Brea Olinda's K.C. Caudill, who no longer wants to be known as Kyle, is a 7-footer who towers above the competition. He is averaging 16 points and 12 rebounds per game.

O.C. Insider: The scoop on Brea's K.C. Caudill

O.C. Insider: The scoop on Brea's K.C. Caudill
K.C. is the name he's using now, but one day the 7-footer could be known as Shaq of the O.C.

Player Spotlight: Brea Olinda’s K.C. Caudill

The Basics: 7-foot, 264 pounds, Sophomore

More Basics: You might be asking, When did Kyle Caudill get an identical twin who also plays for Brea? I’d reply: If someone 7-feet tall and 260 pounds asked you to call him K.C. instead of Kyle, wouldn’t you? So until the big man says otherwise, he's going to be known around here as K.C.

How he did Friday night vs. Servite: Caudill was a Shaq-like 10 for 16 (62.5%) from the field, and an even more Shaq-like 0 for 5 from the foul line. He scored 20 points and had a game-high nine rebounds (although nine can seem low when you’re at least half a foot taller than everyone else). Caudill scored six points in each of the first three quarters and two in the fourth. Brea won, 66-50.

After hours: Caudill, Mommy Caudill and a certain journalist were the only three people left in the barely-lit Brea gym late Friday night, when the custodian kicked everyone out. Caudill was shooting free throws and not ready to leave. Mommy Caudill had apprehended a set of keys so they could lock up when K.C. was done, but the custodian would have none of it.

Caudill, who typically shoots better than 70% from the line, was not pleased with his 0-for-5 effort.

“You see what kind of guy he is?” Brea coach Bob Terry said, as he left for the night, with Caudill swishing shots in the background.

Oddity: Caudill has to be the only 7-foot high schooler in the country who doesn’t take the game-opening jump ball. On second thought, he might be the only 7-foot starter on any level who doesn’t take the jump.

Quick Evaluation: Caudill’s a big dude who is clearly still growing into his body. He needs more time to get used to his physical gifts. Few high school opponents can match up with him, but the most common refrain Caudill hears from coaches is: “Stop fading away from the basket!”

Not that any of this has stopped him from averaging 16 points and 12 rebounds this season.

What luck! What luck?: Caudill suffered a broken foot over the summer (think Greg Oden without the paycheck - or the face of a 37-year-old) and missed much of the AAU season. “I think it actually helped me out,” Caudill said.

Say what?

Immobile, the big man began working out his upper body exclusively, while building a leaner frame. One big help …

No KFC for KC: Caudill has dropped fast food and soda from his diet. Instead of three big meals, he snacks throughout the day on things like green beans. When he’s out of the house and hungry, he’ll order a chicken salad. He has tried to eliminate carbohydrates.

Caudill is two inches taller and 11 pounds lighter than he was last season. Conditioning is key because, “If he gets early positioning (under the basket), no one can stop him,” Terry said.

Can this big a kid really be satisfied with greens, though? How about when he’s over at a friend’s house and everyone’s digging into a pizza?

“I cheat a little bit, sometimes,” he said.

Height History: Caudill hit 6-feet in 6th grade, the year his 12-and-under AAU team won a national title. “I’ve always been tall, but I could barely walk without falling over,” he said.

In 8th grade, when Caudill says he finally became a good player, he was 6-7.

9th grade: 6-10

10th grade: 7-0.

“I’m a lot more athletic this year,” said Caudill, who’s working on his mid-range jumper.

Family ties: Daddy Caudill, Cameron, pitched for Stanford and Long Beach State. K.C. used to play, but, “I got too big.” As a pitcher, “My control got out of hand.”

Anyone else thinking Nuke LaLoosh? Doesn’t it seem that if a powerful 7-footer could learn to throw a strike even half the time, he could be pretty darn effective? Could you imagine getting into the box, not knowing if the next 90-mph heater was coming at your head or right down Broadway? And knowing that Nuke up there doesn’t know either?

New look: Caudill has seen consistent double- and triple-teams this season, after guard Kyle Fogg, who is now playing at Arizona, took much of the attention last year.

New look, Part II: Caudill has grown shaggy hair, to complement the ever-present sideburns. “Until Coach makes me cut it,” he said of the hair. “I’ve gotten that threat a couple of times. “

The sideburns are OK, but, “That might change, especially if I keep shooting free throws like this.”

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