The recruitment, commitment, and progress of Villanova signee Markus Kennedy is confusing for a lot of Wildcat fans.
Last school year, Kennedy prepped at the Winchendon Academy (after being at the Living Faith Academy the prior year, St. Pat's the year before that, and Bonner the year before that). In April, we shared with you that the Big Man was taking a prep year and reclassifying as a 2011 player. Now that decision is down to Kennedy's transfer to another school; either Brewster Academy in New Hampshire or NIA Prep in New Jersey for the 2010-11 school year.
A good number of fans are wondering about Kennedy. Is the Big Man too big? Is Jay trying to run him out of the program? Is Jay trying to prep him more for the Big East rigors? Seemingly, the answers are Yes, No, and Yes.
Markus has been playing on the full AAU circuit this summer against top notch competition. In early July, recruiting analysts noted that he has "amazing hands" and was a "load in the paint". Playing for NE Playaz, another analyst noted he "used his wide shoulders to muscle past defenders". Although that Scout.com article went on to note that "the future Villanova bound big man looks a lot bigger than the last time he was seen, and he needs to work on getting back into playing shape."
BUT Kennedy "still has the hands and scoring ability around the rim. He was very effective on the block, and used his wide body to carve space and give him a chance to score down low."
As the summer continued, Seth Davis just commented on Markus's play in Las Vegas. Davis noted,
"another player I hadn't heard about who jumped out at me was Markus Kennedy, who is a 6-10 forward and a rising senior. Kennedy is, shall we say, a mite prodigious around the waistline, but he had terrific footwork and drew a ton of fouls on Dream Vision. I later learned that Kennedy has committed to play for Villanova. That should help 'Nova escape the label that big men need not apply."
Hardwood Elite also got their first glimpse of the Big Man whose height is noted between 6-8 and 6-10 and they came away "very impressed".away very impressed.
First of all, he's got great hands. He used his big body to get deep postition all weekend and when his teammates were able to get him the ball, he finised almost everytime. He's surprisingly athletic for his size. On one play he outran the entire defense before taking off of one foot and dunking on two defenders. He also has surpising lateral quikness. When he was forced to guard mobile big guys or switch onto guards, he was rarely beat off of the dribble. After reclassifying, he certainly looks to be one of the top 100 players in the country.
To add on those great remarks, Evan Daniels of Scout.com added it was "By far the best" he's seen of Kennedy. He continued on saying that Markus, "flat out got it done inside against one of the Magic squads. He finished everything around the basket and showed mobility and strong moves inside. He was aggressive around the basket and made some nice passes out of the post."
Right now, the Recruiting Class of 2011 looks strong and well-rounded. Another year of improvement by the class's big man, will only bolster that.