The hiring of new head coach Larry Brown is already paying huge dividends for the SMU basketball program.
Former Illinois State point guard Nic Moore officially became a Mustang last month and now ex-Villanova big man Markus Kennedy could be the next high profile transfer to land with Brown and SMU.
"I really like SMU. I like that it's in the city of Dallas. Coach Brown being down there is really a bonus," Kennedy said. "The team is going to the Big East and they really want to make an impact. I think the campus is really nice and it's a good school. I definitely like the fan support their fans have been showing. I definitely tip my hat off to them."
Kennedy visited SMU last week and was blown away by the southern hospitality expressed by the coaching staff and potential future teammates.
"I really liked how everyone down there was so friendly. They really accepted me. Even though I didn't commit while I was there, everyone was really supportive," Kennedy said. "The coaching staff was really cool. They told me they were going to be a Big East powerhouse and that they wanted me to be a part of it."
After appearing in 31 games with three starts as freshman for Villanova last season, Kennedy decided that he was in need of a change of scenery.
He recently narrowed down his list to three-Boston, SMU and Tulsa- but the Mustangs appear to hold a slight edge thanks to Brown's prestige and the opportunity to once again play in arguably the most powerful basketball conference in the nation.
"Larry Brown being the coach is really going to be a big factor in my decision because my dream is to play in the NBA. I really want to learn from a Hall of Famer," Kennedy said. "It definitely helps that SMU is going to play in the Big East. I really enjoyed being a part of it last year. It's a great experience, and I think Coach Brown will do a good job there. If I were to choose SMU, I think it would be really fun."
Kennedy explained that he would commit to a school by the end of July but not before visiting both Boston and Tulsa. Kennedy will take a trip to BU this Wednesday and said a meeting with the Golden Hurricane will follow soon after.
"With Boston, I like how they utilize their bigs and how they play," Kennedy said. "I like the coaching staff as well. They're really cool.
"With Tulsa it's about Coach Danny Manning, who is coming over from Kansas. He did a really good job at Kansas developing players. He showed interest, and I respect what he did at Kansas so I decided to give it a look."
Whatever school Kennedy chooses to go to, he will be relied on to be force around the basket and crash the boards. The 6-foot-9, 260-pound forward believes SMU will not only allow him to shine down low as a rebounder but a scorer as well.
"The coaching staff told me I would be a good scoring option," Kennedy said. "I feel I can do the same thing as last year as far as rebounding and playing hard. I feel I can be a leader on the court too."
Kennedy averaged 3.0 points, 4.4 rebounds and 14.8 minutes per game during his lone season with Villanova.
Villanova transfer excited about SMU
Pony Stampede Top Stories
2019 Mansfield DB talks first offer from SMU2019 Mansfield (Tex.) defensive back Miles Williams picked up his first offer from SMU on Thursday. He shared his reaction with Pony Stampede.
Pony StampedeYesterday at 8:21 AM
2018 Oklahoma DL talks SMU interestHatts talked with 2018 Millwood (Okla.) defensive tackle Israel Antwine about his SMU interest and recruitment.
Pony StampedeWednesday at 8:13 AM
Pony Stampede Podcast March 22Come inside the Pony Stampede Podcast for a look at the future for SMU Basketball and some recruiting updates on football.
Pony StampedeWednesday at 6:00 AM
SMU Football 3/21 Practice NotebookSMU was back on the practice field on Tuesday after spring break. Pony Stampede was there and has notes.
Pony StampedeTuesday at 3:39 PM