St. Patrick High School in Elizabeth, N.J. has always been a hot spot for college coaches all over the country because of the depth of talent at the school. Every year there seems to be a player on the roster that all of the high-majors get in line to recruit. Class of 2010 prospect Markus Kennedy could be next.
The 6-foot-9, 225-pound forward spent the year at the national powerhouse in an apprenticeship type of role, playing behind Kansas bound forward Quintrell Thomas.
Kennedy watched his elder teammate go to work inside the paint against some of the best teams in the nation. Kennedy said he took mental notes of what Thomas did.
"It was a good experience being around so many good players and learning from coach [Kevin] Boyle. This whole year got me ready for next year," Kennedy said. "I learned from him that it's important to keep the ball up and play strong. When you make your move, don't always go to the middle. He said go to the baseline to play under the zone. Just little things like that.
"[Watching him made me] want to grab every rebound I can grab and play as hard as I can. Quintrell taught me a lot. When we went to California, he didn't have a great first game and then came back the next game and had 15 rebounds. He kept his head. That taught me a lot."
With a season's worth of mental notes, Kennedy said he is looking forward to doing work on the AAU circuit this spring and summer with Team NJ ABC's 16 and under team.
"I'm really excited about playing with Team New Jersey. It's going to be a new experience and I'm excited about playing for coach [Matt] Pauls," Kennedy said.
He should be. There will be a number of schools looking for him on the AAU trail. Villanova, St. John's, Rutgers, Rider, Arizona, Ohio State, Michigan State, Rutgers and West Virginia have shown various amounts of interest early in the recruiting process.
Kennedy did receive some big and exciting news recently from a Big East team.
"I'm real excited about the offer I got from Villanova," Kennedy said. "Jay Wright is a real good coach. I'm really interested in them. I want to check them out and see what they do in the tournament…When [Wright] offered me, I about went through the roof."
By the sounds of it, his game and confidence are about to go through the roof over the next couple of months.