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Baylor’s Caleb Lohner Motivated To Beat Former School BYU

Jan 8, 2024, 3:06 PM | Updated: Jan 9, 2024, 7:00 am

Caleb Lohner, Baylor Bears, BYU Basketball...

Baylor Bears forward Caleb Lohner is excited to face his old team the BYU Cougars in a Big 12 Conference matchup. (Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images)

(Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images)

WACO, Texas – When BYU basketball takes the floor in their Big 12 road debut against No. 14 Baylor, a familiar face will be on the opposing sideline.

That’s former BYU forward Caleb Lohner.

After transferring from BYU, the 6-foot-8, 235-pound Lohner is in his second year with the Bears program.

Caleb Lohner on facing BYU basketball for the first time since transferring

Tuesday night’s Top 25 showdown inside the $212 million Foster Pavilion will be the first time Lohner faces his old team. Safe to say, he’s excited for the game.

“I think when you transfer from a school, you want to beat them,” Lohner said with a smile on Monday. “But [BYU’s] got a great program and a great team. So I mean, either way, selfishly, for me, it would be a great win. But also for the team. They’re a great basketball program. So any game in the Big 12 we can win is a good game.”

Lohner spent two years with the BYU basketball program. He was a heavily recruited prospect from Dallas, Texas, who finished his prep career at Wasatch Academy in Mt. Pleasant, Utah.

The once long, curly-haired Lohner signed with Utah out of high school and then flipped to BYU. While with the Cougars, he was a starter on a BYU squad that appeared most recently in the NCAA Tournament in 2021.

Then, the following year, he had a roller coaster of a season offensively while playing the center spot. Despite only shooting 21.3% from three, Lohner was still viewed as a “big chunk” of BYU’s future as they prepared to transition into the Big 12 Conference.

Lohner wanted his future in the Big 12, just not at BYU. He entered the Transfer Portal and ended up with Baylor, a program that recruited him out of high school.

“In my situation, I think I need to be at Baylor. That was it. But yeah, still great relationships over there [at BYU].”

Since joining the Bears last year, Lohner has come off the bench in a reserve role, averaging around 12 minutes and three points per game in two seasons.

Five players on this year’s 12-2 BYU squad, looking to bounce back after a home loss to Cincinnati, were teammates with Lohner. Those players include star forward Fousseyni Traore, sharpshooter Trevin Knell, starter Spencer Johnson, Trey Stewart, and Atiki Ally Atiki.

“I still keep up with quite a few of the guys. A lot of guys that I’ve played with in the past at BYU are great guys,” Lohner said.

Baylor coach Scott Drew is using Caleb Lohner as a resource for BYU prep

That familiarity with BYU is something Baylor wants to use to their advantage.

“Well, we’ve tried to get all the information we can out of Caleb,” said Baylor head coach Scott Drew. “So make sure that we’re on point with what we’re seeing and what we’re doing. He’s got a lot of respect and a lot of friends there.”

So, what does Lohner’s scouting report look like on BYU?

“They shoot the ball really well. They cut and are super active, especially when they’re big (Aly Khalifa) gets it at the top of the key; they run all these different motions and pin-downs and ball screens. So, fast-paced team on offense,” Lohner said. “I think it will be important for us to talk through a lot of those switches and defensive schemes that we’re going to have going into the game. But they’re a great basketball team, great basketball program. So it’s going to be a good one.”

Lohner isn’t the only one going into Tuesday with extra motivation. His Baylor teammates know the dynamics of the Big 12 showdown against No. 18 BYU.

“It’s just an extra emphasis on the game now,” Baylor guard/forward Langston Love said about the storyline of Lohner facing his old team. “We want to fight for our brothers. With him coming from there, we definitely don’t want to lose to them. So we’re just rallying behind Caleb at this point.”

No. 18 BYU vs. No. 14 Baylor

Date: Tuesday, January 9, 2024

Tip-off: 7 p.m. (MT)/8 p.m. (CT)

Arena: Foster Pavilion

TV: Big 12 Now on ESPN+

Radio: KSL NewsRadio (102.7 FM, 1160 AM)

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 p.m.) on KSL Newsradio. Follow Mitch’s coverage of BYU in the Big 12 Conference on X and Threads: @Mitch_Harper.

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Baylor’s Caleb Lohner Motivated To Beat Former School BYU