Young Knights will rely on sophomore standout | Boys basketball

Tyler Linhardt already is drawing interest from Division I programs
By David Pan | Aug 08, 2019 Edmonds Beacon

Courtesy of: King's High School
King’s Tyler Linhardt was the only freshman to earn first-team, all-league honors last season.
The King’s boys basketball team barely had time to come up for air during the spring and summer.
Between four tournaments, a summer league and the Gonzaga team camp, the Knights were hitting the hardwood almost every night.
It was a good thing, because King’s has some holes to fill in its lineup. The Knights graduated four key seniors, including three all-league standouts in Elyon Zevenbergen, Nate Kleppe and Hunter Reeves. With only a trio of returning seniors, coach Rick Skeen was glad to be able to get his players as much court time as possible in the offseason.
“We’re got some skilled guys, but we’re young,” Skeen said. “Youth always has some challenges. But if you’re going to be young, you should be young and skilled.”
That is an apt description of sophomore Tyler Linhardt, who made quite the impression during his freshman season. Linhardt was the lone freshman to earn first-team, all-league recognition.
Skeen noted that Linhardt, a 6-foot-7 forward, already has received a Division I offer from Eastern Washington, the first 2022 prospect in Washington to receive an offer. A highly regarded two-year school in Idaho that is viewed as a stepping stone to Division I ball also contacted Linhardt.
“A lot of people are calling and watching,” Skeen said. “He’s definitely on the radar. He hasn’t started his sophomore year of school.”
An obvious comparison that arises is between King’s graduate Corey Kispert, now at Gonzaga, and Linhardt. Skeen said there are similarities and differences between the two.
“But both are very skilled offensively. They do it a little bit differently,” Skeen said. “Corey’s a pure shooter. … Tyler’s game is score inside, score outside, score in the midrange. He’s just got a really aggressive mindset. He’s got a nose for putting the ball in the hole.”
During the Knights’ annual trip to Gonzaga, Linhardt turned heads after scoring 39 points against 4A Kamiak. Because of his overall impressive play at camp, Linhardt was selected to participate in a scrimmage with some of the Gonzaga players, including Kispert.
“Two of the 10 players on the court were from King’s,” Skeen said. “It makes a coach proud.”
Linhardt spent the offseason working on what most young players his age work on – defense.
“His rebounding has really improved a lot,” Skeen added. “He’s really strong on the boards.”
While the Knights are young, they do have some experience besides Linhardt. Junior Shane McGaughey-Fick will be a three-year starter and is expected to run the point.
Sophomore Jordan Hansen emerged as a scoring threat late in the season with five 3-point shots in the team’s upset of Lynden Christian.
“Jordan is going to be a high-level basketball player,” Skeen predicted. “He’s going to be really good.”
Skeen is looking to seniors Davis Campbell, Tyler Durbin and Jaron Hansen for veteran leadership. Junior Will Pohland and sophomore Lincoln Going are two players who had strong performances this summer.
The Knights not surprisingly displayed their youth and inexperience at times during the four tournaments.
“We had good moments. We had some not so good moments of not putting it together,” Skeen said. “We have a very skilled group that has a chance to have a really good year if they continue to work and come together. They could be really good the next few years.”