Freshman Kevon Looney–with his 7-foot-plus wingspan–will get rebounds tonight at Arizona. Lots of them. Some offensive. The 6’8″ (6’9″?) Bruin from Madison, Wisconsin is thriving in the UCLA blue, averaging nearly 10 rebounds a game to go with his 13 points. Looney is a force of nature–wonderful to watch especially when a teammate’s shot goes up and his unteachable instinct for the ball takes over. Looney can guard multiple positions too, and competes hard. He’s a coach’s dream–good intangibles, strong footwork, unselfish. He’s a player any real basketball fan–excepting those at Arizona–should love watching.
Looney’s not all just nature though, despite his impressive size. He’s nurture, too, as evidenced by his strong face-up handle, good jumper and good spacing. That combination of size, speed and the ball-hawking instinct? Watching Looney you’re getting a peek at a pro–maybe a really good one. It’s games like tonight’s against the impressive Wildcats (23-3) that will help determine whether Looney’s NBA career starts next year or a little later. For UCLA to hang around against at Arizona, Looney’s gonna have to play his tune.
Here’s Kevon Looney’s high school recruitment mixtape: