Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
Despite getting bounced in the second round of the NCAA Tournament by Mercer on Friday, there is some good news for Duke.
Luke Kennard, a 6-foot-5 2015 shooting guard from Franklin (Ohio) who was named the Ohio Gatorade Player of the Year and the AP Ohio Mr. Basketball, announced for the Blue Devils on Monday night at his high school.
Ranked No. 24 in the Class of 2015 by ESPN.com, Kennard also considered Kentucky, North Carolina, Louisville, Ohio State, Michigan and Florida.
“Being around Coach K and the players – how the program was ran – I could tell it was a very special place and I could see myself fitting in there,” he said, according to the News & Observer. “I felt at peace with my decision. Duke was the best fit for me.”
Kennard, who scored a career-high 59 points in February and averaged 40 points and 10.4 rebounds, visited Duke earlier this month for the North Carolina game and loved his official visit.
“It really went great,” his father, Mark, told SNY.tv recently. “The intimacy not just of the program, but of the college, the atmosphere there is unbelievable. I think it kind of exceeded the expectations that we had.”
Kennard, as well as 2014 recruit Myles Turner and others, saw Jabari Parker go off for 30 points and 11 rebounds in a 93-81 win over arch-rival North Carolina.
Kennard was a high priority for Duke.
“Coach K said they don’t promise you anything, but he believes Luke is a player, not just a 2 or a 3 or a 1, he believes he’s a player,” Mark said. “He can play any of those spots. If you watch Duke play, that holds true for a lot of his players, he lets them play. He believes Luke can come in and be a really good player there.”
Duke has the No. 1 recruiting class in 2014, highlighted by Jahlil Okafor, Tyus Jones, Justise Winslow and Grayson Allen. Kennard is their first 2015 commit.
Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle.
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.