Las Vegas: Mario Kegler

LAS VEGAS —Although still listed as a wing player, Mario Kegler seemed almost determined to force a position change here at Scout. The Mississippi product has become a robust, multi-dimensional force and is now built and styled more like a hybrid who can play inside-out. Ranked No. 41 in the 2016 class, Kegler performed tremendously on Thursday for MBA Hoops.

There’s a touch of mean to Mario Kegler — maybe more than a touch. Stocky and long-armed at 6-7, 225 pounds, he still possesses the ability to primarily play on the wing offensively. He launches high-arching jump shots with range past the stripe and also handles and passes well for 6-7.

Meanwhile, he’s abundantly strong for the post to snatch rebounds, hammer down slams in traffic, score via a medium post-up game and work defensively against opposing bigs. He’s less quick laterally than many wings and thus he may need to defend bigger foes in college, but that’s an issue he and his coaches can resolve later.

On this day Kegler effectively operated without position. He brutalized the Upward Stars on the interior and in transition, making plays on the move and serving as the chief finisher of teammates’ passes to the rim. He also bothered opponents with his physicality on defense, shoving and bumping them to force turnovers.

”I came out feeling like ‘Bron today, so I just put on a show,” Kegler said with a smile. “I just want to come out here and compete, play against the top players and show that I’m one of the top players in the country myself.”

Kegler certainly doesn’t lack for accolades and recruiting attention. Oklahoma State was three deep for his afternoon contest, including Travis Ford, Mississippi State coach Ben Howland attended, and so did representatives for Arizona State and multiple other schools.

Maryland, Arizona State, Mississippi State, Oklahoma State, that’s just some of the schools on me hard,” Kegler said. “I’m not rushing and don’t have a timetable yet.”

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