When Christian Koloko signed to play for coach Sean Miller and the Arizona Wildcats he came into the program as a three-star recruit listed at 7-foot and 195 pounds joining the nation’s sixth-ranked class during the 2019 recruiting cycle.
Seen as a project player, not many people had an idea of what to expect from Koloko. In fact, the only report on him suggested he was a shot-blocking center.
Once he got to Arizona and worked with Chris Rounds, Arizona’s strength and conditioning coach, Koloko gained 20 more pounds to 215.
During Koloko’s freshman season he played limited minutes at the start of the year but saw his minutes increase during Pac-12 games. He became a defensive presence around the basket for Miller.
While just playing 8.3 minutes a game, Koloko, when he was given the chance to play, helped Arizona with his 25 block shots and 40 defensive rebounds.
On Wednesday afternoon, Koloko talked to the media through a ZOOM press conference. Here are the top three things Koloko said:
1. On the area of his game he has worked on during this time:
“I’ve been just trying to work more on my shot, free throws, and my post move. I also worked on a little bit of ball handling, but it was mostly on my shot, from like mid-range. My shot was my priority this time during the summer.”
2. On what his ideal weight should be headed into the 2020-21 season:
“By the beginning of (last) season, I was at 215, but by the end of the season I was about 220. Right now, I’m the same weight. I’m still the same weight at 220. But I’m trying to be like 230 to 235. I think that will be the right weight for me, at 235. I’m looking forward to go back to Tucson and work with coach Rounds to get to that 235.”
3. On his thoughts of transfer teammates Jordan Brown and James Akinjo:
“Jordan, we were lifting together. We were doing extra lifting together, so I really go to work with Jordan a lot. He is a really good player. When he gets the ball in the post, that’s actually a nightmare. Even Ira can tell you when Jordan gets there is not a lot you can do to stop him. When talking about James, he is a good point guard. He’s not selfish. He looks for his teammate. If you’re open, he is going to pass you the ball. I really like playing with him, and playing pick-and-roll. If you’re open, he is going to find you, and that’s why I really like him. They’re both really good guys.”
The full press conference with Koloko includes his thoughts on the international talent coming to Tucson and much more.
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ALLSPORTSTUCSON.com writer Troy Hutchison hails from Tucson and is a lifelong Arizona Wildcats follower. He has been involved in sports journalism over the last two years while taking communications courses at Pima Community College.