True centers, especially 7-footers, are very rare in college basketball these days. That's why some argue that Kaleb Tarczewski was the most important commitment of the 2012 class -- Tarczewski gives Arizona a true center to man the middle.
Out of New Hampshire, Tarczewski represents a victory for the coaching staff as they proved able to lure the best recruits regardless of geography. But Tarczewski is also a victory in that Arizona landed one of the few true centers in recent recruiting classes, a position that Arizona desperately needed to fill.
"It' been great here, I love waking up every morning with the sun in the sky and I love the players and coaches", Tarczewski said.
With Tarczewski on board, not only do Angelo Chol, Brandon Ashley, and Grant Jerrett get to slide over to power forward, but it also allows Solomon Hill to occupy his natural position of small forward. Even before Tarczewski has played a game at McKale, his impact on the roster is undeniable.
"The chemistry on the court is great and off the court we're best friends. Everyday playing against Angelo and Brandon is helping out."
A near lock to start, Tarczewski will give Arizona the size and muscle to match up with tall teams like UCLA, but he's mobile enough to stay in the game when the tempo picks up. Because of his ability to run the court, Tarczewski will stay on the floor as long as he's out of foul trouble.
As a freshman, Tarczewski is already one of the tallest and strongest players in the conference, giving Arizona a legitimate edge against teams that lack size. A common theme all year long will be how effectively Tarczewski can exploit the mismatches he will draw. Though he is raw, Tarczewski will be among the top post players in the conference from opening day.
"I'm just trying to get better, gel with the team and learn the system. There's a lot of stuff we haven't gotten into yet."
His offensive and defensive skills are still developing, but Tarczewski's size and aptitude for coaching are innate gifts that very few players have. With a little bit of seasoning, the sky is truly the limit for Tarczewski.