Sam Webb: Talk to me about the progression of your game. I have seen you for a couple of years now. Obviously, you are bigger and stronger. Skill wise, where are you better, where have you improved?
Luke Kennard: “I have gotten a lot quicker, you know, just getting around people, staying lower and getting more explosive. I have always been working on my shot. I feel like that has improved a lot too.”
Sam Webb: You have always been pretty much, at least as far as I have been watching you, you have been a lights our shooter. I have seen you start to put a little floater in your game. Is that something you work on consistently?
Luke Kennard: “Yes. I work out with this guy and we work on floaters coming off screens and working on the mid range floater 30-45 minutes a day. So yeah, I have been working on that a lot.”
Sam Webb: I understand that you just made it up to Michigan’s team camp. What was that experience like?
Luke Kennard: “It was a great experience. I have always loved going up there. We have been up there the past three years. Our team played very good. We went three and two but all the games were close. We were in the highest level of all the teams. So it was a very good experience.”
Sam Webb: I know you got that offer, I believe it was on June 15th. You were expecting it though. Was it still exciting even though you knew it was coming?
Luke Kennard: “Definitely, definitely, just getting the call from the coaches and all the coaches in the room with some of the players and then offering me. It was just a great thing to have.”
Sam Webb: Bring me up to speed now on how many scholarship offers you have at this point.
Luke Kennard: “Around nine or ten, I think around nine or ten.”
Sam Webb: So your profile is growing, more schools are getting involved. Have you gotten any closer to, hey, there are a few schools starting to stick out for you?
Luke Kennard: “There are a few but right now I am just keeping my options open and seeing what comes for me.”
Sam Webb: I heard a little about a few schools kind of rising on your list. Is Kentucky a school that has moved up higher for you?
Luke Kennard: “Since June 15th, they have been calling me quite a bit and texting me. I have always liked Kentucky growing up, my family did too. Talking to coach Cal and them, it is a school that is rising up there.”
Sam Webb: That is an interesting point because a lot of people think you grew up liking Ohio State. Let us set the record straight. What was your favorite team growing up?
Luke Kennard: “I would have to say Ohio State and Kentucky. I like both of them a lot, so yeah.”
Sam Webb: Was it odd for you, I remember talking to your parents at the first team camp up in Michigan and talking to them, being Ohio State people, come for awhile and then having that Michigan experience. For you, growing up an Ohio State fan partially, was it ever odd for you to kind of start liking Michigan?
Luke Kennard: “You know some people think that it was, maybe a little bit. But, just having that opportunity to meet the coaches, take a tour of the campus and seeing what program they run, I just really like it.”
Sam Webb: Take me inside your thought process as far as kind of comparing contrasting schools. What are going to be the factors that kind of separate your top group?
Luke Kennard: “I would have to say definitely the coaching staff, how they run the program, and how they make you feel at home. A lot of schools have done that. Definitely the academic part, what kind of education I would get. The tradition would be one but not a huge factor. Definitely the style of play, how I fit in and what I can do to make a quick impact there.”
Sam Webb: When you say style of play, is there a particular system that kind of appeals to you? What do you like? Kind of give me an example of a team with a system you like.
Luke Kennard: “You know, Michigan and Ohio State, there is quite a bit, they spread the floor. You come off ball screens. I love coming off ball screens and making plays for other people and myself. There are quite a few schools that have talked to me and told me, hey you fit in perfect here and we have watched videos of how I would fit in. So, I like the spread.”
Sam Webb: I saw your dad out there and your mom yesterday. Have you guys kind of come up with a game plan for, okay you have gotten some offers. When are you going to start narrowing it down, when are you going to think about making a decision?
Luke Kennard: “We sat down last week and we kind of did like the top ten, top 15. We always had a plan where I was going to possibly commit end of the junior year. But you know plans can always change too.”
Sam Webb: So now as far as the rest of the summer goes, any visit plans or is it just going out on these tournaments that you have?
Luke Kennard: “It is mostly just tournaments. I am busy the rest of July with tournament after tournament after tournament. So, I really have not scheduled any.”
Sam Webb: Kind of give me an idea of where Michigan stands with you now. What do you like about them, what do you still have questions about?
Luke Kennard: “I love the coaching staff, Coach Beilein, Coach Meyer, Bacari, LaVall. I love all of them. I feel comfortable when I am there. I can be myself around them. I like how the players just interact with the coaches and how they just have fun when they are there. Their style of play is what I am talking about, like they spread it out, they let you make your own plays. I would say those are the things that I really like about them.”
Sam Webb: And the things that you question, things that you still have to find out about us, as far as Michigan is concerned.
Luke Kennard: “Not sure. I don’t know.”
Sam Webb: That is a deep question for you. You have a lot of schools that have great tradition, coaches you love, facilities that are great, academics that are great. How do you distinguish if all those are so close together? Have you identified question marks with each of those schools yet?
Luke Kennard: “Not many. Just every time I’ve been there, it is a great place to be.”
Sam Webb: So it is going to be tough.
Luke Kennard: “It is going to be very very tough.”