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Kennedy not bigger, but maybe better

Markus Kennedy has always been a big kid. Before showing up on campus last summer, the freshman big man was asked to work on conditioning and drop his weight down to 260 pounds — the same weight as JayVaughn Pinkston. He did what the coaches asked of him and showed up for summer open gym at Villanova, ready to compete and get better.

Photo of Kennedy before the Villanova Basketball Banquet (photo from

According to an interview Kennedy gave to, he didn't stop working:

Overall, though, Kennedy’s rookie season probably didn’t meet his expectations.

So, the big man went to work immediately at season’s end, pushing to get himself into better shape for the grind of Division I basketball.

The result? Kennedy has dropped 35 pounds since the Cats completed their disappointing season on March 7.

"It’s going to help with everything," said Kennedy, a 6-foot-9 forward who was listed at 260 pounds last season. "Everything I was able to do is going to excel more with losing this weight."

In about 15 minutes per game last season, he averaged just 3.0 points and 4.4 rebounds. He hopes that his slimmer physique — now about the same as teammate James Bell on the scale. Getting in better shape will allow him to move better and quicker on the court.

Kennedy has a long way to go from his freshman campaign to becoming a consistent contributor that many believe he can be. He is clearly willing to put the work in that will get him there, however, much like Dante Cunningham worked to get better, stronger and more multi-faceted each off-season, slowly increasing his role as he progressed through school.