One of the key characteristics of Arizona men’s basketball in Tommy Lloyd’s first year was the Wildcats’ unrelenting size.
Arizona’s average height of over 6-foot-6 made the UA the second-tallest team in the country behind Florida State, according to KenPom.com.
It’s not surprising, then, that the Arizona coaching staff is interested in one of the biggest players in the transfer portal, Fardaws Aimaq of Utah Valley.
Jeff Borzello of ESPN reports that the 6-foot-11, 245-pound Aimaq is focused on Kentucky, Gonzaga, Texas Tech, Washington, Houston, Arkansas, Iowa, Arizona and Texas. All of those programs made the NCAA Tournament except Washington, which is closest to Aimaq’s hometown of Vancouver, British Columbia.
Utah Valley transfer Fardaws Aimaq tells ESPN he’s been focused on Kentucky, Gonzaga, Texas Tech, Washington, Houston, Arkansas, Iowa, Arizona and Texas. Averaged 18.9 points and 13.6 rebounds this past season, two-time first-team All-WAC selection and two-time WAC Defensive POY.— Jeff Borzello (@jeffborzello) April 6, 2022
Aimaq averaged 18.9 points and finished second in the nation with 13.6 rebounds per game in 2021-2022. He also averaged 1.3 blocks.
Aimaq is a two-time WAC Defensive Player of the Year. He began his college career at Mercer, playing one year there before redshirting the 2019-20 season.
Arizona’s interest in Aimaq (and vice versa) is likely a hedge bet on whether Christian Koloko returns for a senior season. The Wildcats are already certain to have a crowded front court between Oumar Ballo, Azuolas Tubelo and incoming 7-foot center Dylan Anderson. If Koloko were to remain, there would be little space to put Aimaq.
There’s no guarantee whether Aimaq’s skill would carry over well to the high-major level, but he did put on an impressive display in UVU’s upset of BYU last December, recording a 24-point, 22-rebound double-double.
Utah Valley's Fardaws Aimaq is a prospect I'm intrigued by. Averaging 19.9 PPG, 13.8 RPG, 1.6 BPG, and 1.6 APG this season. I really like his ability to pass it out of the post, he can dominate the glass, has solid touch, and is a capable shot-blocker as well. pic.twitter.com/DaVbicx6ye— Evan Wheeler (@Evzsz) January 17, 2022
Utah Valley Wolverines (7-1) win 4th OT game of #CollegeBasketball season via a massive 72-65 upset over the BYU Cougars (6-1)— BasketballBuzz.ca (@basketballbuzz) December 2, 2021
Fardaws Aimaq (#Richmond, BC) 24p/22r/5s/4a/3b, 7/19 FG, 2/4 3PT, 8/13 FT, 4 TO, 4 PF, 44 MIN #NCAA #NCAAMBB #NCAABasketball #WACHoops pic.twitter.com/POLTFvZfSA