C.O.P. Focus: Kevin Love

FORT MYERS, Fla. - Fortunately we had a front row seat for the Kevin Love show and we're trying to relay the dominance from Monday night. Plus, we've got Love's take on his closely guarded recruitment.


Kevin Love was spectacular Monday night in Lake Oswego's win over Compton Dominguez. Here's the deal: Love erupted for 27 points and 27 rebounds (we counted the tips and gave him a whooping 35!) in a scintillating performance.

Most college basketball fans will have to wait until he arrives at a program to see him, barring one of those ESPN specials which surely he'll be signed up for next season. So, in the absence of a live viewing, for the moment, we decided to relay some of the unique aspects of his game that were on display at the City of Palms this week.

During the Dominguez game, we chronicled a few of the stellar aspects of Love's amorous game.

THE ARSENAL (straight from our notes)

  • lefty cross court pass for a strike to an open teammate
  • led the break off a rebound
  • blocked shot
  • rebound, behind his back dribble after tipping the ball to himself
  • defensive rebound, full court assist to a streaking teammate
  • pump fake 3-pointer, missed shot
  • speed dribble from the wing to the rack for a bucket
  • Sebastian Telfair-like dime was a bouncer on the break in stride to a teammate
  • pick that leveled Brandon Jennings
  • nothing but net 3-pointer
  • winded, 3 minutes into the second half
  • chased a rebound from under the bucket to the 3-point arc
  • numerous power buckets against multiple defenders

    This guy scored every which way imaginable for a 6-foot-9, 265 pound (?) big man. Frankly, the only flaw that showed up in his game on Monday night was conditioning, a trait Love copped to afterwards.

    "I'm not where I should be yet," Love said of his conditioning. "But, you haven't seen anything yet. If I get more competition-wise like Brandan Wright, I'll you some other stuff."

    Amen to that. Wonder what's next?

    A sweat soaked Love chatted up reporters after inking a few autographs for some fans. Getting in touch with the big fella ain't easy, so the live chat was a bonus.

    "Everybody's trying to contact me left and right," Love said. "I just want to focus on basketball right now. Sometimes I don't pick up my phone.

    "I talk to my girlfriend and my mom and dad."

    Love's way too busy working on his game to focus on recruiting. To do the things he does on the court takes work. Obviously he's putting in loads of work in the gym refining aspects of his game. The work has paid off: he's a powerful force that impacts games. What's most impressive is how hard he works during a contest. The motor keeps on going and he's learning how to harness the power and pace himself.

    This guy plays so hard that a pay-per-view bout with Tyler Hansbrough is about the only way to measure his intensity. We'd hypothesize that both would collapse due to exhaustion since neither would give an inch.

    The book on Love's recruitment is the same. Duke, North Carolina and UCLA lead. They are the "A List." UNC was in the house on Monday. Love mentions Washington, Kansas, Illinois, Ohio State, Connecticut and Southern Cal when prompted for the "B List" but those guys aren't in the main mix right now.

    "I'm just going to wait on my options," Love said.

    Talk of a package deal with buddy Kyle Singler was broached and Love talked about how well he and Singler fit together.

    "On the court, you guys see it." However, the chemistry isn't enough; the fit has to be right for the both of them. "If he goes somewhere and it fits me …"

    Rumors circulate all the time about Love and his recruitment. Other junior commitments will have zero impact on him and from speaking with him directly one gets the sense he's in no rush to decide. This one is going to take a while to play out.

    In the meantime, the big fella is playing on and looking pretty darn magnificent in the process.


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