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Caleb Lohner Eye Test

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NCAA Basketball: San Diego State at Brigham Young Jeffrey Swinger-USA TODAY Sports

Happy Monday fammo. I am absolutely exhausted by the NCAAM off-season folks. We were riding an emotional high of a vibe with the Bridges commitment, to then be absolutely gutted by Mayer and Flagler declaring for the draft.

But right when I am ready to pack it in and be down bad all weekend the Drew Crew pulls me right back in. Scott Drew and Baylor MBB shoot out cryptic tweets that go unsolved for hours, and then BOOM another key transfer to fill a need, Caleb Lohner commits.

Like we did last week for Bridges, let’s take a look back at what Lohner has done in high school and college, and what we can expect him to bring to the Bears.

NCAA Basketball: San Diego State at Brigham Young Jeffrey Swinger-USA TODAY Sports

Stats, Measurables, and Background

Caleb Lohner is coming to Baylor from BYU, a future Big 12 rival. Lohner returns to his home state of Texas after spending his first two college seasons in Provo. Lohner is 6’ 8” 235 lbs. and can play any of the 3, 4, or 5. The immediate reaction is that Lohner can bridge the gap for the Bears until EJ returns, or fill in depth if Mayer stays in the draft. Lohner will have three years of eligibility remaining.

Lohner spent his Freshman and Sophomore years of high school at Flower Mound High School in Texas, before transferring to Wasatch Academy in Utah to finish his high school career. He was the #2 player coming out of Utah in the class of 2020. ESPN had Lohner rated at a 4-star recruit out of high school, with a scout rating of 81. As a senior at Wasatch Academy, Lohner averaged 14.3 PPG, 5.8 RPG, 1.7 APG, and 1.3 SPG. According to his profile on the Wasatch Academy website, Lohner has a 40” vertical to go with his 6’8” frame, so that’s fun for the whole family.

Lohner had originally signed with the University of Utah, before asking for a release from his National Letter of Intent to instead sign with BYU. In his Freshman year at BYU Lohner appeared in 27 games, starting in 13. He averaged 7.0 PPG, 7.1 RPG, and 1.2 APG.

Last season as a Sophomore Lohner played in 35 games for BYU, starting in 31. Lohner averaged 7.0 PPG, 6.4 RPG, and 1.1 APG. The concerning statistic is that he shot only 55% from the free throw line and 21% from three. Something to note, a potential reason for the shooting issues could be attributed to a hand injury that plagued Lohner most of last season.

Based on Lohner’s high school recruiting profile, high school highlights, and college tape, I think his statistics downplay his overall ability. The system fit at BYU wasn’t as good as the fit at Baylor, so I expect Lohner’s production and impact to increase in the Green and Gold.

NCAA Basketball: Brigham Young at Gonzaga James Snook-USA TODAY Sports

Tale of the Tape

We are back to digging deep into my bag of highlight watching and my favorite thing about Lohner actually no longer exists. He used to have absolutely incredible hair. If you tracked with me last season you know I fell in love with Jeremy Sochan’s blonde look; sweet hair is a one way ticket to my heart for hoopers.

Caleb I know you will read this, please give the people what they want and grow the lettuce back out. Our man was a side of Chick-fil-A avocado lime ranch short of a full salad. Thanks. For the loyal ODB’ers please see below, the hair was immaculate.

Lohner Offensive Game

Lohner really is the definition of a tweener Forward. He thrived in space in high school, but BYU’s scheme had Lohner playing a lot in the post. I expect Lohner to play much better as a Bear, operating in space with Baylor’s three or four guard lineup.

Lohner is extremely athletic. He is quick in the paint and has great footwork. The fundamentals combined with the athleticism make him a threat to dunk on just about anyone. The bounce isn’t the same as Kendall Brown’s, but it will be fun to have someone committed to catching bodies on the regular again.

Because Lohner spent some time as a small forward and shooting guard in high school, he is a decent ball handler for a bigger player. Lohner has good court vision and is a solid decision maker and passer. Lohner is extremely unselfish and makes his teammates better.

Lohner has great shooting form, and was a high level three point shooter in high school. He hasn’t knocked down threes at a high rate in college, shooting 33% his Freshman year and 21% his Sophomore year. Again, injuries and scheme may play a factor here. I anticipate he will shoot better in Baylor’s offense where he will have more clean looks and space to operate.

Lastly, Lohner is a really solid transition big man. He gets out running if he isn’t the primary rebounder and helps space the floor in transition. When Lohner does secure defensive rebounds, he is a great outlet passer and makes quick decisions to initiate transition offense.

Lohner Defensive Game

Admittedly there is less tape on Lohner’s defensive game because the attention grabs are him dunking on people. But here is what I saw in limited highlights.

Lohner is a high IQ player on defense. It is clear that he understood assignments at BYU and was able to defend almost anyone on a switch. He may struggle a bit when switched on to a point guard, but other than that he can match up with just about anyone. This is good news for how he fits into Baylor’s switch everything defensive scheme.

Lohner has good recovery speed to help defend and block shots. He moves well in the paint and stays out of foul trouble while still being physical in the post.

X-Factors

Lohner’s energy is the primary X-Factor here. The tape shows him consistently being involved in almost every rebound and loose ball. Lohner is an ultra high energy player that exudes effort.

I expect Lohner to bring a level of physicality that was lacking last season, especially following the EJ injury. When EJ comes back I think having Lohner and EJ on the court together will be incredible.

Final Verdict

I will sound like a broken record here, but the staff smashed this transfer pickup. Lohner was rated as a 4-star transfer according to EvanMiya.com, and will be an incredible fit.

It seems like Lohner’s teammates really enjoyed playing alongside him from the interviews I found online, and that is a huge factor in bringing in a transfer. We have discussed everything that Lohner does on the court, and I fully expect Baylor Nation to fall in love with this guy.

Who would have thought that Scott Drew and company would land a 6’ 8” athletic big who surfs, was in a band, and loves dunking on people? I’ll say it not me.

I am really excited about the way this roster is shaping out. There are limited scholarships left on the roster, which makes me think that Mayer is likely staying in the draft; and I am holding on to hope that Flagler returns. Either way, Lohner will be a huge help and step in the right direction to complete the Baylor MBB roster for the 2022-2023 season.