch and showing marked improvement at the foul line, Koloko fits a clear mold with his mobility and reach. The progress he made with his skill level and the way he sees the floor gives him more intrigue than most upperclassmen projecting ahead.
• Anchoring Arizona’s defense with his ability to put a lid on the rim and hold his own on switches on the perimeter, Koloko also took a big leap defensively. While his improved frame was notable, his ability to stay out of foul trouble is what helped him most last season. He still has room to be more disciplined, but his maturation from his sophomore year on multiple fronts was stark.
• Scoring efficiently around the basket off rim runs, drop passes, and reverse seals, Koloko ranked among the most prolific dunkers in college basketball. While he did the majority of his scoring inside, he made strides with his feel for the game and skill set as a junior, showing the ability to pass out of short rolls, finding the open man out of the post and even tossing in an occasional jumper.
• Averaging 1.45 points per shot around the rim in the half court [93rd percentile], Koloko is an athletic finisher with a big catch radius. He was very efficient playing out of the dunker spot this season, but did a nice job finishing rolling to the rim. He also made an impact on the glass.
• Showing the ability to make push shots and finish seals in the post, Koloko averaged 1.11 points per Post Up possession [93rd percentile]. He is not the most imposing or skilled back-to-the-basket scorer, but showed improving timing and touch this season.
• Making real strides as a passer, Koloko has solid vision for a player in his mold. He still had some issues with turnovers last season, but made some very encouraging strides with his ability to find the open man from a variety of spots on the floor. Showing improved touch at the foul line and from the elbows, he is far from a polished threat on the perimeter. But, his improvement in that regard and with his vision leave some room for optimism about his ability to do more at the next level than his ability to finish around the rim, rim-run and compete on the glass.
• Impacting the game defensively with his ability to block and challenge shots, Koloko’s rim protection proved key in several of Arizona’s wins. Showing good timing, rotating to the ball inside and getting a hand up guarding on the ball, he did a much better job contesting without fouling than he did as a sophomore.
• Showing the ability to move his feet guarding ball screens and when switched onto smaller players, Koloko allowed 0.63 points per isolation possession [69th percentile] as his agility helped him hold his own on the perimeter at the collegiate level and gives him some schematic versatility.
• Doing a better job holding ground in the post than he did as an underclassman, Koloko allowed 0.72 points per post up possession [71st percentile] though he will need to continue to get stronger to ease his transition to the NBA.
— Profile by Synergy Sports