Korcheck ready to contribute

Arizona forward Matt Korcheck redshirted last season. Read on to find out what he used his time for, what he worked on over the summer, and more.

Not much was known about Matt Korcheck when he signed with Arizona and last season did not tell people much either, as the forward redshirted.

This season, people will get an opportunity to see Korcheck in action as a Wildcat for the first time.

"It feels great to be back this year with the team," Korcheck said. "It has been a long time coming for me to be able to get on the court. I'm just excited to get out there and play."

Korcheck just finished his second summer at Arizona, but had more direction under his belt after sitting out last season.

"The offseason was a little less stressful for me this year," he said. "Last year, I was coming into this big program not knowing what to expect. This year, we got to work out with each other and got some work with the coaches."

During the summer, Korcheck spent his time in the gym and weight room. However, he also spent time bonding with his team off campus.

"I got some classes out of the way during the summer," Korcheck said. "We all lifted weights and hung out together when we could. It wasn't all in the gym, but there was bonding going on. I guess you could say there was some extra motivation for me knowing that I wouldn't be redshirting this season."

The redshirt year helped Korcheck an incredible amount. Not only did he get a year's worth of practice in, but he also had twelve months to learn the system that Arizona runs.

"Being in practice last year helps a lot," he said. "Just being out here and being able to watch coach every day and being able to pick up and soak up as much as I could definitely helped.

"I got to work on everything and I got to go up against Kaleb Tarczewski and Brandon Ashley every single day. Those are highly skilled guys and playing against them is always helpful."

During each of the practices and games, Korcheck remained focused. He felt he needed to keep working every day so that he could transition to the speed of the game at this level.

"There wasn't necessarily a toughest thing to learn last season, but the speed was definitely something I needed to get used to," he said.

"When you get to a high level like this, everything just goes. You really just need to keep yourself calm and learn to move quickly and slow your mind down at the same time."

In his second summer at Arizona, the power forward got some body work in, but spent a majority of his time studying his plays.

"I spent the summer building my body," Korcheck said. "I also kept learning the system. I think that offense and all that other stuff comes along as you play and practice every day.

"The most important thing to me is to make sure I understand all the plays and the way that we play defense."

Although he took his redshirt season last year, Korcheck doesn't have any expectations about how much he will play this season. He is just focusing on doing whatever the team needs him to do.

"I don't really have any expectations for this year," he said. "I am just going to go out there every day, whether it is a practice or a game, and give it 100 percent. I'm just going to give it all my effort and let it happen."

The junior believes in himself and knows that he will have to stay focused throughout the season, even when things aren't going his way.

"I think I will be just fine this season as long as I can keep up with everything," Korcheck said. "I need to keep myself motivated and keep my head up.

"I know there may be times when I don't have a good series of plays, but I need to keep trying and I'll be alright."

During the summer, Korcheck was able to play with his teammates in pickup games. He came away impressed with one of the freshmen in particular.

"I've been able play against and with Aaron (Gordon) a little bit since he got here," Korcheck said. "We don't usually guard each other or anything, but he is a great player.

"He is a nice guy and he's incredibly skilled. He is going to do big things before he leaves here."

Gordon isn't the only player who impressed Korcheck. The redshirt junior thinks that all of the incoming freshmen are going to be special.

"The three freshmen we have are all very good," he said. "The thing that stands out to me is that they are all great kids. They listen and learn every time someone is talking to them. It's going to help them out a lot."

With the season starting, Korcheck has his sights set on one game in particular.

"UCLA," Korcheck said. "We had some heartbreaking losses to them last year. I know that we only get them once this season, but I think that will be enough for us to get them back."


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