Friday, July 15, 2011 | 2:05 a.m.
But, when it comes to college recruiting, the rising senior forward has been lost in the shadow of players from Las Vegas area powers Bishop Gorman High and Findlay Prep — two nationally respected programs with rosters loaded with elite recruits.
Louder is starting to make a more of a name for himself this summer.
While he doesn’t have any scholarship offers, he’s been noticed playing in a variety of tournaments with his AAU team, the Las Vegas Dogcatchers. Louder is rated as the nation’s 94th best power forward for the class of 2012 by ESPN Rise, which rates him a two-star prospect on its scale of five stars.
Louder, however, isn’t your prototypical power forward. Weighing just 180 pounds, his biggest project this offseason has been adding bulk to his lanky frame.
“Louder has a sinewy frame with very long arms and nice amount of quickness as well,” ESPN evaluators wrote. “He runs well and has that type of frame that may add a couple of inches as well. At this stage he appears to be a finesse 4-man that can step out and nail the mid-range jump shot. Despite his sleek frame, he battles for rebounds (fairly quick leaper) and blocks some shots — showing nice timing on the defensive end.”
Coronado reached the Sunrise Regional semifinals last winter with senior guard Austin Nelson leading the way. This winter, it will be Louder’s chance to shine in the Cougars’ offense.
He averaged 10.8 points, 8.7 rebounds and six blocks per game last year, but with the projected increased workload as a senior, his output could likely double.
“He has all of the tools,” Coronado coach Jeff Kaufman said. “He is such a good shooter and such a good jumper. He is so quick up the floor, too. We are going to showcase that this year.”
Louder has spent several hours this summer in the gym working on his jump shot. He is more comfortable playing while facing the basket and hopes to eventually be used as a swing forward on the perimeter.
“This is a very important time,” Louder said of this stage in the recruiting process. “I have to fight hard each game to show them what I can do.”
Louder’s offseason included taking part in a camp at Henderson International School, which houses Findlay Prep. He was part of the all-camp team that played an exhibition against Findlay, going against the private school’s heavily recruited interior tandem of Anthony Bennett and Landen Lucas. The 6-foot-7, 230-pound Anthony Bennett is one of the top 10 recruits in the nation, according to Rivals.com.
While his team lost, Louder enjoyed flashes of solid play in gaining the confidence that he can play at a top level.
“It was a good experience playing against those guys,” Louder said. “Once you play against them, you learn what it is to be physical.”
Louder knows adding bulk and strength in the weight room will help him become a more physical and aggressive player. He weighed 160 pounds last winter and has already added 20 pounds in the offseason.
“Michael is such a nice kid. He just has to get angry,” Kaufman said. “When he gets angry, he is difficult to stop.”
This week, Kaufman said he has received interest from coaches at Lehigh, Boston College, San Francisco, UC Santa Barbara and New Hampshire. His potential is so high that Coronado principal Lee Koelliker, a former area head coach, has taken an interest in helping him navigate the recruiting process.
“The thing (coaches) are realizing is that Michael is still growing,” Kaufman said. “Somebody is going to get a quality player.”