One Serbian center out, another one in?
Idaho State 7-footer Novak Topalovic will be a graduate transfer this offseason, and Pac-12 schools are expected to pursue him, according to ESPN’s Jeff Goodman.
Idaho State 7-foot Serbian Novak Topalovic will be a grad transfer, source told ESPN. Averaged 10.7 and 6.8. Look for Pac-12 schools to pursue.— Jeff Goodman (@GoodmanESPN) March 29, 2018
Arizona, which is graduating Serbian big man Dusan Ristic, is not explicitly listed as one of those Pac-12 schools, but the Wildcats’ recruiting woes put them in play for every grad transfer since they have to replace seven scholarship players this offseason.
Topalovic averaged 10.7 points and 6.8 rebounds with Idaho State this past season. He’s not quite as offensively gifted as Ristic, though, as he shot just 53 percent from the field and 55 percent from the free-throw line.
Topalovic did shoot 62 percent as a sophomore, but also just 40 percent from the free-throw line — and he has only taken three 3s in three collegiate seasons, so he doesn’t offer much as a shooter.
However, the Serbian was a positive on defense. Idaho State allowed 1.05 points per possession this season, and that number improved slightly to 104.8 with Topalovic on the court.
The big man averaged 1.1 blocks per game both as a junior and sophomore.
As a grad transfer, Topalovic is eligible to play immediately at the new school of his choice. He would give Arizona a third big man to complement Chase Jeter and Ira Lee, who are currently in line to start for the Wildcats.
Other grad transfers Arizona has been linked to are:
Follow Ryan Kelapire on Twitter at @RKelapire