With a frighteningly busy schedule consisting of athletics, schoolwork, constant phone calls, visits from college basketball coaches, and all of the social activites regular teenagers embark upon, 2015 five-star Franklin (Ohio) shooting guard Luke Kennard has gotten use to dealing with attention from the recruiting process since. He has, after all, been handling it since the ninth grade.
“Football went really good,” Kennard’s father Mark told GoBlueWolverine in an interview Tuesday. “Luke had a great year. He got division three player of the year in football, offensive player of the year in football in the state of Ohio. It was a fun year.”
In making the transition from leading a playoff football team straight over to being option No. 1, 2, and 3 on the basketball floor for Franklin, “football legs” are always an issue in the early going. Despite that Kennard is pushing forward, scoring the basketball at a tremendous clip.
“He’s just now getting into basketball shape,” Mr. Kennard said. “If that makes sense. But he’s been putting the ball in the hole.
“He broke a single game record this season, he scored 51 and then he scored 53. And if he scores, he’s seven away from tying the career scoring record on Friday so he should get that Friday. But he’s played well, his teammates have played good; we’re 10-2.”
As far as recruiting is concerned, Kennard recently took an unofficial visit to Ohio State Sunday for their loss at home to Iowa and has made it to check out two games at Kentucky thus far this season.
“Obviously Kentucky is one of the teams still in the top five, top six team and he’s starting to develop a pretty good relationship with Coach Calipari,” Kennard said.
“It’s going to be a tough choice. You’ve got Michigan, Ohio State, Duke, North Carolina, Louisville and Kentucky; it’s going to be tough, I got to be honest with you, it’s going to be really tough on him.”
Thanks to the change in NCAA rules last year Kennard is now afforded the opportunity to set up a total of five official visits to the schools of his choice during his junior year. He and his family are now looking at a plan that involves taking visits during his season so he can move promptly toward a decision.
“I’d like to get this thing done and I think Luke would like to get it done April, May timeframe,” Kennard said.
“We’re still looking at (visits) and I’m not sure how many he’ll take. He may cut his list down to four, three or four, I’m not sure so we’ll see what happens.”
Michigan has had eyes on Kennard for well over two years now and continues to make the 6-foot-5, sharp shooter a major priority in their 2015 class.
“Coach Beilein has been up a couple times, always good to see him; he’s one of the best guys around I think,” Kennard said. “He’s a great man.”
“Well obviously Michigan’s still in the top six, I mean they were really the first to start recruiting Luke and I think Luke’s got a special place; he really likes Michigan. Michigan, Coach Beilein came to a football game and came down to a basketball game too.”
Kennard mentioned Louisville and Michigan as two schools they’d like to get back to for games, but he is unclear whether those would be official or unofficial visits.
Either way, once a final decision is made, Kennard will be making a phone call to not just one very happy coach, but to five others that have been intricately involved in his recruitment for quite some time.
“You know, it’s going to be some tough choices he’s going to have to make and it’s going to be some tough phone calls he’s going to have to make too,” Kennard said. “I’m a firm believer, whenever he makes a decision, the ones he’s not going to, he needs to call them cause they’ve been great to Luke, all six have been great to Luke, really great.”
Asked about early playing time and how a depth chart may effect Kennard’s decision on a school, his father had this to say:
“We’ve had a lot of coaches tell us Luke should play when he gets there. He could play three spots. But you always look at if they’ve got eight All-Americans at two spots and that’s a spot Luke’s going (to be); you look at that but I don’t think that’s going to be (part of the) decision in Luke’s mind.
“He thinks he’s going to be good enough, he thinks he’s going to develop his game and then if he needs to work harder he can work harder so he can play when he gets there.”
Laying out all of the criteria Kennard and his family are looking at for his eventual college destination, the overall fit on both sides appears to be paramount.
“We’re looking at education, we’re looking at who’s going to be the best fit for Luke,” Kennard said. “Where is he going to fit? What’s going to fit him? And we’re also looking at who’s going to make him the best player he can be and then where can he win? He obviously wants to win."
“He wants to play and that’s where the fit as a basketball player, the program and the program fit him. So, we do look at that stuff and you have to look at it all. Whatever he thinks is the best fit and, obviously, we’ll probably have some say so in it but it’ll come down to where Luke feels most comfortable.”
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