Kevon Looney's debut appearance at Scout.com occurred during his freshman season, when he broke through at the NY2LA Swish 'N Dish. There, he impressed so much with his perimeter ability — and stood only 6-5 at the time — that he first slotted as a full-time wing. He proceeded to capture conference player of the year honors as a sophomore, averaging 23 points per game.
He sprouted to a full 6-8 and entered the 2012 travel season as one of the country's most touted rising juniors. Marquette, Wisconsin, Tennessee and Georgetown jumped into the race early in order to initiate a long-standing relationship.
By the end of that summer, scouts began to view him as more of a face-up power forward as opposed to a wing. His shoulders broadened slightly and his talents seemed best suited for an inside-out game.
Heading into his junior season, he'd drawn offers from Georgetown, Marquette, Wisconsin, Tennessee, Michigan, Michigan State and Cincinnati, and others such as Louisville, North Carolina State, Florida State, Florida and Maryland followed suit last winter.
Looney entered the 2013 circuit as a top-10 prospect and increasingly hot commodity. He said in April that Duke, Michigan State and Florida were recruiting him hardest, and all three had stepped forward with offers. He took an early summer unofficial visit to Tennessee, which enjoys a family connection and has become highly visible in his recruitment.
He performed in characteristically impressive fashion this past July, showcasing his versatile and consistent game. By early August he was ready to craft a list of finalists: Duke, Florida, Tennessee, UCLA, Michigan State and Wisconsin. He's currently making official visits and will pick from among that list of favorites.
Looney fits the word "rangy" to a tee. He has very long arms and high shoulders, making him functionally much taller than 6-8. He rebounds extremely well on both ends of the court, due to both his length and outstanding anticipation, matched with commendable effort.
Quietly, then, he racks up production without always operating in eye-catching fashion. He authors abundant ink in the stat sheet without necessarily stepping forward as a dominant offensive force, scoring on putbacks and drawing frequent trips to the foul line.
But that isn't to say he lacks skill. Looney scores in the post via turnaround jump shots and smooth hooks, and he also can step out to the perimeter and bury long bombs. He projects as a legitimate face-up four man, not someone who aspires to become one at some uncertain point in the future.
He's a good dribbler and passer at 6-8 and is very fluid in tight spaces. Control and efficiency are Looney trademarks, and that applies to defense as well. He's a fine shotblocker who, along with his defensive rebounding prowess, projects more naturally on that end as a four than he does as a three.
In terms of intangibles, his hard work and competitive nature make him a safe bet to compete for an immediate starting position in college. Many have bemoaned the relatively non-competitive nature of summer basketball, but he's a determined competitor who doesn't play down to even more casual settings.
While long and fluid, Looney isn't tremendously explosive. He doesn't possess the lightning-quick reactions or quick leaping ability displayed by some other elites, and of course athleticism concerns always cast at least something of a shadow on a player's long-term potential.
His key will be to become a dead eye jump shooter. He's lengthy enough to score against even superior leapers, but his ticket to stardom is to enhance already-solid shooting mechanics.
As mentioned above, Looney is far more effective as a power forward defensively due to so-so lateral quickness. Few players at that size can guard on the perimeter, however, and thus that's not at all troubling for college.
In fact, he could become so effective inside on both ends at the next level that his NBA maturation — where he'll need to transition into an outside/in player — may require an extra season or two to unlearn his college exploits. He also must become more physical, something that should occur as he gains strength.
Looney's tangibles and intangibles make him among the easiest prospects to scout in the senior class. His game is largely predictable, but in this instance I intend that as a compliment. Though perhaps not a future alpha scorer, he combines ample skill, length and intangibles to assemble a very successful career. To surpass these high expectations, creating his own perimeter shot — and knocking them down at a high clip — stands as the primary goal.