The Duke Basketball team continues to get top recruits, and they have one already for the 2015-16 season. Luke Kennard is the first recruit signed for the Blue Devils. He is a 6-foot-5 guard from Franklin Ohio. He was Mr. Ohio and the Gatorade player of the year for the state. That makes this year’s Gatorade players of the year from the state of Texas, Illinois, Minnesota, and Ohio to commit to Duke from this seasons class or next.
This is an important player to get early, because they will be losing Quinn Cook after next season. Kennard won’t be able to play the point at extended periods, but could bring up the ball. He has good size for a guard, and is one of the top recruits in his class. He is able to handle the ball if he needs to, but at Duke they will want him off of the ball.
His strengths are that he is a good shooter and also his basketball IQ. He can score in a number of ways. With his size he can post up smaller guards, and he can finish around the basket. He is a typical Duke guard that can shoot from distance, but he can do various things on the offensive side of the ball. He will be a very fundamental player for Duke, and give them a player they can trust and rely on in a game.
The negatives about his game are he isn’t flashy, and his defense. He can get his shot, but he won’t blow past his defender. He gets his shot with great moves around the basket, and being able to hit shots with defenders on him. He can get his own shot, but it’s more like how a Paul Pierce gets his shot. He gets just enough space on the defender to get a shot up making great moves just to get room. He won’t be able to go by defenders, and will need other people to help get him open if he has trouble at the next level. He will need to get better at defense, and mimic Pierce by getting stronger and being able to keep defenders in front of him, or force the ball to the help defense.
Kennard is a savvy player and will be able to score at the next level. The only thing to worry about is his defense against better competition. He is going to be a great player at Duke, and will be there longer than one season. He will have to develop his game, and try to contribute where he can in his first season. The season of 2015-16 recruiting class is far from over; they will likely need to sign a post player. They will likely need to replace Jahlil Okafor after next season.