Kaleb Tarczewski is a man; a dude in more technical basketball parlance. At 7-foot and 250 chiseled pounds, Tarczewski managed to carve out a slice of Arizona Wildcats history, as he departs tied with the great Matt Muehlebach for most wins in school history.
Offensively, his senior year average of 9.4 points per game was in line with his scoring average overall, failing to see the increase everyone had hoped for when he opted to bypass the NBA draft following his junior year. As it turned out, his sophomore year was statistically the peak of his collegiate scoring career. Often times, a basketball player sees the biggest bump in development between his freshman and sophomore seasons, and Kaleb was no different. Unfortunately, the development essentially leveled off from there, though he did post career-highs in rebounding percentage and block percentage as a senior.
His lack of elite offensive production this season may not be entirely his fault, however. He shot the worst field goal percentage of his Arizona career (53.3 percent), and he also took fewer shots per game than he did his sophomore year. It's hard to imagine that Kaleb was able to find more shots with T.J. McConnell, Brandon Ashley, Nick Johnson, Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, and Aaron Gordon on the floor than he did with the 2015-2016 iteration of Wildcats, but that was not entirely his fault. A true center, which Kaleb most certainly is, remains at the mercy of effective guard play to spread the floor and pass him the ball.
Nowhere was this more evident than in the NCAA Tournament loss to the Wichita State Shockers -- Kaleb managed only three field goal attempts in 35 minutes of play. Even Parker Jackson-Cartwright shot more (five attempts) and in less playing time (20 minutes) in that game.
This issue was a systemic one, and it cost Kaleb his ultimate goal of bringing a National Championship to Tucson. But all was not lost. Of the players on the 2015-2016 roster, Kaleb showed the most spunk and moxie for competing when things got tough. He didn't back down from anyone. In the end, his most outstanding basketball attribute was his physical presence and he used it most effectively his senior season.
- Setting career highs in blocks per game, assists per game, and rebounds per game.
- Named to the Pac-12 All-Defensive team.
- The December 1, 2015 foot injury that cost him a month of his senior season.
- The infamous run-in with his irate head coach.
Best 2015-2016 game
- January 14, 2016 - 99-67 win against Washington: 5/9 FG, 16 pts, 13 rebounds.
Worst 2015-2016 game
- March 10, 2016 - 82-78 win against Colorado: 1/9 FG, 4pts, 11 rebounds, 3 TO
Tarczewski's legacy at Arizona is set in stone, but his future is far from solidified.
Kaleb is unlikely to be drafted by an NBA franchise. His upside is limited due to his level of college production, plus he's already 23 years old. He could catch on with an NBA D-League team, but it's more likely he'll have a professional career overseas. With his size and skill set, there will be plenty of teams seeking his services.