Kennard Planning Official Visits for Spring; Calipari Watches Guard Drop 38 (UPDATED)
By JASON MORROWSpecial to ZAGSBLOGKETTERING, Ohio – With Kentucky coach John Calipari in attendance for Saturday night’s Flyin’ to the Hoop Invitational, Franklin (Ohio) forward Luke Kennard put on another show, scoring 38 points in a loss to HCYA (TX).
Kennard, who is planning to begin taking official visits in March or April, knew about the appearance from the Kentucky staff ahead of time.
“He let me know they were playing this morning [against Tennessee], and then actually the assistant coach told me that they were coming,” Kennard said. “Coach Cal didn’t. That was kind of a surprise. But Coach Orlando [Antigua] was here with them and it was pretty much the same, ‘Hey, good luck tonight, we’ll see you there.’”
Mark Kennard , Luke’s father, said they will choose five official visits from among Kentucky, Duke, North Carolina, Louisville, Ohio State, Michigan and Florida.
“I know that’s seven but I am not sure of all the ones he will take,” Mark Kennard told SNY.tv.
This scoring display came just a night after scoring 49 points and becoming the all-time leading scorer in school history.
The 6-foot-6 guard talked about Kentucky, Duke and Ohio State in no particular after Saturday night’s game, but has his list set at seven in total. Some believe Kentucky is the front-runner due to the high amount of unofficial visits he has taken to Lexington.
“This past fall, I’ve taken quite a bit of visits there, just cause you know I had some free time and they invited me up, I’ve gotten to a couple games this season,” said Kennard, ranked No. 16 by Rivals in the Class of 2015.
“It’s developed really well, I’ve gotten closer to (UK) and that’s the main thing that I’m pretty sure a recruit wants to have is a great relationship with the head coach, but not only with the head coach, but with the other coaches around. They’ve been great to me.”
Another place Kennard could land is Duke, and he said that an official visit is in the works to go see Coach K and company.
“I think in March I might go up there for an official visit there actually. Coach K has came and visited me, at our school,” Kennard said of the Blue Devils. “(Coach K) is just a great guy, he’s been to one of my games this year. They run a great program and I like the way they play. Just Coach K and their assistants, they’ve been great to me.”
Staying in-state to go to Ohio State is another option, and the Franklin forward recently took an unofficial visit to Columbus on Jan. 12 for the Buckeyes’ game with Iowa.
“I went to the Iowa game this past week, they didn’t get the win but you can see the team chemistry that they have, the players are real close, close to their coaches, you can tell it’s a great place to be,” Kennard said of Ohio State.
In terms of when he will make a choice on where he will play his college ball, Kennard discussed his timetable, stating that he will do it before his senior year.
“I talked to my parents, and my coaches about that, and I kind of made the decision of when I wanted to,” he said. “I can enjoy my senior year, take the pressure off. I just think that’d be a good time to get it over with.”
As for what will be the clinching factor in his decision, Kennard said he will “just feel it.”
“I’ll feel it right there when I take that visit, and then it’ll probably just be that,” he said.
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Adam Zagoria is a New York Times contributor and Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.