Luke Kennard always seemed like a player who wanted to get his recruitment done early in the process.
After blowing up due to his shooting ability on the AAU circuit, Kennard received dozens of offers – with Duke and Kentucky emerging as the leaders.
He tripped to Lexington multiple times, but a recent official visit to Duke seemed to cement the Blue Devils in pole position. On Monday, Kennard made his announcement: he's headed to Durham.
He chose Duke over Kentucky, with Michigan and Ohio State also in the mix.
Kennard is the fourth top-15 player off the board from the junior class, joining Ben Simmons (LSU), Tyler Dorsey (Arizona) and Charles Matthews (Kentucky) as 2015 prospects that have already committed.
The file on … Luke Kennard
- Height: 6-foot-5
- Weight: 182 pounds
- Position: Shooting guard
- Ranking: No. 15 in 247Sports Composite for class of 2015
- High School: Franklin (Ohio)
- AAU: King James Shooting Stars
- Stats: 40 points, 10 rebounds, four assists – Ohio's Mr. Basketball
How he fits at Duke: Kennard is one of the best long-range shooters in the class of 2015, and can get hot in a hurry. He has deep range on his outside shot, but the lefty is also capable of going off the bounce and knocking down pull-up jumpers. He's not explosively quick off the dribble, but he can get to the lane and create for others. Kennard is a good enough ball-handler and has vision as a passer. He should make an immediate impact with the Blue Devils in 2015, although they will have plenty of wing scorers on the roster at the point. If Rasheed Sulaimon is still around as a senior, he would likely start – but current freshman Matt Jones and incoming recruit Grayson Allen will still be on the roster. Duke will not be without options when it comes to outside shooters in the 2015-16 season.
What it means for Duke's class: Kennard is the first commitment for Duke in the 2015 class, and it's a terrific start – especially on the heels of landing the nation's best recruiting class for the class of 2014. From this year's team, Duke likely loses Jabari Parker and Rodney Hood, along with seniors Andre Dawkins, Tyler Thornton and Josh Hairston. Next season's incoming class will fill most of the holes, with Tyus Jones moving in at the point alongside Quinn Cook, plus Jahlil Okafor stepping in down low. Both could be gone by 2015, though. Justise Winslow and Allen should stick around. Duke will need more inside help for the 2015-16 season, and the Blue Devils have their eyes on Chase Jeter and Diamond Stone, two 6-foot-10 post players from the 2015 class.
Which school loses the most: Michigan. Kennard was essentially leaning toward Duke or Kentucky for most of his recruitment, but Ohio State and Michigan were also on his list – and I think the Wolverines miss out the most from a fit standpoint. He would have been ideal for the Michigan offense, given his ability to spread the floor and knock down shots from the perimeter – while also being able to push the ball in transition and initiate offense for others. Kentucky did miss out on Kennard after an early lead, but the Wildcats have Charles Matthews locked up in the class of 2015 already. It's still early in the recruiting cycle for 2015, though, so all schools involved can make up ground.