BYU COUGARS

Bright Future Awaits For BYU Basketball’s Caleb Lohner

May 24, 2021, 1:28 PM
Caleb Lohner - BYU Basketball...
Brigham Young Cougars forward Caleb Lohner (33) celebrates a 3-pointer against the San Francisco Dons in Provo on Thursday, Feb. 25, 2021. (Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News)
(Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News)

PROVO, Utah – From the moment Caleb Lohner arrived on campus at BYU, many believed he had big potential in his collegiate career. That potential began to be realized during his freshman season this past season.

Lohner was a starter for a BYU team that landed a 6-seed in the NCAA Tournament and posted a 20-win season in a COVID-impacted year. A native of Flower Mound, Texas, who later concluded his prep career at Wasatch Academy in Mount Pleasant, Lohner gave flashes of how good he can become at BYU.

Last year as a true freshman, Lohner started in 13 games and played in all 27, posting averages of 7.0 points, 7.1 rebounds, and 1.2 assists per game.

Mark Pope on Lohner: “I’m telling you, he’s going to be a star.”

As many newcomers tend to do early in the season, the game was a little bit fast for Lohner. But once the former Utah signee settled in, he became a key piece for BYU as they vaulted up rankings. Including a ranking in the final AP Top 25 for the second year in a row. Something that BYU hoops hasn’t accomplished since the days of Jimmer Fredette.

What helped Lohner make his mark early with the program was his rebounding. Physically, Lohner was not your typical freshman. At 6-foot-8, 230-pounds, Lohner had a frame and a build ready to compete at a high level in Division I basketball. It showed itself as he had three games pulling down 10 rebounds, including the NCAA Tournament loss to UCLA.

Having watched BYU basketball the past quarter-century, Lohner might be the most aggressive rebounder I’ve seen at BYU. Right up there with Kyle Collinsworth and Yoeli Childs.

Back in March, BYU head coach Mark Pope told reporters, “I’m telling you, he’s going to be a star. If he can keep worrying about the right things, his trajectory is crazy. It’s awesome.”

Former teammate is excited for the future at BYU for Caleb Lohner

With big man Matt Haarms officially moving on to pursue a career in the NBA and BYU still awaiting a decision from Alex Barcello, Lohner is one of the faces of the program for next season. A role one of his former teammates believes he’s ready for.

“The future is so bright for Caleb,” said Matt Haarms when asked about Lohner’s potential at BYU during an interview with KSL Sports. “Just seeing his development over the first season, it was ridiculous almost. With the fragmented offseason, he had, just seeing him come in and develop into a starting level player. I think he’s going to be easily an All-WCC player next year. I just think his potential is out of this world.”

A thrill-seeker off the court with hypebeast type of swag, Lohner is a cool customer who will be looked upon to take on a big leap in his game next year.

“The athleticism that he has and his ability to shoot the basketball, he was really coming into his own in the second half of the season,” Haarms said. “I just think his potential is through the roof. He is such a good player. And he’s just a joy to be around. Those are the guys you want to get there.”

Time to put in the work

For Lohner to make those leaps in his game, embracing the grind and the work will have to be there. During his freshman year, Lohner showed a glimpse into his work ethic moments after a double-overtime win over Pacific.

After missing a pair of free throws that sent the game into overtime, Lohner immediately came back out onto the Marriott Center floor after the win to put up free throws.

“He’s worked so hard. It’s clear to see how he put himself in a position to go start in an NCAA Tournament,” Haarms said. “It’s really clear to see that if you’re around this program every single day. I’m just so excited for him. …I know he’s gonna grow into a leadership role for this team, whether it be next year or two years in the future, but he’s going to be a phenomenal player for this BYU program.”

Mitch Harper is a BYU Insider for KSLsports.com and host of the Cougar Tracks Podcast (SUBSCRIBE) and Cougar Sports Saturday (Saturday from 12-3 pm) on KSL Newsradio. Follow him on Twitter: @Mitch_Harper.

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