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  • Ebonhawke
    replied
    From ESPN

    Pre-Draft Analysis




    March 28, 2022: (Final Four week mock draft) -- After exploding for 28 points, 12 rebounds and 3 blocks versus TCU, Koloko struggled to carry that momentum over to the Houston game, during which his lack of physicality showed on the defensive glass against aggressive bigs like Josh Carlton (five offensive rebounds in 27 minutes). Koloko had difficulty playing through contact on the other end down the stretch, shooting just 2-of-6 from 2-point range after ranking 16th in the NCAA in true shooting percentage and shooting an impressive 72% at the rim in the half court this season.

    Koloko's postseason run should still be viewed as a success for the 21-year-old Cameroon native. He showcased everything from footwork to touch to improved vision to aggression on the offensive glass against TCU. He averaged 15.2 points, 8.6 rebounds, 2.0 assists, 3.0 blocks and 1.2 steals while shooting almost 70% from 2 over his last five games. He had his issues with the size of TCU big Eddie Lampkin on the glass and defensively, and Koloko still looks somewhat awkward and mechanical in his movements. He'll also get scored on at the rim a bit more than you'd expect given his tools.

    But Koloko is surely one of the most improved players in the country, and at 7-foot-1 with a 7-foot-5 wingspan, impressive agility and improved defensive fundamentals, he has a clear-cut NBA role as a vertical spacer, rim protector and pick-and-roll defender. On top of that, he is a sound free throw shooter with some untapped shooting potential. While Arizona found a ton of success with its two-big lineup of Koloko and Oumar Ballo, Koloko will surely look even more dynamic as a roller with NBA spacing.

    What could really take Koloko's game to the next level is tapping into the passing ability he flashed down the stretch of the season. He made a few encouraging reads against the Cougars, including a high-low pass to Ballo and a post kickout to the opposite wing. Koloko delivered the pass that led to a Ben Mathurin poster dunk and finished with six assists against Wright State and four assists against Stanford in the Pac-12 tournament. While every NBA team can use a run-and-jump center in the Mitchell Robinson mold a la Koloko, proving he can play out of short rolls and handoffs gives him far more upside and would allow him to remain on the floor late in games, in addition to his switchability.

    Despite his outstanding junior campaign, Koloko has no shortage of competition at the center spot, as this draft is loaded with 5s from first-round locks like Mark Williams and Walker Kessler to projected second-rounders like international bigs Ismael Kamagate, Khalifa Diop and Ariel Hukporti.

    Overall, Koloko was an integral player in Arizona's incredible season under first-year head coach Tommy Lloyd, as few prospects in the country were able to change games defensively like Koloko as a rim protector and switch defender, while giving Mathurin and Dalen Terry a consistent lob threat in the pick-and-roll. Should Koloko continue getting stronger, improving his ability to play through contact and showing progress as a passer, it's easy to see him carving out a consistent role in the NBA, even early on in his career. You can't say about a lot of the bigs in this draft.

    Overall, Koloko didn't solidify himself as a first-round selection with his play against Houston, but he has shown enough on both ends of the floor to warrant consideration anywhere in range of the pick Nos. 25 to 40, especially for a playoff team in need of a backup center. -- Mike Schmitz

    March 16, 2022: (2022 NBA mock draft: Drafting players competing in the NCAA tournament) -- The Pac-12 defensive player of the year and most improved player, Koloko is on pace to become the best shot-blocker in Arizona history in the next few games. His 7-foot-4 wingspan, outstanding mobility and quickness getting off his feet make him a force both around the rim as well as covering ground on the perimeter, where he's often asked to guard smaller players in Arizona's jumbo lineups. He's an excellent finisher one of college basketball's most prolific dunkers, and a much-improved offensive player in general. Koloko's thin frame, lack of physicality and developing feel for the game, which manifests itself in foul trouble, point-blank misses and struggles keeping up with the speed of the game are things NBA scouts will want to learn more about in high-stakes matchups with pro-sized frontcourts as the competition stiffens. -- Givony

    November 30, 2021: (Top 100 preview) -- A bit player in his first two seasons at Arizona, Koloko is developing into a star as a junior, helping Tommy Lloyd start his first season 6-0 and climbing from unranked to the No. 11 team in the country thanks to wins over Michigan and Wichita State. Koloko's numbers -- 25.3 points, 11.7 rebounds, 5.5 blocks, 2.6 assists and 1.6 steals per-40 minutes, shooting 71% from the field and 78% from the free throw line -- are some of the best in the country.

    With his 7-4 wingspan, much improved 230-pound frame and outstanding mobility, Koloko is the anchor of Arizona's staunch defense and is demonstrating impressive versatility covering ground on the perimeter as well as rotating to contest and block shots around the rim.

    Offensively, Koloko has taken a major step forward with his skill level and awareness as well, showing a knack for operating out of ball-screens and hand-offs while providing a steady presence as a lob-catcher thanks to his huge standing reach and improved hands and touch.

    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 as he crashed to earth. This time feels a lot more sustainable, especially seeing the way he thoroughly dominated All-American Hunter Dickinson on both ends of the floor in the shellacking of Michigan, but only time will tell if Koloko has indeed taken the next step and is ready to be considered a legitimate first round pick.

    -- Jonathan Givony
    Post-Draft Analysis


    The Raptors went on a late-season run to claim the fifth seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs, eventually bowing out in six games, but showing significant promise with one of the youngest teams in the NBA that is mostly under contract for the near future. The Raptors surprised many last year by passing on Jalen Suggs in favor of Scottie Barnes, a move that in hindsight looks brilliant thus far considering Barnes won Rookie of the Year honors and appears to be a seamless fit with the team's culture and style of play. Toronto traded their first-round pick (No. 20) to San Antonio to move down 13 slots to No. 33 in exchange for acquiring Thaddeus Young, who is now a free agent. While likely to resign Chris Boucher this offseason, the Raptors are still on the hunt for a starting-caliber center to complement their deep stable of wings and forwards that made up one of the NBA's most switchable defenses.

    The Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year and Most Improved Player, Koloko's 102 blocks as a junior is tied for Arizona's single-season record. His 7-5 wingspan, outstanding mobility and quickness getting off his feet make him a force both around the rim as well as covering ground on the perimeter, where he's often asked to guard smaller players in Arizona's jumbo lineups. He's an excellent finisher, one of college basketball's most prolific dunkers and a much-improved offensive player in general. Koloko's thin frame, lack of physicality and developing feel for the game, which manifests itself in foul trouble, point-blank misses and struggles keeping up with the speed of the game are things he'll have to improve on to carve out a long-term NBA career, but he has no shortage of talent and more upside than your average 22-year-old due to his late start playing organized basketball. -- Jonathan Givony

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  • big boi
    replied
    Bonus Jonas wrote: View Post
    Gotta say Koloko seems like the most “masai” type pick
    Nice!

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  • A.I
    replied
    Koloko as expected. I'm not surprised at all.

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  • Bonus Jonas
    replied
    Douala, Cameroon stand up!

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  • Bendit
    replied
    1st round talent says Bilas!!

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  • saints91
    replied
    That was predictable lol

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  • TrueTorontoFan
    replied
    Koloko

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  • Jclaw
    replied
    It was destined

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  • Bonus Jonas
    replied
    Bonus Jonas wrote: View Post
    Gotta say Koloko seems like the most “masai” type pick
    Ding ding ding

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  • Jclaw
    replied
    This ain’t no commercial. It’s a Raptors PSA with Perk and co

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  • Bonus Jonas
    replied
    Welp spoke too soon

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  • Bonus Jonas
    replied
    Hahahahaha Woj and Shams both haven’t tweeted the raps pick

    Our front office is airtight

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  • saints91
    replied
    Here we go!!!

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  • A.I
    replied
    Caleb Houstan is gone

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  • Ebonhawke
    replied
    slaw wrote: View Post
    So I watched all this and we are gonna get the Raps pick during a commercial aren’t we?
    It's better than usual - where the talking heads go back and keep talking about a previous team's pick, rather than the Raptors' selection

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