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One of the premier scorers in the class of 2015, Luke Kennard took himself off the board on Monday night.
During a news conference at Franklin (Ohio) High, the 6-foot-5 shooting guard who currently ranks No. 16 in the Rivals150, committed to Duke.
"When I went down there on my official visit I kind of just felt it," Kennard said after his announcement. "I felt it in my heart and I had a peace about my decision. Being around Coach K and the players and seeing how it was run, I could see that it was a special place."
The commitment of a blue-chipper such as Kennard won't take the sting completely away from Duke's round of 64 loss to Mercer in the NCAA Tournament. But landing him certainly helps to keep them in a position where early-round exits will still be labeled "shockers."
Kennard decided he did not need to stretch out his recruiting process any longer.
"Now I can focus on basketball and focus on that one school, Duke," Kennard said. "I can kind of relax and enjoy my senior year and this coming summer. That's why I got it done."
A lethal perimeter scorer with deep range, Kennard put up gaudy numbers all year at Franklin. His long range bombing certainly draws most of the attention but he has many more aspects to his game.
Kennard already has a college-ready body and he is a very smart player. He uses dribbles effectively to create separation, is an alert passer and does a good job of using his physicality on defense. He could improve upon his offense in freelance situations and he will have to better learn to play defense with his feet, but he should arrive in Durham as a pretty college-ready player.
Following up their great 2014 recruiting efforts, Kennard is the first member of the 2015 class to make a commitment to Duke.
After being recruited by many of college basketball's top programs including North Carolina, Kansas, Michigan and others, Kennard's decision essentially came down to home state Ohio State, nearby Kentucky and Duke. Despite ties to each program, Kennard's official visit to Durham to watch the Blue Devils host rival UNC seems to have tipped the scales in their favor.
Eric Bossi is the national basketball recruiting analyst for Rivals.com. You can click here to follow him on Twitter.
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