Draft Notes: Koloko, E. Williams, Welch, Mock

Arizona junior big man Christian Koloko has decided to enter the 2022 NBA draft, he tells Shams Charania of Stadium and The Athletic (video link).

Koloko doesn’t specify whether he plans to leave school or simply test the draft waters, but he doesn’t mention anything about maintaining his college eligibility, and Charania’s tweet indicates the young center intends to go pro.

Koloko enjoyed a breakout season for the Wildcats in 2021/22, averaging 12.6 PPG, 7.3 RPG, and 2.8 BPG in 37 games (25.4 MPG). He was named both the Most Improved Player and the Defensive Player of the Year in the Pac-12, earning All Pac-12 First Team honors.

Jeff Goodman of Stadium, referring to Koloko as an “elite” defender, projects him to go in the 20-35 range of this year’s draft (Twitter link). Jonathan Givony places Koloko at No. 36 on ESPN’s big board, praising his mobility, quickness, and improved offensive game, but noting that some scouts may have concerns about his thin frame and “lack of physicality.”

Here are a few more draft-related notes:

  • Oregon senior swingman Eric Williams Jr. will forgo his final year of NCAA eligibility and hire an agent as he enters the draft, he announced on Twitter. Williams spent his first two college seasons as Duquesne before transferring to the Ducks. He put up 8.4 PPG and 4.6 RPG in 33 games (26.8 MPG) in 2021/22.
  • St. Bonaventure senior guard Dominick Welch will test the draft waters by putting his name in the 2022 pool while maintaining his final year of eligibility, he announced on Twitter. Welch, who has started 105 of his 110 games for the Bonnies across four seasons, averaged 12.3 PPG and 6.0 RPG with a .374 3PT% in 2021/22.
  • With the odds for the draft lottery set, Jonathan Wasserman of Bleacher Report has updated his 2022 mock draft, projecting all 58 picks (two second-rounders have been forfeited), from Jabari Smith at No. 1 to Dereon Seabron at No. 60.
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