Duke’s Lucas Kennard a freakishly fascinating ambidextrous athlete

Grayson Allen a stellar student
March 14, 2017

Lucas Kennard - I’ve been a closeted Duke fan for a long time, and I don’t understand why. I’d be more than willing to not like them, except I do, going back to before color television and Coach K. How about guard Lucas Kennard? He’s a freakishly fascinating player. At 6-foot-6, 200 pounds, he averaged 38 points his senior year of high school, scoring 50 or more points five times, including a 59-point performance. In football as a “right-handed quarterback,” he was named Ohio Division 11 Offensive Player of the Year, throwing for 2,300 yards and 26 touchdowns. He was also a member of the National Honor Society and Fellowship of Christian Athletes. Backcourt running mate Grayson Allen is 6-foot-5. He graduated cum laude from the Providence School with an AP diploma. These guys get into Duke without basketball. What’s on your transcript?

Girard Avenue Freeze Out - Cape may be the coldest place on Earth for outdoor spring sports, but the badlands of North Philly can get a wind tunnel effect going that can freeze the mustard before it hits the pretzel. Shooting lacrosse at Cape Saturday was the worst ever. I literally couldn’t find my camera button with both hands. The next day I was at Bucknell versus Temple. It was also pretty incredibly awful, but the wind hid for part of the game before roaring back like the Broad Street subway. Grand Mom Rose: “You catch a cold inside, outside you ain’t catching anything unless you have a stick strung with string.” 

Just a great idea - Temple women’s lacrosse beat Bucknell March 12, and afterward the tables were set up and a team photo handed out for free to whoever wanted one. Then a walk down a string of tables, with the players signing each photo. It’s just a cool idea. I got my first autographs from my own granddaughters, Anna and Lizzie, and I also got a Taylor Gooch autograph. I thought, bring this idea to Cape for all teams. I’d like a team photo autographed by all the players of the teams I cover and so would parents, friends, fans, custodians and retiring principals. 

Not brain surgery - Dr. Ben Carson has proven that once he steps outside brain surgery he does not come across as bright or erudite, but maybe it’s us? I feel like I’ve been slammed by basketball analysis over the last two weeks, and here’s what I think: “It’s not brain surgery.” You can bet your immigrant slave ships on that. Athletic IQ is real but also instinctive. Maybe a lead guy calls the game and you just pull a color analyst from the stands each game the way Texas A&M used to pick a student to cover kickoffs.    

Snippets - In a televised game against Tennessee on the SEC network, Tiara Duffy (Cape, South Carolina U) hit a home run off a light post. Tennessee is where she wanted to go, but there was “no interest,” so to quote Toby Keith, “How do you like me now?” Allie Yeager, who’s been sidelined so far this lacrosse season after surgery, is scheduled to make her first appearance this week March 15 at Colorado. Temple lax plays at Denver Sunday, March 19. So that means Kat Judge and Allie Yeager for Winthrop and Anna Frederick, Taylor Gooch and Lizzie Frederick for Temple, all former Cape players, will be in Colorado the same week. The Diplomats of Franklin & Marshall women’s lacrosse team, where Meg Bartley is an assistant, upset No. 2 in Division III Cortland State 12-2 Saturday, but that score doesn’t sound like an upset. Tuition alone at F&M is 50K. Throw in another 13K for room and board. Holy guacamole! Checking out Cape varsity softball’s roster, I count 11 players. I only count nine for junior varsity. Application for Sussex Tech field hockey head coach closes Friday, March 17, and somewhere there is an Irish joke. Smyrna won the DIAA state championship of boys’ basketball because they were in fact the best team, superbly coached by Andrew Mears. The Eagles return Jaymeir Garnett, Caleb Mathews and Azubuike Nwankwo. If you are out there “sellin’ wolf tickets,” criticizing a coach or team, be aware you are never anonymous, so you may as well talk directly to the coach or a local sportswriter. In fact, I will gladly publish your comments in the interest of transparency, if you sign off on them. Go on now, git!

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