Hometown: Dallas, Texas
High school: Wasatch Academy
To classify: Second year
Player preview Caleb Lohner
Lohner came to BYU last summer after signing with Utah, then decided BYU and Mark Pope were the best place for him. He got off to a slow start, but was an elite rebounder from the start and reversed his three-point shot in conference. In the WCC game, Lohner scored a dazzling 15-30 (50%) of three in 19 games after shooting 4-25 (16%) in a non-conference game.
Lohner was named to the WCC All-Freshman team and was rewarded earlier this year by being named Preseason First Team All-WCC.
Bouncing is Lohner’s best skill, as he averages 7.1 boards per game and was 89th nationally in defensive rebound percentage and 220th nationally in offensive rebound percentage, according to KenPom. With BYU a little more undersized this year, Lohner will rely on more to clean the glass and create second chance points with offensive rebounds. Its two biggest strengths are 1) rebounds and 2) outside shots to stretch the defense. The next phase of his game will be to create an attack from dribbling and screens, but if he can do the first two things very well and be a versatile defender, then he should be an All-Conference player by the end of the game. the season. and be on the NBA scout radar.
Lohner was a good defenseman for a freshman last year, and he will be asked to do more this year. Lohner will mainly play 4th place, but he will also sometimes play 5th in order to get the most talent on the pitch. When playing on the 5th, BYU will be able to get an additional wing like Seneca Knight or Trevin Knell on the ground to maximize BYU’s offensive firepower. A lineup of Alex Barcello, Te’Jon Lucas, Gideon George, Seneca Knight and Caleb Lohner ditch interior size, but they make up for it with some length, versatility, and plenty of scoring options.
If Lohner can become a consistent three-point shooter who shoots almost 40%, keeps multiple points on defense, and continues his elite rebound, then all he provides is gravy and we’ll start talking about the NBA. for him.
Player lineup: Julius Randle
Why do I say the New York Knicks All-Star forward? Well, that’s what BYU coaches are asking Lohner to model his game on, sources tell me. Randle was a freshman in Kentucky, started his NBA career well, and then rose to all-star level with the Knicks.
Coaches told Lohner to watch Randle because they’re both the same height. Randle entered the NBA with double-digit rebounds on average before developing his attacking game as his career progressed. Lohner is similar in that he’s already an elite rebounder but isn’t as developed offensively.
Becoming Randle is a daunting task, but if Caleb can come close, he will have a fantastic BYU career and a chance for the NBA.
Expectations 2021-2022: Beginner, Basic piece
Lohner will be one of the best 3-4 players for BYU this year. He’ll be asked to do more since BYU isn’t big, so the jump he makes from year one to year two will have a lot to say about BYU’s success this season. If he’s similar to freshman Caleb, then he’s a good starter, but BYU probably won’t win a game in the NCAA tournament. If he does a jump in year two and is a double-double guy who consistently hits all three and can keep the big guys and the wings, then BYU could be a Sweet 16 team.