Top100: One on one with Kevon Looney

He's one of Duke's top targets in the class of 2014, and this week he's getting a chance to match up against some of the top players in the country at the NBA Top 100 Camp. So what's new with five star combo forward Kevon Looney? TDD sat down with him to get the latest.

You and Abdul Malik Abu matched up this morning, what was that matchup like for you?

Kevon Looney: Abdul is pretty good, and he's strong, so I had to move around and be active on the court, especially since he's stronger than me.

What's it like for you coming in as a known guy to this camp?

It's a real honor, because last year I came here and I wasn't as known a guy, so I've been working real hard to get better. It's a great honor.

You kept a quiet profile this past year, was it by choice to not do as much media wise?

Just by choice, really. I don't talk to media much except for when I'm at a place like here. I'll talk to them, but when I'm at home, I'm just a regular kid, I just focus on school, have a regular life.

How's the recruiting process progressing for you?

Everything is the same. I'll probably narrow my list down at the end of July though. I wouldn't say I have a Top 10, but the favorite schools right now are Duke, Florida, Michigan State, Michigan, Tennessee, Stanford, Georgetown and UCLA came in for a late push.

How much are you interacting with the staffs?

Actually they just opened it up for me. Before they would call my parents and my parents would give me the phone and I'd talk to, but now, the coaches have my phone number and they call me and I contact them.

So who are you making an effort to call coaches wise?

They call so much, I just treat them all the same.

Do you have a favorite coach you talk to so far?

No, I don't have a favorite yet, they are all pretty interesting people.

How did the in-home visits go for you? Who came in again?

Duke came in, Florida came in, and Wisconsin came in. Wisconsin's on my list. Stanford was supposed to come in, but couldn't because they had some plane issues.

Who represented Duke at the in-home visit?

It was Coach K, Coach James and Coach Wojo. It was a great visit, they had a great presentation.

What made it "great" in your opinion?

They are great coaches and they had a lot of great stories to tell you. They talked about a lot of the great players they've coaches before that you see on TV a lot, and they even brought me a video to show me with guys like Grant Hill, the Team USA guys, and it was a nice presentation. They see me as a 3/4 player, and it seemed like he had a lot of plans for me.

What was your reaction to the Duke visit?

It was a great experience for me. I hadn't really talked with Coach K, so he came in and it seemed like he really wanted to coach me, it was a great visit, very surprising.

What was surprising about it?

We didn't get too much into his personal life, but we did find out that his anniversary was the same as my parents, so that was something we really liked.

How about the other visits?

Yeah, Florida came in, and I really liked Billy Donovan. He came in with another coach, they talked about skill development and players they've had that are similar to me, like Chandler Parsons, different players that do good in their system who are in the NBA.

Do you have any schools that you know for sure you want to take?

Not for sure, but I plan on taking visits in August and in the Fall. I want to make sure I have a decision made by the time the season starts, which is in November. No favorites right now in terms of visits.

Sounds like the in-homes were really key for you.

Yeah but I also had some school visits earlier in the year too, so those will play into my consideration as well.

How big is the location of a school like Wisconsin, being local?

It's a serious consideration, and Bo Ryan's a great guy, and a great coach. You are right, they are close to home, they always win, so that is a consideration.

You're listed as a stretch big forward, does that fit in your opinion?

I don't really look at that position. At first I was like, I want to be a three, so now I just take what people see me as with how they want me to play. If they say they want me to be a three, then I'll do that; if they say I'll be a four, then I can do that too, I just go out and play no matter what.

Back to the Duke visit, have you formed an opinion on their style of play?

I like their style of play. I see it as an open opportunity in their offense, and people like my size have the opportunity to shoot threes and attack the basket and to play a great role.

How did you react to three coaches coming for an in-home visit?

It's always a big deal whenever you a coach is in your living room, you know. I mean, your mom wants everything to be perfect, and so you gotta talk nice and dress nice, so it's always a big deal when a coach comes in, and it was a big deal for Coach K to come in because he's like a big star, you see him on TV a lot, so it was a big deal.

Was it difficult to get comfortable with him?

It's always easy to get comfortable with the coaches in your house because my mom, that's what she likes, she likes having people over to the house to hang out, so she always breaks the ice, she's a great entertainer of people when they come over.

What was the interaction with the coaches like?

We just talked a lot, and had a conversation. They came in about 6:00 PM, and they didn't leave until it was like 10:30, it was a great talk.

Heading into the in-home portion of the visits, was it fair to say everyone was even?

They were all even, and I didn't have a favorite. Before the visit, I wasn't even talking to the coaches on the phone at that point.

Looking back on the visits, were there any questions you wish you could have asked?

No, they all do a pretty good job at covering everything. We got to ask a lot of questions to them. My parents asked questions, I did, my coach, my brother, we all had questions that were answered.

What kind of questions did you parents have?

They asked a lot of questions, my parents, they make it more like a conversation so they can see if a coach is giving a spiel or if they really care about me and have a plan. They ask questions about the program, about the academics because it's a goal of theirs that I graduate from college.

How do you feel about that goal? Are you a four year player for sure in college or are you hoping to go pro earlier?

Whatever happens, if the opportunity to go pro earlier is there, then that's great or if I have to play for four years and then go, that'll be great too.

Would you say it's a dream of yours to be a one and done player?

My dream is to be in the NBA, if it takes 2 years or 1 or whatever, I don't know.

What are the key factors for you in narrowing down your list to five schools?

Probably communication. Who I'm talking to the most, and who I can build the best relationship over the rest of this next month or so and what we've been building since before.

Which coaches are you talking the most with recently?

They all call a whole lot, and sometimes I can't answer them all.

Who then are you taking the calls from them recently?

Well, I try to take most of them, but Fife, from Michigan, he calls a lot. Other schools, like Duke, they don't as much, but when they call, I do answer the phone. Tennessee is calling a lot and Georgetown, they just got my number, I still need to talk with John Thompson.

Which coach from Duke does most of the calling?

Lately, it's been Nate James, he's the person who stays in contact with me.

How big a deal is it to stay in contact with head coaches?

It's a big deal because you do prefer to talk with the head coaches if possible. Like with UCLA, I prefer to hear from the head coach instead of the assistant when possible. But if I talk to the head coach already, it's cool to talk with the assistants as well.

Is it fair to assume the schools who conducted the in-home visits have a leg up in your recruitment at this point?

I would say yes, but I had already sat down at school with a few of those schools before, so it wasn't the same atmosphere, but it was the same type of thing as when they are in your home.

How big a deal is your parents input in your decision?

It's my decision, but I'm going to listen to my parents with my decision because they've raised me for this long, and you have to take into consideration what they are saying. They tell me it's my decision and that they will support me wherever I want to go.

Are there other people outside of your parents and brother who are playing a prominent role in advising you in your recruitment?

I would say it's my parents, and then my AAU coach, those are the main people.

Does your AAU coach have various schools he talks about or offers advice on?

He doesn't have any concerns with anyone, and we don't really talk about it a lot. He'll tell me like which coaches are calling him and usually when we talk, he'll come over to the house and talk it over with everybody, just like one big family.

How big a deal are official visits to you in your decision?

I think they are a big deal, and I want to take all five visits. My parents always say you need to see a campus in order to consider going there so you can see what it's like, you can't always trust everything they say.

Do you need to see a game on your visits?

That's not that important in my decision.

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