Recruting Update - Markus Kennedy & Quinn Cook

In my December 29 post, "Checking In On Our 2010 Recruits," I wrote, "there’s not much in the news about 2010 commit 6-9 Markus Kennedy." However, with a hat tip to VUHoops reader Jim Barnes, it turns out that I was not looking in the right place. Christopher Lawlor of ESPN.com writes, "The nation's best-kept basketball secret is that the best high school basketball teams are found at the postgraduate level (schools that allow fifth-year players). Names like Hargrave Military Academy, Winchendon Academy [from which past Nova player, Malcolm Grant, graduated] and St. Thomas More [from which Dwayne Anderson graduated], regular stops for college coaches. These schools spawn players who excel in college, with several becoming future NBA lottery picks. The talent level is far superior -- save for a handful of high schools -- and most teams are strong enough to compete in Division I. In fact, these rosters are often stocked with at least eight Division I players, and it's not uncommon for 10 Division I players to take the floor simultaneously."

Markus Kennedy, plays center for Winchendon Academy, currently ranked #3 nationally by ESPN among postgraduate level high schools, behind Hargrave Military Academy (VA) and Brewster Academy (N.H.) About Winchendon, Mr. Lawler wrote “depth is the operative word for this national powerhouse. The Green Wave go 11 deep, with several signing with big-time programs. Expect 6-9 Markus Kennedy (Villanova) to start.   Once again, Mike Byrnes' club will play the nation's most difficult schedule."  New England Recruiting Report (NERR)writes, “how good this Winchendon team can end up being depends on Villanova bound big man Markus Kennedy.  The six-foot-nine senior is working to improve his conditioning and increase his wind.  Having Kennedy on the floor gives Winchendon a new dimension.  He is an absolute incredible passer for a big man, and his ability to facilitate offense from the low post will create loads of scoring opportunities for his teammates.  NERR reported after Winchendon’s 90-54 victory over Massanutten Military Academy in the National Prep Showcase, “big man Markus Kennedy was also solid, scoring 10 points and grabbing 7 rebounds while also showing his trademark passing from the post.”

Quinn CookNorthstar Basketball writer, Alan Schwartz says "one of the most talented players in the class of 2011, 6'1 point guard Quinn Cook of DeMatha (MD),  remains interested in Villanova.  Cook, a member of the United States U-16 Development Team that took home the gold medal over the summer, is being pursued by numerous high-major programs, including Maryland, Duke, Georgetown, Ohio State and Villanova.   ESPN.com rates Cook #19 overall and the #6 PG (behind, among others, Tony Wroten).  They describe him as “a crafty, quick and tough competitor. He doesn't have overwhelming physical tools but his instincts and toughness get the job done. Cook is very tough when the ball is in his hands and he has a great change of speed game, constantly keeping defenders from finding their rhythm.”

NBE Basketball.com calls Cook a solid 6-1 and 180 pounds and mature for his age (15) That maturity translates to his game on the court, where he runs the point for two legendary programs, DeMatha High School and the DC Assault. His handle is tight, his court vision is excellent, and he already possesses the must-have abilities most guards his age have yet to master in order to play at the highest level.  1) He gets to the rim and finishes often.   2) He doesn’t need a lot of room to get, and make, his jumper from the three-point arc.   3) He can pull up from mid-range and make you pay and  4) He almost always makes the right pass/decision in the drive and kick situation."

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