Thursday, March 20, 2014

What's next for Ohio Mr. Basketball

Franklin's Luke Kennard received the 2014 Ohio Mr. Basketball award.

No arguing here with the selection. Kennard averaged 41.0 points per game. The total is astounding considering some teams don't regularly eclipse 40 point. Kennard also averaged 10.4 rebounds and 4.0 assists per game.

His list of suitors includes Duke, Ohio State, Kentucky, North Carolina and Michigan. All five programs are participating in the NCAA tournament.

Finding former Ohio Mr. Basketball selections on college rosters represents a chore. Only two players in the club are playing college basketball: Marc Loving (2013) and Justin Fritts (2012).

Loving, who played at Toledo St. John's, averages 4.4 points and 1.8 rebounds per game for Ohio State. The forward has worked his way into Coach Thad Matta's nine-man rotation as a freshman, but he might not crack the 2014-15 starting lineup. The Buckeyes don't have a senior forward on their roster and their 2014 recruiting includes three post players.

Fritts, a star guard from Mentor, recently completed his second season at Division II Wheeling Jesuit. He averaged 18.4 points and a team-high 5.3 assists per game to earn All-Mountain East Conference honorable mention status. Fritts performs double duty at Wheeling Jesuit. He's also a pitcher on the baseball team.

So what happened to other recent Mr. Basketball selections?

Trey Burke, the 2011 selection, is a point guard for the Utah Jazz. Burke, who attended Columbus Northland, turned professional after two outstanding seasons at Michigan. Jared Sullinger, Burke's high school teammate and the 2009 and 2010 winner, played two seasons at Ohio State before getting drafted by the Boston Celtics.

Jon Diebler and William Buford, the 2007 and 2008 selections, played at Ohio State. O.J. Mayo, the 2004 and 2005 selection, plays for the Milwaukee Bucks.

LeBron James was Mr. Basketball from 2001-03. Most would agree he has done OK for himself.

-- Guy Cipriano | @newsheraldguy

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January 18, 2015 at 5:22 AM 

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