Trevor Kaslon has the type of game that catches the attention of college coaches.
The 6-foot-6 forward has the quickness and length to finish at the rim with either hand, and he’s more than capable of pulling up for a jumper off the dribble or connecting from beyond the 3-point line.
“He is going to be a matchup nightmare for the teams we play all season long,” Scotus head boys basketball coach Tyler Swanson said.
That skill set, along with a 33 1/2-inch no-step vertical leap and “consistent energy and focus on the floor,” landed Kaslon at No. 20 on the Omaha World-Herald’s list of the top Nebraska boys basketball players from the Class of 2018.
He certainly has the talent to play at the next level, but that’s far from Kaslon’s mind at this point.
“I’m just pushing it off to the side so I can focus on this season,” Kaslon said of the recruiting process.
That’s good news for the Shamrocks, who are counting on him to take on an even bigger role as a senior.
Kaslon, who was averaging 14.4 points per game before injuring his thumb last season, is the only returning Scotus player with significant varsity experience and the lone starter back from a 2016-17 team that finished fourth at the Class C-1 state tournament.
The Shamrocks lost eight seniors last season, a class that compiled a 94-19 record over four years and reached the state semifinals every season. They accounted for seven of the school’s eight all-time wins at the state tournament.
With those players gone, Kaslon knows his teammates will look to him for leadership and consistency on the court. He’s ready for the challenge.
“I’m just going to try to help everyone get better around me,” he said. “That’s really my main goal.”
Kaslon wants to have fun as a senior, but he also recognizes this season will be a learning process for many of his teammates.
“It will take some games to gain some experience,” said Kaslon, who believes the Shamrocks will continue to improve as the season progresses.
Swanson is already seeing the part Kaslon can play in that process.
“With everything Trevor does for us on the floor, the thing I’ve been most impressed with this year has been his leadership,” the Scotus coach said. “He pushes his teammates, not only vocally but physically, as well. He finishes first in all the conditioning drills, pushes teammates in different groups to work harder, helps kids to understand their role on the team and teaches inexperienced players how to run plays in our offense.”
Kaslon is also constantly working to improve his own game, whether he’s putting up shots at the local YMCA or working out in the weight room.
He passed on Legion baseball last summer to play for the Bison-Nebraska Red select team.
Kaslon said the experience of facing some of the nation’s top talent on the traveling team provided a big boost.
“You play against the best competition, so it just makes you a better player, especially when you come back to Nebraska and play C-1 teams,” he said.
But those C-1 teams will be focusing a whole lot more on shutting down Kaslon this season, something the Scotus senior is prepared for.
“It will definitely make me more aggressive,” he said of the increased attention from opposing defenses, “but on the other end of that I’ll probably dish the ball just as much to find the open guy because I can’t take every shot and we’ll need other guys to step up.”
Swanson is confident Kaslon can handle the pressure.
“Trevor is the kind of player that makes everyone around him better,” he said. “He does everything on the floor at a very high level. Teams that want to double him or sink people into the lane are going to get hurt by his ability to pass the ball.”
— Tyler Ellyson