clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Arizona basketball recruiting: Wildcats after 2019 5-star center Balsa Koprivica

The 7-footer hails from Serbia, just like Dusan Ristic

NCAA Basketball: UC Irvine at Arizona Casey Sapio-USA TODAY Sports

The Arizona Wildcats are after another European big man.

They are one of several teams pursuing Serbian 7-footer Balsa Koprivica, the big man told Rivals.com.

“UCLA, Kansas, Baylor, Miami, Florida, USC, Louisville, Florida State, Wake Forest and Arizona,” he said. “(Those) are the schools talking to me the most often over here.”

Koprivica is one of the top prospects in the 2019 class, even drawing comparisons to Karl Anthony-Towns and a fellow European who will likely end up in the Hall of Fame when he retires.

"I believe Balsa is one of the most skilled players in the country, even at 7-foot-1. His versatility, footwork, and basketball IQ remind you of a young Dirk Nowitzki,” Brad Augustine, program director of Koprivica’s future AAU team, told Rivals.com.

Koprivica, who is set to attend Windermere Prep in Orlando, Fla. this fall, is the No. 8 player in the 2019 class and the No. 2. center.

He is an ideal fit in the current open-floor, positionless basketball that has taken hold throughout the country.

Here’s what Corey Evans of Rivals.com wrote of Koprivica:

“His game has game has trended toward more open offenses, relying on practically every player on the floor to make shots. Koprivica is the ideal five-man that can shoot to 20 feet, has impeccable footwork around the basket and improved athleticism in the lane.”

If this reminds you of Lauri Markkanen, it should, but it looks like Koprivica might possess a little more back-to-the-basket ability than the former Wildcat.

Koprivica is intrigued by Arizona’s ability to develop big men, especially those from overseas.

“They have had great bigs in the past couple years and have had success, as well,” the Serbian prospect told Rivals. “They just had a lottery pick with the big from Finland (Lauri Markkanen) and a Serbian big (Dusan Ristic), as well, and have the best big man in class of 2017 with DeAndre Ayton.”

Arizona formerly offered him on May 9 and it appears he holds close to 20 offers overall.

All four Crystal Ball predictions have Koprivica heading to the Kentucky Wildcats, but this appears to be a recruitment that will not be sewed up anytime soon.


You can follow Alec on Twitter: @UofAlec