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Southwest Mobile Storage - Best Mobile Storage & Office Containers In Tucson, AZ

Southwest Mobile Storage is a family-owned shipping container business founded in 1995. Our strength for more than 25 years comes from the specialized knowledge and passion of our people, along with serving over 24,000 commercial, construction and residential customers. Our facility and expertise in maintaining, manufacturing, and delivering corrugated steel containers is unrivaled in the industry.

While the rental side of our business is regional with branches throughout the Southwest, our container sales and modification operations are nationwide and becoming global. Tucson, AZ offers a wide selection of portable offices and mobile storage containers you can rent, buy or modify.

Our experts in container rental, sales and customization are committed to providing you the highest quality and best experience from service to delivery - our reputation depends on it.

Whether your need is for storage, office space, moving, multi-purpose or custom use, we've got your back. Here's how:

Storage Containers Tucson, AZ



We bring your storage container to you for convenient, easy access at your home, business or jobsite. Plus, you'll get more choice in storage space and better security, for a fraction of the cost of a pod or add on building, saving money and energy.


Not enough room to keep a storage container at your business, home or construction site? No problem - we can store it for you. Plus, you get 70% more space and better security, for a fraction of the cost of public storage units.


Need a permanent storage solution for your business, residence or construction? We sell new and used shipping containers in many sizes with a variety of add-ons. Or customize a container to your specific storage needs with our certified fabrication experts.


Take your time packing with our moving containers. We'll deliver to your business or home and pick it up whenever you're ready to move. So, you don't have to stress about moving or making multiple trips in one day, like if you rented a moving truck.


Our moving container solutions ensure the long-distance move of your home or business is highly efficient and affordable throughout the southwest. In fact, we usually cost 20%-40% less than full-service movers.


We understand move-in and move-out dates might be different. We can store your moving container at our highly secure facilities until you're ready to move to your new home or business location, and you can conveniently access it at any time.


Whether you need a workspace, conference room, or other office requirement, our ground-mounted mobile offices meet any and all of your business needs. Plus, it's faster and easier than building additions.


If you need your shipping container to serve multiple uses, such as office-storage combos, breakrooms and even utilities, we've got you covered. We'll modify a custom container to fit your business needs and bring your business to the next level


We'll create a custom container to fit your unique needs anywhere in the US. With our container modification expertise, we make any idea a reality. From pop-up stores to multi-story structures, our unrivaled facilities and fabrication experts do it all.

You'll get your own dedicated storage and container expert to serve as your one point of contact for easy, convenient service you can trust.
With our wide selection of intermodal containers for sale and rent, you'll find exactly what you need, from size, to type and condition.
We maintain our rental fleet to the highest standard - our integrity depends on it.
Our certified, experienced Conex container modification experts have more than 500 years combined experience modifying ISO containers.
All of our containers come with high security dual-locking system for no additional charge, so you can rest assured your stored items stay safe and that you don't have to pay extra for it.
At our unrivaled 90,000 sq ft indoor fabrication facility, ensuring your custom shipping container is made exactly to your specifications.
With our level of service, quality and expertise, you won't find a better value anywhere else.
Our portable offices include lighting and electrical outlets, internet hookups, HVAC and were crafted by our in-house steel container fabrication experts for top-quality construction.

Premium Quality - High Security

With Southwest Mobile Storage, you get much more than a POD or typical Conex box. You also get high security, unparalleled service and unmatched container modification expertise and facilities. No other company offers that much.

Shipping containers and storage containers come in a range of sizes. The most common external lengths are 20ft and 40ft with a width of 8ft. ISO Containers are typically 8ft 6in tall, but high cube containers are 9ft 6in tall. We also have steel containers in a variety of sizes from 10ft long to 45ft long to rent or buy, and we can modify shipping containers into any size you want.

 Rent Storage Containers Tucson, AZ

SMS Mobile Storage Containers have these high quality features:

1/8" thick steel plate bottom side rails
High strength steel supporting cross members
1 1/8" thick hardwood floor with galvanized self-tapping screws
16-gauge corrugated steel walls
16-gauge roof
270-degree swing cargo door(s)
High security dual-locking system*
Spot-grinded, primed & repainted with a beige high-grade water reducible alkyd direct-to-metal enamel*
* Comes standard on all rental units

SMS portable workspace containers have these structural features:

High security window bars, lever & deadbolt set with lock box
Studs & R-19 Insulation covered with wood paneling
1 1/8" marine board floor is covered with a durable single part gray epoxy coating
Dual pane low-E horizontal sliding windows with screens and miniblinds
18 Gauge steel polystyrene core 3-hour fire rated personnel door
All of our workspaces are manufactured in-house and arrive new or restored to factory specifications
Exterior load center operating on 100 Amp single phase 230 Volt power
Light switch, receptacles and 4' light fixtures; all wiring is Romex 12/2
CAT-6 voice and data lines with electrical junction box
HVAC units ranging from 1 ton to 2 ton on rentals; ability to customize up to 10 tons of cooling

Having flexible storage containers options is important, but security is crucial to protect your peace of mind and your possessions.

At Southwest Mobile Storage, we don't believe in leaving things to chance. We want you to rest easy knowing your inventory, documents, tools, equipment and other items are safe 24/7. That is why we equip SMS high-security slide bolt locking systems and lockboxes on our entire fleet of rental freight containers.


High-security slide-bolt locking system and extra-long lock box, giving you twice the security and peace of mind.
No holes to ensure your rental shipping container is wind and water-tight.
No rust for your safety.
14-gauge corrugated steel for strength and reinforcement.

Contact us to speak with a helpful, friendly representative to better understand our full range of capabilities. We are happy to answer any questions you have, go over pricing and set up a time and place to deliver your Conex box. Our quotes are 100% free and you are under no obligation to pay for your consultation.


When you own a business or manage one, it's crucial to have efficient, affordable ways to store inventory and supplies, whether it's to grow your business or adapt to changes in the market, like the many caused by the pandemic.

Renting storage containers to keep at your business eliminates the cost and hassles of sending your staff to offsite storage facilities. Steel containers with roll up doors make storing and retrieving items faster and easier. Auto repair shops and other businesses that need easy access throughout the workday to secure storage for tools, parts, equipment or supplies find renting shipping containers to be the best solution for their business storage needs. Southwest Mobile Storage has your back.

 Storage Containers For Rent Tucson, AZ

Renting portable offices gives your business more workspace, breakrooms, pop up stores, security booths and more, without the cost and red tape associated with constructing building additions. Plus, a steel storage container fits neatly into one parking space and provides much stronger security than Pods and way more convenience than self-storage units.

If you have a specific need, we can modify shipping containers to build whatever you need to grow your business. Whether it's a portable workspace to run your business, like a pop-up container bar, or a durable facility for scientific research, like a container laboratory, or even a container gym, our unrivaled fabrication facility and modification experts got you covered. Our full-time, in-house staff of certified welders, engineers, electricians, carpenters and painters have over 500 years combined experience modifying thousands of container projects for just about any business use you can imagine.


Offsite storage alternatives cause a mess of hassles and headaches. Expanding office space and storage capacity at your location saves time, money and hassle of making multiple trips offsite.
We offer more choice in security, size and features in steel Conex boxes or ISO shipping containers than a public storage unit or Pod for less cost and far greater service.
We offer flexible, month-to-month rental agreements and prorate by the day after your first 28-day billing cycle.
With us, you get a dedicated account manager you can rely on, so you can focus on running your business than waste time with a different person every time you call that doesn't know or care as much.
While other companies may have some staff for modifying containers, most outsource the work, so you don't know who is actually doing the modifications or how much they're marking up the price.
 Mobile Storage Containers Tucson, AZ
When you modify a shipping container for your business, you won't have to worry about expensive, lengthy and complicated construction.
We have modified thousands of containers nationwide and internationally for more than 25 years for NASA, US Navy, GCP Applied Technologies, Helix and Sundt to name a few. And rent containers to Amazon, Walmart and many of other nationally recognized brands.
Our extensive staff makes it possible to custom build multiple projects simultaneously and our 90,000 sq ft indoor fabrication facility prevents contaminants from interfering with fabrication, which delivers better quality and precision.


Building additions to your home can be very expensive and requires going through the hassle of securing permits and waiting for construction. You can save money, time and stress by modifying a shipping container instead. Whether you need additional space for a home gym, recreation or storage, we can convert steel containers into anything you can imagine. Our custom container gyms, man-caves or she-sheds, garages and more give you the extra space you need without the hassle, cost and wait that comes with home renovation.

Renting shipping containers for temporary storage, either when moving or dealing with restoration from a fire or flood, provides a secure, convenient way to keep your belongings close for accessing them whenever you need to. Plus, renting mobile storage containers for moving costs less than traditional movers and allows you to take your time packing, reducing the stress that comes from moving. You can also rent portable offices for your home to make working remotely distraction-free.

 Rent Shipping Containers Tucson, AZ


With an extensive in-house staff and 90,000 sq ft container modification facility, we're able to deliver consistently high quality and work on multiple projects simultaneously for a fast turnaround.

Other companies don't have the facility, staff or resources to modify shipping containers and will outsource the work to various shops who may not have the special experience or tools needed to modify the right way.

You can rest assured knowing your custom container is safe in our hands. Our certified weld and quality control inspectors ensure everything is structurally sound and built to your specifications through every step of the process.

Renting a moving container from us makes your move much less stressful because you won't have to rush to pack your whole house into a moving truck in one day. Instead, you can take your time packing over the course of a month.

Our ISO shipping containers are weatherproof and come with vault-like security, so you don't have to worry about theft or damage to your belongings.

You won't get that level of security from U-Haul or other moving truck companies.

Renting a storage container at your home keeps your belongings close and gives you convenient 24/7 access, so you're always able to retrieve the contents of your container when you need to.

We know move in and move out dates don't always line up. We can store your packed rental container at our secure facility until your new home is ready.

With our mobile storage containers for rent in Tucson, AZ, you can save up to 40% when compared to full-service long-distance movers, while gaining more flexibility in your schedule.


We know your needs may change suddenly. With our extensive inventory and variety of sizes of portable offices and shipping containers to rent, buy or modify in Tucson, AZ, we provide fast service and the best value possible so it's easy for you to get whatever you need when you need it.

Renting storage containers and portable offices from us gives you more flexibility when it comes to your schedule and options. If you don't have enough space at your current location or simply would prefer offsite storage, you can keep your rental storage and office containers at your location or ours - whichever is most convenient for you. You also get more options to choose from when it comes to size and features, like portable offices with divided rooms for private meetings or office/storage combos for storage and office space in one container. All while costing a fraction of the price of a pod or self-storage facility.

You can also buy new or used freight containers from us and choose from a variety of add-ons, including lights, electricity, doors and windows. Or fully customize a shipping container to save time, money and energy by skipping the expensive, lengthy process of constructing building additions. We can modify a Conex box into whatever you can imagine for any use you need, from construction tool cribs to office buildings, monitoring stations, mobile communication towers and much more. The possibilities are endless.


You'll never face hidden fees or surprises with us. We give you transparent billing up front at the best prices.

With us, you get a reliable, dedicated point of contact, who keeps you updated every step of the way. You can rest assured knowing you'll always get what you need, when you need it.

No other company has the breadth and depth of staff and experience that we do when it comes to modifying shipping containers. Our certified welders, engineers, electricians, plumbers, carpenters and painters have more than 500 years of combined experience in fabricating custom steel containers.

We prorate your rent by the day after the first 28-day billing cycle, so you don't have to pay for a full month when you only have your mobile containers and offices for a few days.

While other companies may be able to do small container modifications, most don't have an in-house fabrication staff or 90,000 sq ft fabrication facility like we do. As a result, they outsource the work on your custom container, so you don't know who's actually building it.

Rest assured knowing your modified shipping container will be built to the highest quality standards. Our certified weld and quality control inspectors check every step of the fabrication process to ensure everything is structurally sound and built to your specifications.


Whether you're in need of a storage container for your commercial business, a portable office for your construction site, or a moving container for your home, our process is simple and straightforward.

Choose Your Container

Choose the mobile storage solution that works best for your needs. In this step, you will let us know the number of containers you need, their sizes and what types of doors to equip.

Choose Your Options

Let us know if you would like to add any of our rental options, like a folding table or shelving.

Choose Your Security

Choose from padlocks, puck locks and other enhanced security options. All of our storage containers come standard with dual-locking, vault-like security.

Choose Your Delivery Timeframe

You can expect standard delivery within 3-5 days of your order. If you need expedited delivery, we will do everything in our power to accommodate your needs.

Pick-Up Planning

Do you need to keep your shipping container at our location? Prefer to have our team deliver your packed container to a location of your choice? Let us know, and we'll be by your side to work out the logistics.




Let our team know where we should deliver your mobile storage container for rent in Tucson, AZ. Be sure to let us know if there are any special conditions that might prevent our drivers from entering your chosen destination. Before you schedule your delivery, let us know which direction you would like the doors of your container to face.



Our drivers can deliver your storage container Monday-Friday, between the hours of 6AM and 2PM local time. Our two-hour delivery window is the most precise in the industry. If you desire another delivery time outside of our standard delivery options, we will do our best to accommodate your needs. As a courtesy, our driver will call you at least 30 minutes before they arrive at your drop-off destination.



Before we deliver your Conex box, prepare your delivery area by ensuring that there are no low overhangs, arches, wires, trees or any other obstacles that could interfere with your delivery. It's a good idea to mark the space where you would like your steel container placed.



When our driver arrives, they will back our truck into the space where you would like your shipping container placed. Once we arrive, we will ensure that your container is delivered safely and securely. If placed on asphalt or pavement, we will use wood dunnage pads to make sure your ground surface is protected and the container is level.


Check out our FAQ page or reach out to our helpful customer service team today @


Latest News in Tucson, AZ

The Instagram Guide to Tucson, Arizona

Tucson might be best known for its spectacular hiking trails and natural beauty, but the city offers much, much more. Tucson is the first city in the United States to be recognized as a ...

Tucson might be best known for its spectacular hiking trails and natural beauty, but the city offers much, much more. Tucson is the first city in the United States to be recognized as a UNESCO City of Gastronomy; it also offers inspiring modern art galleries and is home to the country’s most renowned health resort. For star-studded nights, the dark skies around Tucson make for exceptional stargazing. Visiting during shoulder season is ideal for mild weather and a blooming Sonoran desert, but if you can handle the heat, the summer brings discounted rates and less crowds.

Whenever you decide to visit, read on for the cant-miss stops for a trip to Tuscon.

Shop Local at the MSA Annex

Head to the MSA Annex to grab lunch and poke around artisan shops, all built into converted shipping containers. From ice cream to boutiques to cocktails, you can spend an entire afternoon at the local-focused outdoor marketplace adjacent to the Mercado San Agustin.

Stay at Canyon Ranch

Visiting Canyon Ranch is a transformative experience. More than just a resort, the holistic health spa guides you in intentional pathways, from improving relationships to finding purpose in your profession to physical well-being. You’ll find delicious farm-to-table food at their all-inclusive, on-site restaurants and a wide range of activities from meditation to archery.

Hike Through Sabino Canyon

Check out Tucson’s iconic saguaros at Sabino Canyon, a hiking and recreation area at the base of the Santa Catalina Mountains. From October through April, the lower temperatures offer great weather for being active and in the warmer months, visit the creek and cool off in the shade. If you’d rather see the canyon without hiking, shuttles leave frequently with nine stops and a narrated ride to allow you to explore the area without breaking in your hiking boots.

Immerse Yourself at the DeGrazia Gallery

The DeGrazia Gallery is much more than an art gallery, it's now a 10-acre National Historic District which includes the Gallery in the Sun Museum with six permanent art collections as well as rotating exhibitions. Designed and built by famed Arizona artist Ted DeGrazia, it is a regional landmark and immersive example of Southwestern art and architecture.

An oasis set in mid-town Tucson, the Tucson Botanical Gardens offers much more than just plants; the 5.5 acres are filled with sculptures, butterfly exhibits, cafes, and more. The peaceful grounds are a diverting way to spend a morning in nature without leaving the heart of the city.

El Charro Café is one of Tucson’s delicious examples of its 4,000-year culinary heritage that earned the city the honor of being the first UNESCO City of Gastronomy in the U.S. The Mexican restaurant’s claim to fame is that they invented the Chimichanga, a menu item definitely worth trying, and they also serve up a full range of dishes like enchiladas, tacos and more.

Vulnerable populations struggling in the Arizona heat

--> Sorry, we're having issues playing this video.In the meantime, try watching one of the videos below.TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — As temperatures rise across Arizona most will find ways to stay inside. However, not everyone has that option."Out here you have to adjust," Roy Velasquez, who lives on the streets of Tucson said. "You have to chase the shade and stay hydrated. We drink tons of water. We are constantly drinking water."Velasquez and his wife will often head to the Circle K to f...


Sorry, we're having issues playing this video.In the meantime, try watching one of the videos below.

TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — As temperatures rise across Arizona most will find ways to stay inside. However, not everyone has that option.

"Out here you have to adjust," Roy Velasquez, who lives on the streets of Tucson said. "You have to chase the shade and stay hydrated. We drink tons of water. We are constantly drinking water."

Velasquez and his wife will often head to the Circle K to fill up his water cup. He uses one Styrofoam cup around his plastic cup to keep it cold.

"We keep them full we fill them up probably five, six times a day," Velasquez said. "Nothing works better than water."

They typically move around parks, but that is not always easy as the sun moves.

"You got to adjust to it," Velasquez added. "It's hard."

They said that sometimes they will take advantage of the county's cooling centers; however not all are open right away. Many only open when temperatures reach 110 degrees.

For a list of all the cooling centers around the county, visit the Cooling Centers website..

"My wife and I are good, so we just want to make the best of things," Velasquez said. "She does something; we both go. I got to do something; we both go. We don't leave each others sides."

There are also several steps you can take when you are outside to stay safe, including staying cool, staying hydrated, planning ahead and checking the daily forecast. For a full list of advice on staying safe outdoors in the Arizona heat visit the Beat the Heat website.

——-Greg Bradbury is a reporter for KGUN 9. Greg is a graduate of Syracuse University where he studied Broadcast Journalism and Spanish. Greg joined KGUN 9 in February 2021 as a Multimedia Journalist after working at the ABC National Desk as a Digital News Associate. Share your story ideas and important issues with Greg by emailing or by connecting on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

Taking Stock: How Arizona women’s golf is looking under coach Laura Ianello

The offseason is here, with all of Arizona’s sports done for 2021-22 and the 2022-23 campaigns still a little ways away.Which makes this a great time to step back and see how all of the Wildcats’ programs are doing.Over the next few weeks we’ll take a look at each of the UA’s 19 men’s and women’s programs to see what shape they’re in and what prospects they have for the near future. We’ll break down each team and evaluate how it is performing under its current coaching staff, look...

The offseason is here, with all of Arizona’s sports done for 2021-22 and the 2022-23 campaigns still a little ways away.

Which makes this a great time to step back and see how all of the Wildcats’ programs are doing.

Over the next few weeks we’ll take a look at each of the UA’s 19 men’s and women’s programs to see what shape they’re in and what prospects they have for the near future. We’ll break down each team and evaluate how it is performing under its current coaching staff, looking at the state of the program before he/she arrived and comparing it to now while also looking at this season and beyond.

Next up: Laura Ianello’s women’s golf team.

With three NCAA titles and countless Pac-10/12 championships, women’s golf has been one of Arizona’s most consistent programs over the years. Ianello was part of the second of those national champ teams as a player in 2000, and returned to Tucson in 2007 to be an assistant under Debbie Haywood.

Ianello helped lead the UA to a fifth-place finish at the 2010 NCAA championships as an assistant, and not long after was named head coach.

Ianello’s 12th season in charge was actually one of the least successful of her tenure, with Arizona failing to advance out of the NCAA regionals for the first time since 2017. The Wildcats took sixth in the Albuquerque Regional, their 29th consecutive regional appearance, but missed nationals by two strokes.

That also ended a run of three consecutive trips to the NCAA championship semifinals, which includes the 2018 national title. Ianello earned a contract extension after that title, and again last June; her new deal runs through the 2026 season.

The 2021-22 team featured only one senior in the top five in Ya Chung Chang, so there’s a lot of talent combing back. Lithuanian Gile Bite Starkute will be a senior, while Italian Carolina Melgrati and Frenchwoman Lilas Pinthier will be sophomores and Tucsonan Maya Benita will be a junior. Arizona signed two recruits in November including Kansas native Julia Misemer, the 2021 Girls Junior PGA Championship runner-up whom Golf Channel ranks as the No. 17 incoming player in the country.

How will the new golf facility benefit the program? Arizona announced in late May that it was building the William M. “Bill” Clements Golf Center at Tucson Country Club, which would become the UA’s new home course, replacing Sewailo Golf Club at the Casino del Sol Resort on Tucson’s southwest side. The $15 million project will include a laser-guided putting green, hitting bays, locker rooms, a student-athlete lounge and a medical services room.

There’s no timetable for when the project will be completed, but the addition of those amenities for the UA figures to help in recruiting and maintain strong performances.

Former Arizona guard Shane Nowell commits to UNLV

Former Arizona guard Shane Nowell announced on Instagram he has committed to UNLV."Let's rock rebel nation," Nowell posted.Nowell announced on April 27 that he was transferring from the Wildcats after playing just 67 total minutes over 19 games as a freshman last season. He also sat out three games late in the season as a result of an apparent suspension for reasons UA coach Tommy Lloyd declined to detail.“Shane, we noticed, just had some things we wanted to address behind the scenes,” Lloyd said af...

Former Arizona guard Shane Nowell announced on Instagram he has committed to UNLV.

"Let's rock rebel nation," Nowell posted.

Nowell announced on April 27 that he was transferring from the Wildcats after playing just 67 total minutes over 19 games as a freshman last season. He also sat out three games late in the season as a result of an apparent suspension for reasons UA coach Tommy Lloyd declined to detail.

“Shane, we noticed, just had some things we wanted to address behind the scenes,” Lloyd said after Nowell dressed in street clothes for UA’s win over Stanford at McKale Center on March 3.

A native of the Seattle area, Nowell is the brother of Jaylen Nowell, who won the 2018-19 Pac-12 Player of the Year award while playing for Washington. Shane Nowell was the only one of three players in the class of 2021 who committed to former UA coach Sean Miller and stuck with the Wildcats, while guard K.J. Simpson headed to Colorado and Shane Dezonie went to Vanderbilt. Dezonie has since transferred to St. Joseph’s.

Nowell, who was also offered scholarships by Washington, Washington State, Montana, Montana State and Oklahoma out of Eastside Catholic High School near Seattle, told the Star in May 2021 that he took two weeks to talk with Lloyd and decide whether to stay with the Wildcats. Lloyd replaced Miller in April 2021.

“It definitely took some time because I wasn’t too sure,” Nowell said. “It was pretty much a matter of what’s the best situation for me, as well as my family, because I didn’t want to go too far away from home.

“But then also once I got to know Coach Lloyd, got to see his coaching style, to see how he plans to really incorporate me, I really liked what he had to say. So it just felt like it was the best scenario.”

Nowell wound up averaging 0.8 points and 0.8 rebounds while playing only spot minutes toward the end of games the Wildcats were decisively winning.

Arizona went with a tight eight-player rotation most of the season, with Adama Bal moving ahead of him and playing spot minutes in several key games late in the season.

Nowell wasn’t made available for media interviews all season, but said during UA’s preseason media day that he was struck by the competition and ability of players at his guard position.

“We’ve got a lot of really good guards,” Nowell said. “Definitely the first day I got here, just the physicality level, the speed of the game, was definitely elevated. But it’s just about a matter of adjusting to it each and every single day and just keep growing.”

Tommy Lloyd bullish about future of Arizona Wildcats' 3 NBA Draft picks

As the NBA Draft neared the end of the first round Thursday evening, and Dalen Terry’s Scottsdale draft party continued at a relentless beat, Arizona coach Tommy Lloyd walked outside toward the parking lot.He knew Christian Koloko’s name might be called soon.“With Dalen, those people were having fun and I was so happy for them,” Lloyd said Friday, after attending Terry’s event at Lo-Lo’s Chicken & Waffles in Scottsdale. “But I love Christian. I kind of wanted to go have a moment by ...

As the NBA Draft neared the end of the first round Thursday evening, and Dalen Terry’s Scottsdale draft party continued at a relentless beat, Arizona coach Tommy Lloyd walked outside toward the parking lot.

He knew Christian Koloko’s name might be called soon.

“With Dalen, those people were having fun and I was so happy for them,” Lloyd said Friday, after attending Terry’s event at Lo-Lo’s Chicken & Waffles in Scottsdale. “But I love Christian. I kind of wanted to go have a moment by myself where I could go and just watch his name get called. I had a good feeling that at 33, there was a good chance for him to get to get drafted.

“So I jumped in my car and drove up to the road to another restaurant in Scottsdale. I walked in and just sat at the table by myself and no one noticed me. It was perfect. I sat there and watched his name get called and I was super proud.”

Koloko went 33rd overall to the Toronto Raptors, capping a historic night for the Wildcats after Bennedict Mathurin went sixth to Indiana and Terry went 18th to Chicago, the first time UA has ever had three players taken in the first 35 picks of the draft.

While Lloyd sat in quiet celebration, the scene elevated dramatically in Southern California. Koloko exchanged hugs with friends and family, while Raptors executives welcomed him warmly in Toronto via FaceTime.

“It was amazing. It was crazy,” Koloko said Friday on a Zoom media conference. “My family was really happy. I was happy for myself. … For me to get to this level and make it into the NBA, it’s just surreal. And I’m just going to embrace it, the opportunity to get better.”

Saying he has good relationships with several Raptors officials, Lloyd expressed confidence that Koloko will grow and fit will with the Toronto organization.

“They’re a team that’s always put a premium on activity, length and defensive prowess and, and Christian really fits their mold,” Lloyd said. “I think Christian’s a really impactful player. I think if you get past the, ‘Well, is this guy going to be a superstar?’ and understand that maybe not, (you’ll see) this guy really impacts the game and really impacts winning.”

The Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year last season, the 7-foot Koloko not only was a proven rim-protector but also grew in reputation after stopping Oregon guards Jacob Young and Will Richardson from scoring on drives from the perimeter to save the Wildcats’ late-season win over the Ducks.

“When you have somebody who can switch a ball screen, to protect the rim like he does, to run the floor and catch a lob above the rim? Man, those are great traits,” Lloyd said. “I’m sure if Christian stays locked in and works hard, he’s gonna bring a lot of value with that 33rd pick to Toronto.”

During a Zoom call with Arizona media and a few reporters covering teams who drafted the UA players, Lloyd also noted that Mathurin was already pretty locked when they began meeting shortly after Lloyd was hired at Arizona in April 2021.

Lloyd said he initially asked Mathurin if he planned to declare for the draft then, when Mathurin was projected as a potential late first-round pick.

“I got the sense that he didn’t want to do that, that he was hungry to come back and improve his position in the draft,” Lloyd said. “I sat down and kind of mapped out a plan and on how he could do that and I’ll give him credit: He’s is super diligent guy.

“He kind of keeps to himself and doesn’t have a big group of people he runs with and he really has immersed himself in the process of becoming a great basketball player. We never had to set up extra workout times or anything like that. He’s a self-starter, extremely motivated, and I think his best days are ahead of him.”

By the time Mathurin entered his sophomore season, Lloyd was already seeing a much different player than the one he saw at the NBA Academy Latin America a few years earlier. Lloyd had been scouting UA center Oumar Ballo for Gonzaga but noticed the raw athleticism of Mathurin, a roommate and teammate of Ballo’s.

“At the time, I probably would have described him as an athletic but physically undeveloped, undersized, unskilled four-man,” Lloyd said. “Somehow, between then and when I got here, he had picked up a knack for shooting and you can see that he had a really good wrist and ability to make jump shots.

“This year, we really challenged him to grow in other areas of the game, in his ballhandling, decision making, IQ and I think he’s just starting that part of his development.”

Lloyd also pointed to a “clutch gene” that could help Mathurin — the Pac-12 Player of the Year — as a pro.

“It’s gonna be really interesting to see his development — does he become more comfortable handling the ball and being a multiple-dribble, multiple-direction guy? Or is he going to get to kind of slide into more of a catch-and-shoot, drive-closeout type of guy?” Lloyd said. “I think both of them are great. That’s what excites me about him.

“This isn’t a guy who necessarily is going to need to dominate the ball to be a great NBA player. But I saw enough growth in that area this year that if he continues to work on that stuff, he could become that type of player.

“This is a guy who has tons of room to grow and, I think he’ll be able to reach that ceiling based on his character.”

While Lloyd said a “fire really burns” inside Mathurin, Terry is known for a fun-loving, competitive spirit that is much more visible on the outside.

Sometimes, those two styles clashed on the court. Terry actually started over Mathurin at the beginning of their freshman seasons in 2020-21 and, in the first game when then-coach Sean Miller finally put him in the starting lineup, Mathurin dropped 31 points on Oregon State.

Lloyd said there were some early moments in practices this season where he had to pull Mathurin and Terry apart a little.

“I just told him that all that macho stuff is fake, to lock in on getting better: ‘You guys need to compete with each other, not compete against each other,’” Lloyd said. “Dalen definitely has juice and brings it every day and Benn’s not afraid of that. I don’t think Benn has quite as much pizzazz or however you want to say it, but we had some tough moments early in the season and Benn was great in those huddles.

“Sometimes, guys say things in those huddles but they’re not able to back it up. Benn was on the guys in the huddles … and then he went out and made huge clutch plays.”

At the same time, Lloyd indicated that Terry also has a substance to him that lies beneath all that showmanship, one reason he improved dramatically as a do-everything sophomore.

“Incredible spirit,” Lloyd said. “I love Dalen and I love coaching him. If you were to ask me a year ago at this time if we would be having a Zoom and Dalen would have been the 18th pick, I’d probably say, ‘Don’t bet on it.’

“But this kid came so far in a year and it’s a credit to his work. I know you guys see the enthusiasm and all that stuff, and it kind of grabs your attention. The way I experienced it, was very authentic. He practiced his butt off every day. He comes to work with a smile on his face. You can bring him in your office and have tough, honest conversations and he participates in those.

“I love his energy and I love his spirit. I think that’s an important part but what I love more is just at the core he’s a high character dude. My only sad thing is that I don’t get to coach him again.”

During his Zoom call, Lloyd also addressed a few topics relevant to his returning Wildcats. Among them:

He said while he could add another player to his 2022-23 roster, which has 11 scholarship players, the Wildcats now have a “workable rotation” after acquiring transfers Courtney Ramey (Texas) and Cedric Henderson (Campbell).

Graduate walk-on transfer Matt Lang chose the Wildcats after looking at NYU and Notre Dame to play his “super senior” season while also studying accounting. “He wanted a little change of scenery,” Lloyd said. “I told him there’s no promises, no guarantees of anything but that it’s a great place to be and if he wanted to be a part of it for a year, he’s a guy that I trust and I know he’ll add to the culture.”

Freshman center Dylan Anderson has begun working out at UA and Lloyd said he’s “been on him pretty good,” adding that Anderson faces a steep learning curve but can become a great player.

While Lloyd said he didn’t want to put too much pressure on incoming freshman Henri Veesaar, he said the Estonian big man is very versatile and mobile. “I think he adds value with rim protection and moving his feet on defense,” Lloyd said. “Offensively, I think he has a little bit of an understanding how to play in some of this movement, pick-and-roll stuff.”

Lloyd said it might be tough for departed senior guard Justin Kier to find an NBA minicamp or Summer League invitation, but that Kier has great potential to play at a high level in Europe. “He’s got great energy, he’s a fun person to be around and he’s open-minded,” Lloyd said. “To me, that’s a huge key to being successful in Europe.”


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