Franklin’s Luke Kennard facing big decision 

Published: Monday, March 20, 2017 @ 10:51 AM

Luke Kennard’s season is over following Duke’s 88-81 loss to South Carolina in the second round of the NCAA tournament Sunday. Now the question is whether his Blue Devils career is over.

The Franklin High School graduate averaged 19.5 points during his sophomore season at Duke and is listed as the No. 20 prospect for the NBA Draft in June.

>>RELATED: 5 things to know about Franklin’s Luke Kennard

University of Louisville and former NBA coach Rick Pitino weighed in on Kennard’s future a couple of weeks ago after Duke eliminated the Cardinals from the ACC tournament.

>>RELATED: Kennard elevating game with Blue Devils

“Sometimes I look at rankings, and I can tell you from spending eight years in the pros that what you see on this .net or this .net is not what the general managers are thinking in the pros of who to draft,” Pitino said.

>>RELATED: Franklin ‘couldn’t ask for better ambassador’ than Kennard

“That’s just saying who the best players are, in their opinion. I’ve always felt (Kennard) was, from an offensive standpoint, one, two or three best players in the country because he really knows how to play the game of basketball. He really head fakes well. He passes well, and has great feel for the game, and he’s a great foul shooter as well.”

Kennard, the ACC Tournament MVP, also averaged 5.1 rebounds and 2.4 assists while shooting 43.8 percent from 3-point range and 85.6 percent from the free throw line.

He was two-time Ohio Mr. Basketball at Franklin.

Greek Freak visits brother in Dayton

Published: Sunday, April 30, 2017 @ 8:32 AM

The Bucks' Giannis Antetokounmpo drives to the basket while being guarded by the Raptors' Serge Ibaka in the first quarter in Game Six of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals on April 27, 2017 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)
Dylan Buell/Getty Images

NBA star Giannis Antetokounmpo visited the University of Dayton on Saturday, playing at the Cronin Center with his brother Kostas and other Flyers.

Giannis, a 6-foot-11 small forward known as the Greek Freak, just completed his fourth season with the Milwaukee Bucks, averaging 22.9 points, 8.8 rebounds and 5.4 assists per game. He started in the NBA All-Star Game. The Bucks’ season ended Thursday with a loss to the Toronto Raptors in the first round of the NBA playoffs.

RELATED: Scoochie Smith starting own business

Kostas is a 6-10 forward who sat out last season as a NCAA partial qualifier. When Kostas arrived on campus last year, Giannis was the one who dropped him off at UD.

“I think he’s got great potential,” Dayton coach Anthony Grant said last week. “He hasn’t played the college game yet, so you want to be cautious. He’s not his brother. I don’t think anybody expects him to be his brother. He’s got talent. I think he understands he’s got to put the work in to be what he’s capable of being.”

The Antetokounmpos also went to a driving range on Saturday with Dayton freshman Trey Landers. Giannis shared video of the experience on Snapchat.

FSU’s Dalvin Cook among high-profile players still undrafted

Published: Friday, April 28, 2017 @ 2:34 AM

Florida State running back Dalvin Cook was not drafted during the first round of the NFL draft on Thursday.
Getty Images

The first night of the NFL draft was full of surprises, from the seemingly lopsided trades of teams looking to move up to the players selected several spots before they were projected to go.

>> Read more trending news

Perhaps the most surprising thing about Thursday’s first round was the collection of names that remained on the board for Day 2. Here’s a look at the some of the players with first-round talent who didn’t hear their names called in Round 1:

>> Photos from NFL draft

Dalvin Cook

Florida State’s star running back seemed like a lock to be selected in the first round after posting 1,765 yards and 19 touchdowns in his junior season. Cook saw both Leonard Fournette and Christian McCaffrey go in the top 10, Fournette going fourth overall to the Jacksonville Jaguars and McCaffrey going eighth to the Carolina Panthers. Cook could conceivably go to the Packers or Seahawks, the teams that hold the first two picks of the second round.

Cam Robinson

The 6-foot-6 former Alabama offensive tackle was projected to go somewhere in the middle of the first round, but after a 20-pick wait, the first offensive lineman off the board was Utah’s Garett Bolles. Tackle Ryan Ramczyk of Wisconsin joined Bolles later in the first round, leaving Robinson as the odd man out.

Quincy Wilson 

The University of Florida defensive back was considered a fringe first-round selection after a 33-tackle, three-interception season. Eight defensive backs came off the board Thursday night, but not Wilson.

Forrest Lamp

Much like Robinson, the limited number of offensive lineman taken in the first round pushed Lamp to the back of the line. Considered one of the most talent players at his position going into the night, Lamp undoubtedly will find a home on Friday night.

DeShone Kizer

Although Kizer wasn’t slated to be taken as high as some of the other quarterbacks available, some believed a team at the back end of the first round would take a chance on the Notre Dame product. With several teams still seemingly in precarious quarterback positions entering next season, it appears he’ll find a home sooner rather than later.

 

 

Day 3 NFL Draft tracker for Cleveland Browns

Published: Saturday, April 29, 2017 @ 11:17 AM
Updated: Saturday, April 29, 2017 @ 11:29 PM


            Cleveland Browns first round NFL draft choices, from left, Myles Garrett, Jabrill Peppers, center, and David Njoku answer questions during a news conference at the NFL team’s training facility, Friday, April 28, 2017, in Berea, Ohio. (AP Photo/Ron Schwane)

The Browns selected N.C. State running back Matt Dayes with their second seventh-round pick.

The Browns took Arizona State kicker Zane Gonzalez with their first of two picks in the seventh round.

A Lou Groza Award finalist as a senior, Gonzalez is the FBS career record holder with 96 field goals. His 494 points also are a FBS record, as are his six games with at least four field goals, three field goals of at least 50 yards in a single game.

He’s also the first FBS kicker to make at least 20 field goals in each of his four seasons.

›› RELATED: Browns get their quarterback in second round

6th Round

1. (185)

The Cleveland Browns took Florida defensive tackle Caleb Brantley with the first pick of the sixth round.

Brantley, at 6-foot-3, 307-pounds, was a second-team All-SEC pick in 2016 after he finished tied for the Gators’ lead in tackles for loss (8.5, 2.5 sacks) as a 10-game starter. He also started 10 games in 2015, recording 6.5 tackles for loss and three sacks, and he played consistently enough as a freshman to earn a start in Florida’s bowl game.

Draft analysts said despite being slightly undersized, he is an efficient mover with lean muscle mass and thickness in his arms and legs. He comes with a red flag, has he is facing a misdemeanor battery charge after allegedly striking a woman on April 13. The outcome of that case is still pending.

5th Round

16. (160): Roderick Johnson, Offensive Tackle, Florida State

The 6-foot-7, 298-pound lineman was a two-time first-team All-ACC pick who started every game on the blind side since midway through the 2014 season, when he garnered Freshman All-American honors for his play.

Johnson twice received the Jacobs Blocking Trophy from league coaches because of his work at left tackle for the Seminoles. He has long arms that tend to disrupt edge rushers and he brings power in the run block.

4th Round

20. (126): Howard Wilson, Cornerback, Houston

The Browns traded up to get Wilson in the fourth round, as they were not scheduled to make their first pick of the day until the fifth round.

Wilson was a first-team All-American Athletic Conference pick in 2016 after leading Houston with five interceptions, as well as recording 54 tackles and five pass break-ups. He used a medical redshirt in 2015 after tearing up his knee after an interception in the season’s third game.

Two Hamilton High grads agree to free agent deals with NFL teams

Published: Saturday, April 29, 2017 @ 9:05 PM
Updated: Saturday, April 29, 2017 @ 11:00 PM


            BLOOMINGTON, IN - OCTOBER 03: Jalin Marshall #7 of the Ohio State Buckeyes fumbles the ball while defended by Marcus Oliver #44 of the Indiana Hoosiers at Memorial Stadium on October 3, 2015 in Bloomington, Indiana. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

Hamilton High School graduates Marcus Oliver and Adam Pankey didn’t hear their names called during this weekend’s NFL Draft, but both told the JournalNews they agreed to terms as free agents shortly afterward.

Oliver, a linebacker and two-time captain at Indiana University, is headed to Philadelphia, where he work alongside Jordan Hicks, a former Greater Miami Conference rival at Lakota West.

Oliver played in 39 games for the Hoosiers with 25 starts. He led the team with five forced fumbles last season and was voted honorable mention All-Big 10.

Pankey, who started 37 of the 44 games he played at tackle at West Virginia, agreed to terms with Green Bay.

Both players will need to pass physicals before signing their free agent contracts ahead of rookie camp.

In an ironic twist, the Eagles and Packers will square off in the first preseason game Aug. 10 at Lambeau Field.