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Lithuanian big man Motiejus Krivas commits to Arizona

motiejus-krivas-commitment-arizona-wildcats-basketball-lithuania-tommy-lloyd Photo by Alius Koroliovas/Euroleague Basketball via Getty Images

Tommy Lloyd’s streak of landing top European prospects continued Tuesday, as Lithuanian big man Motiejus Krivas committed to Arizona.

Krivas, a 7-foot-2, 256 pound center in the 2023 class, told ESPN’s Jonathan Givony, “Their desire to have me on the team stood out the most. I felt that they really want me, and I think their style of play suits me the best.

“I like the fact that the team is full of international players. It will definitely make my transition on and off the court much faster. It wasn’t an easy decision, but after weighing the pros and cons, I concluded that going there was the best possible decision at the moment and for my career going forward.”

The 18-year-old Krivas is considered one of the top European prospects in his class, according to Givony. He competed at the FIBA U18 European Championship last summer, leading the event in rebounding.

According to ESPN, Krivas played for Zalgiris 2 in the Lithuanian second division. He averaged 13.7 points, 9.8 rebounds, 1.6 blocks and 1.5 assists in 26 minutes per game and led the league in rebounding and finished third in player efficiency rating and free throw attempts.

“Motiej is an exceptional player and person, and we are delighted to have him join our program,” Lloyd said in a release. “He is a talented tall player who can play well around the basket, has good court vision and can help the team defensively. He comes from one of the best young basketball training organizations in Europe, which he helped win the NKL championship.”

Krivas played for the same club as former Arizona point guard Kerr Kriisa. Givony reported that Zalgiris visited Arizona in October to watch practice and meet with the coaching staff. The club “gave their blessing” for Krivas to play college basketball at Arizona.

Krivas will help Arizona replace outgoing Lithuanian big man Azuolas Tubelis, who is expected to remain in the NBA Draft.

Krivas is at least the fifth international player on Arizona’s 2023-24 roster, joining Oumar Ballo, Pelle Larsson, Henri Veesaar, and Filip Borovincanin.