Jeff Goodman of ESPN is reporting that Novak Topalovic, a grad transfer who played at Idaho State last season, has named LMU among a list of teams who have shown interest in him.
The 230-pound center started 30 games last season, averaging 10.7 points and 6.8 rebounds while shooting 53% from the floor and blocking 32 shots. Mostly an inside scorer with limited range (55% on FTs), he’s known primarily as a strong defensive player.
Last season Topalovic faced three of LMU’s opponents. Against BYU, he was 8-12 from the floor for 16 points and 2 rebounds. He also had an assist. He played against CSUN twice. The first time, he was for 4-8 from the floor and 5-6 on FTs for 13 points to go with 6 rebounds and 2 blocks. The second game he was 5-11 and scored 11 points to go with 3 rebounds and an assist. He also played against Portland State twice. In the first game he had 7 points, 2 rebounds and a block, while in the second game he had 14 rebounds and 2 blocks to go with 7 points.
Topalovic would be an intriguing player to team up with Mattias Markusson to provide the Lions with a powerful inside presence that would certainly create matchup problems for LMU’s opponents. More likely they could combine to keep a steady inside presence with 10 fouls to give.
A native Serbian whose hometown is Niš, Serbia, Topalovic played for two years locally at Santa Margarita Catholic High School, where he carried a 3.71 GPA.
Other schools currently in the mix are Utah, Oregon State, Colorado, USC, Nevada, Wake Forest, Santa Clara, Pepperdine, Cal State Fullerton and UC Santa Barbara.
As a grad transfer, Topalovic is eligible to play immediately.