Continuing with the 2012 Loyola recruiting class, we now present senior forward Matt O'Leary. Check out yesterday's interview with combo guard Darell Combs as well. Porter Moser has already spoken volumes about Matt and for good reasons. "Matt has tremendous range on his shot for someone who is 6-foot-8 but he is more than just a shooter," Moser said. "He has worked very hard to develop a pull-up shot and on his dribble drive to the basket."
O'Leary resembles a powerful and big scorer the Ramblers can utilize for years to come. Seeing some of his film, he reminds me of a young Ben Averkamp, similar size and style of play. Expect him to bulk a bit as well to add another facet of post presence to complement his stellar shooting.
Terre Haute North High School (Indiana)
Height: 6'7" Weight: 200lbs
Junior Season STATS: 9.3 ppg, 5 rpg, 2.4 apg, 35 blocks (1.3 bpg), 40% 3-point FG
Rambler Hoops: What is your biggest strength as a basketball player?
Matt O'Leary: "I believe my biggest strength as a basketball player is being a versatile big man, as I can score inside and out."
Rambler Hoops: What do you enjoy doing when you're off the court?
Matt O'Leary: "When I'm off the court I really enjoy watching any sport on television, especially college basketball. I also enjoy hanging out with my friends and with my three older brothers."
RH: What were some of the other schools recruiting you and which your main choices?
M.O.: "A few of the other schools recruiting me were Wright St., Ball St., Evansville, Furman, Lafayette, Boston, and Jacksonville."
RH: What ultimately drew you to Loyola and confirmed your decision to become a Rambler?
M.O.: "What ultimately drew me to Loyola was the fact that the campus is amazing, I see the program as one that has a chance to be very successful in the future, and the proximity to home relative to all of the other colleges that were interested."
RH: What are you looking to work on, during your senior year of High School basketball?
M.O.: "The main things I am looking to improve during my senior season are my one dribble pull-up jumpshots and my perimeter defense."
RH: What do you think of the Bulls (or your favorite NBA team) chances this year?
M.O.: "Haha actually my favorite NBA team is the Indiana Pacers. I believe they are going to have the best year they've had in awhile, maybe #5 team in the East."
RH: Tell us a fun fact about yourself.
M.O.: "Butler has been one of my favorite college basketball teams over the past few years. Right when I signed with Loyola I all of a sudden developed a high dislike towards them!"
Hopefully, O'Leary turns the table on Butler and helps Loyola upset the perennial Horizon League powerhouse.