Lohaus draws raves from coaches

BY CHARLIE GREEN | JULY 28, 2015 5:00 AM

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Like a machine, Northern Iowa guard Wyatt Lohaus surveys what defenses give him from the point, calculates his next move, and decides the best course of action in a matter of seconds.

During that sliver of time, he’s waiting for the opportunity to do one thing: attack the basket.

“I’m always trying to attack and get the best shot for our team,” Lohaus said. “Whether that’s getting to the rim or pulling up, or getting the ball to someone else … my mindset is just to attack and go, go, go.”

His apparent ability to process what the defense presents to him allows him to act quickly — putting pressure on defenders to keep him in their focus.

Using screens as well as any guard in Prime Time, Lohaus has forced opponents to act fast against the pick-and-roll offense — in which given the smallest opening, he will not hesitate to take it to the basket.

His first instinct is to penetrate; it best suits his mid-range game. It also allows him to draw in defenders and pass to open teammates, a chance for him to showcase vision and pinpoint accuracy as a passer.

“He’s relentless on offense; if you get off him a second, he’s always probing,” league Commissioner Randy Larson said. “If he can get that mid-range jumper off, he’s really tough.”

One Prime Time coach even went as far as to compare him to a professional player — and one with four NBA championships.

“He’s able to hit that 14-foot shot, which no one else can easily hit,” Jill Armstrong coach Dan Ahrens said. “He can hit that mid-range shot off the dibble; he’s kind of like Tony Parker.”

The soon-to-be sophomore showed a clutch gene in Sunday’s semifinal loss to the Ahrens’ team as well.

Down by 3 in the waning seconds of the game, Lohaus went behind a screen to make just enough room for a clean look at a deep 3. The shot fell with 4.5 seconds remaining, only to be outdone by Dondre Alexander’s game winner as time expired.

Lohaus averaged 13.3 minutes for the Panthers as a freshman, scoring 3.8 points for a team that reached the second round of the NCAA Tournament.

This summer, he averaged 18.2 points in the pursuit of the escalation of his game as he enters his second college season.

“I’ve definitely worked on my ball-handling a lot, more coming off ball screens,” Lohaus said. “And not only shooting that pull-up but shooting that pull-up 3.”

One coach called Lohaus the most problematic player on Ray Swetalla’s Linn County Anesthesiologists team to account for defensively, a squad that includes Iowa guard Peter Jok and Northern Iowa’s Ted Friedman.

Others didn’t say that exactly but chose a different set of words to describe the youngster relative to his summer-league peers.

“He has the highest basketball IQ out here,” Ahrens said. “He just understands the game better than anybody out here.”

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