City of Palms Spotlight: Kevin Love

When the 2006 media guide is written for the City Palms, there might be a new section in the back of the book. Most rebounds in a game. And the list will start with Kevin Love.
The 6-foot-8 behemoth from Lake Oswego (Ore.) High School pulled down 27 official rebounds, although that number could be as high as 35. He single handily beat Compton (Calif.) Dominguez on the glass 27-21.
Love's rebounds weren't easy one either. They came against two, sometimes three, guys. He did it in traffic, he did it by tipping in offensive rebounds. He did it 12 feet away from the basket.
Mind you, Love isn't an athletic freak like a Ben Wallace. He isn't a muscular force like Karl Malone. In fact, Love isn't a great jumper nor the quickest player but he's crafty in the sense he finds where the ball is coming off the rim, uses his big body to lock away the other rebounders and uses his magnets for hands to secure the roundball.
Rebounding wasn't the only thing Love did well in Lake Oswego's 68-59 win over Dominguez. The junior was playing like a guard at times, showing off his handle and his court vision. Always a tremendous passer, Love was playing like he grew up on Rucker Park. He was shooting from deep with perfect form.
As good as Love was, he could be better. He knows it. He'll tell you that. He knows he isn't in tip top shape. A lot of times, Love would grab the board, throw the outlet pass and watch the offense run from the other side of the floor.
He has big-time skills. And without stating the obvious, he'll be a fun guy to watch at the college level. The kid brings it. That's why every school from coast to coast wants Love on it's roster.
Three schools are holding onto the top spot right now, Love says. North Carolina, Duke and UCLA. They have long been the heavy favorites.
"People say UCLA is my family because that is where a lot of my family is but I'm looking to play anywhere," Love said. "You have some of the best basketball coaches in North Carolina. Roy Williams and Mike Krzyzewski - why wouldn't you want to play with them?"
You can bet Love won't be sending Dick Vitale a Christmas card this year. On two different live television broadcasts said Love was headed to UCLA but that wasn't, and isn't, the case.
"What was he thinking? Seriously, what was he thinking?," Love said. "I really don't know."
The Bruins are in the top three, though, and Love said he's considering all of his options. He even has a second tier of schools on his list that includes Connecticut, Ohio State, Southern Cal, Washington and others on it. Talk to Love and you get a real sense that he's pretty set on the big three of North Carolina, Duke and UCLA.
Duke has always been a favorite of Love's. He'll admit that. But the Blue Devils seemed to be more interested in another Oregon star, Kyle Singler. Love said the Blue Devils have entered the picture now, though.
"Now they're in, they are really in," Love said of the Blue Devils. "Coach K finally got in contact with me. I'm asking my friend Kyle Singler (who is one of Duke's top 2007 targets) what is up with Duke? Why aren't they calling me? I really have interest in them. They've been my dream school so Coach K finally called me and I was excited that they finally started to get into the running a little bit."
So if Duke his "dream school" and if Coach K decides he wants Love on his team, will the charismatic Rose City native pull the trigger for the Blue Devils?
"They have a fair shot as anybody else," Love says. "I'm just saying that it is such a top program and I've been considering them my whole life and it's somewhere that I'd like to go, it opens up my options and it gives me one more option that I'd love to have. I just want to have options."