Friday, May 2, 2008

Markus Kennedy- St. Pat's Sophomore is a Soon-to-be Star

Markus Kennedy, a 6'9 sophomore forward, might not be as well-known as some other players in New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania, but Kennedy will be well-known on a national level by the time he is done with his junior year. Markus plays for St. Patrick's (NJ) during the high school season, and runs with Team New Jersey ABC's U-16 squad for AAU ball. Thus far, the big man has been unstoppable in grassroots hoops, as his frame is just too much to handle. A couple days ago, I spoke with Kennedy, discussing his game, his future, and his college choices. First and foremost, so far he has received scholarship offers from Villanova, Rutgers, Rider, Michigan St., and Ohio St. The Wildcats were the first to offer, while the Buckeyes were the most recent to do so. Along with these five schools, there are eight other schools showing interest in him: St. John's, Georgetown, Syracuse, Delaware St., Towson, Drexel, LaSalle, and George Mason. Of those, the Red Storm and Hoyas are pushing the hardest. This is interesting, as Georgetown and Syracuse were Markus' dream schools growing up. "I was kind of excited," said Kennedy of his reaction to those schools starting to show interest in him. As for another Big East school on his list, Villanova, I asked Kennedy is St. Pat's graduate Corey Fisher playing there will have an impact on his decision and his feelings towards VU: "Well, I'm not really sure . . . because I didn't play with Corey Fisher last year [since I wasn't at St. Pat's], . . . [but] from seeing tapes, . . . I can see the transformation [that has occurred at Villanova for] . . . him." The big man does not have a timetable for a commitment. Kennedy told me that he ended up at St. Patrick's after he and his mother "sat down and talked about it," adding that they decided is was "better than being in Philly." In addition, they felt it would help him to get "college looks," also mentioning that they felt it would be better than major-Philly private school "Roman [Catholic] . . . because of the coaching." To sum it, Markus said that it was decided that playing for Kevin Boyle's squad would be the "best move for [him] to get out of Philly." Kennedy told me that the St. Pat's he has learned the most from is Quintrell Thomas, a Kansas-bound senior. "[I play the] same position as him, . . . [and] watching him play all season, and seeing how he progressed from the beginning of the season . . . . [I have to] work harder to keep up with him," said Markus, on why Thomas is the player he chose. Markus, who feels his strongest point is his "rebounding," thinks that his "weakest point [is his] stamina." In order to work on the stamina issue, Kennedy told me that he is "basically . . . just running a lot." The strategy seems to be working, as his stamina has clearly improved over the course of NJABC's 11-3 season thus far. The St. Pat's stud says the range at which he can consistently knock down his jumper is "19 feet." Of this shot, Markus says "it helps a lot . . . because sometimes big people . . . try to stop [him] from [using his] post moves, . . . so [he] just brings the ball out and shoots, . . . so it makes [him] harder to defend." Although he has a great jumper, Kennedy feels that it's his "up-and-under" that is his best move. For more information on Kennedy, including my scouting report on him, go to this link:

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