Christian Koloko is the starting big man for the Arizona Wildcats. The junior really stepped up to bring Arizona to the Sweet 16 of the March Madness tournament. After three years of playing college basketball, Koloko has felt he’s shown the scouts all he needs and has declared for the 2022 NBA Draft.
Christian Koloko 2022 NBA Draft Profile
Koloko came out of high school getting good experience at Sierra Canyon. He got to play alongside some NBA talent including Kenyon Martin Jr. and Cassius Stanley. As a freshman, Koloko only played eight minutes a game and didn’t do much stats wise. His second season was a vast improvement as he played 17 minutes a game and started in 19 of 26 games. In his junior year, Koloko really took over starting in all 37 of his games and leading Arizona to the first seed in the Pac-12.
Koloko also had good production in his numbers. He averaged 12.6 points on 63.5% shooting from the field. He also averaged 7.3 rebounds and nearly 3 blocks. Not only was Koloko able to score, but his defensive presence down low led to Arizona’s 33-4 record.
At 7′ 1″, Koloko is a presence down low. His long limbs allow him to protect the paint from any sized defender. Centers have a hard time attacking him as he can easily snatch away any shot attempt. Guards also have difficulty getting by him as his close out speed is rapid. Koloko led the Pac-12 in both blocks per game and total blocks this last season.
Koloko’s long frame also helped him when it came to rebounding. Koloko finished second in total rebounds for the Pac-12. His positioning is great as it helps his rebounding and his blocking. He knows how to be in the right place at the right time. It also helps that he has a 7′ 5″ wingspan. Koloko being able to rebound efficiently makes him an efficient defensive and offensive player.
His offense is based around his big frame. He can snag offensive rebounds and go right back up with it immediately. He’s also a serious lob threat. He is very efficient when scoring at the rim. Another strength is his foul efficiency. Koloko averaged 3.7 free-throw attempts a game and shot an efficient 73.5%. These are both more than the average when compared to other centers.
Koloko’s long frame is also a bit thin which holds him back. Defensively he can block anyone but also can get bullied by other centers. He can also get boxed out easily. It also forces Koloko to jump over centers for a shot rather than into them. He needs to put on muscle in order to compete with NBA talent centers.
Koloko also needs to develop a consistent jump shot. In games there were a lot of opportunities for Koloko to shoot as most defenses sagged off him. Occasionally he would take jump shots, but they weren’t often or consistent. His shot release is also very slow and allows time for defenders to contest. He has the frame to get shots off but isn’t taking them.
Koloko is a very traditional center that plays good defense and can finish lobs. His NBA comparison is Mitchell Robinson. Robinson also is 7′ with a thin frame. He also doesn’t have a consistent shot, but doesn’t allow it to hold him back. Robinson is known for his blocks and high efficiency scoring down low. Koloko should look to Robinson as inspiration for what he can be in this league.
In the Sports Illustrated list of the top 100 prospects, Koloko finished at the 31st ranking. This would make him either a late first round or early second round talent. He could potentially be a project for a younger team in hopes of developing his shooting to make him a lethal player. He could also go to a contending team late and use his defense and rebounding in order to help them compete right away. Either situation will help Koloko to eventually become a quality starter for years to come.