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Old 06-17-14, 07:45 AM
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Originally Posted by SuburbanWunderkind View Post
I don't have a dog in this fight. I'm not from Franklin, nor am I from within the Dayton city limits. It's foolish to say Kennard isn't one of the best handful of players to play high school ball in the area in most of our lifetimes.

I like Norris Cole. I wanted UD to recruit him back when he had no D1 offers and UD had a need for PGs. I don't think anyone could see what he'd ultimately become, but it was clear he could play at a higher D1 level than the Horizon or even MAC. Many college coaches whiffed, none bigger than Brian Gregory, who worked literally down the street from Dunbar High and saw plenty of him while recruiting Benson. In some ways, being on those insanely loaded Dunbar teams may have hurt Cole as college recruit, because he never really got to dominate games as a featured player in ways Luke, Chris Wright, Brooks Hall, and even Juwan Staten and others could.

That said, Kennard is a better HS player by a WIDE margin. It's not close. You put Cook, Pogue, Anderson and a young Benson around Kennard, and they win the state title with me and 4 other yappi posters on the bench. They probably win the state title in all 50 states. Heck, they'd have been the 2nd or 3rd best team at the U18 tourney Kennard will play in later this week.

The best teammates Kennard had were two tall twins who were D2 college talents at best, and that was only his freshman year. The others are/were a baseball player and kids who will no doubt play the biggest basketball games of their lives in a franklin uniform. You can't compare the two programs when it comes to depth. It's insane to judge Luke the player by what Dunbar the program has accomplished. You're also doing a disservice to Dunbar, Thurgood Marshall, Alter and CJ by assuming great players should just win state on their own. You realize how hard it is to come out of Dayton D2? No one player can do it. You need 8 or 9 really good ones, at least. There is a reason Franklin runs out of steam in the second half vs Dunbar and Thurgood, and it sure isn't Luke. It's the other 9 names on the roster for each team.

Kennard is the best area HS player I have seen. That includes Daequan Cook, and I think very highly of Daequan Cook. I just think Luke is better. Others may not, and that's fine. It's certainly close. If you're under the age of 35 like I am, those two are the only two that should be at the top of your list. They stand above the rest.

College and pro career will be what they will be, I think he'll be very good at Duke and make a fine living for a decade or more somewhere in the world if not the NBA. But strictly as a HS talent, you won't find a better one from the Miami Valley than Luke Kennard.
Take any of those players and but them in the SWBL and what would there numbers be? I am pretty sure their stats would be inflated. Luke Benefits from being an enigma in a very average to below average talent pool. His AAU play consist of very little defense, transition pull-up jump shots and benefitting from tremendous help side defense from some of the best players in the country. When he gets to Duke and has to defend players like Rodney Poole or Jabari Parker on the wing and those type of players are guarding him on the other end, talk to me then. Luke struggled when the 6'3 kid from Thurgood got in his face. He was worn out by the third quarter. Also look at the game vs. the team out of NY. He really struggled vs. solid and athletic perimeter defense. His game will transition on the college level as a shooter. Guys like Diebler, Reddic and a variety of other shooters before him and that's OK. He can still make a good pro career out of that. But to say he is better than Daquen Cook and to not even mention Dwight Anderson is just plain disrespectful. Luke would have been the 6th or 8th man on some of those Dunbar and Roth Teams. Really... I think Ivan Patterson out of Colonel White is a better player. And for you to say the program is not a factor in the decision makes no sense. Those programs play the best. Those stars on those teams perform at the highest level of real basketball where teams practice and prepare ,not that farce of a game known as AAU. If he went into the Gym vs. ASVSM or Chicago Dunbar, and gave them 30 during a school night...Then I would say OK he is the real deal maybe the best. Giving Oakwood 40 just does not compare. Sorry.
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