Arizona basketball lands Lithuanian wing Paulius Murauskas
Jun 14, 2023, 8:09 AM
(Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
Lithuanian wing Paulius Murauskas signed his letter of intent to play for the Arizona Wildcats men’s basketball team, he told ESPN’s Jonathan Givony on Wednesday. Murauskas follows former Zalgiris teammate Motiejus Krivas to play college basketball in Tucson.
For the Lithuanian Basketball League’s Lietkabelis, the 6-foot-9 Murauskas averaged 6.2 points and 3.2 rebounds while shooting 55% overall and 37% from three in 15.8 minutes a game this season. Murauskas in past seasons played for Zalgiris II, the team Krivas currently plays for.
“I think that the adaptation will take some time,” Murauskas told ESPN of making the move to the American college game. “This is even normal for older American players coming to different European leagues.
“However, I believe that my experience in Europe playing against mature players will help me adapt more easily. I played at a really high level for two years now, and I believe my versatility, size and skills will be successful in the NCAA.”
The offseason has been a run of good news for Arizona head coach Tommy Lloyd despite losing several key players like Azuolas Tubelis (NBA Draft) and Kerr Kriisa (West Virginia).
Arizona has added Division I transfers in Caleb Love, Jaden Bradley and Keshad Johnson, who all could fight for starting roles and should be rotation players.
In May, Lloyd also secured a commitment from Krivas, a highly regarded center, while wing Pelle Larsson announced he would forgo the NBA Draft and return for his third year at Arizona and fourth college season overall.
The Wildcats also landed Spanish guard Conrad Martinez.
Arizona for 2023-24 returns center Oumar Ballo, Larsson and guard Kylan Boswell, who should all challenge for starting minutes.
Murauskas joins an incoming class that includes four-star high school prospect K.J. Lewis. That duo could compete for minutes on the wings along with Larsson and sophomore Filip Borovicanin, while returning centers Henri Veesaar and Dylan Anderson could contribute to a deep group of bigs.