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July 19, 2012On Thursday morning, news broke that former Villanova big man Markus Kennedy decided that he was going to transfer to SMU. The 2011 high school graduate called new SMU head coach Larry Brown directly to give him the news.
"He told me that he was really excited," said Kennedy, of the coach's reaction. "He said that he was about to get on a flight to head to Milwaukee and he didn't like to fly but he was glad I gave him some good news to think about before he left."
Kennedy was being recruited by many schools including Georgia Tech, Florida, Ohio State, Rhode Island and Boston University but the newest member of the Mustangs said that everything in Dallas was too much to turn down.
"I picked SMU because I believe in what Coach Larry Brown and his staff are doing there and the support that they have around me, like Crandall Head. I think that we can really turn the program around and make an impact."
The desire to be a part of a team that turned things around under a Hall of Fame coach really appealed to the Philadelphia native.
"It helped to make the decision a lot easier since I knew that I wasn't going to be the only player there trying to turn around. Plus, Coach Brown is awesome, he is a Hall of Fame coach. I believe in him and the staff."
The relationship between Brown and Kennedy started when the 6-foot-9, 225-pounder was a freshman at Villanova and Brown was just an observer at practice.
"He was around a lot last season and was always giving me little pointers. We built a relationship there and I think that the opportunity to play for a Hall of Fame coach is hard to pass up."
The future Mustang will have to sit out this upcoming season but will be available to play the 2013-14 season for SMU, their first season in the Big East.
Since Kennedy is transferring from one Big East team, to a future Big East team, the center thinks that he will be able to provide leadership to his new team.
"I won't be new to the league like the rest of the team so I can show them how you have to show up ready for a dog fight every night in the Big East. You can't ever think a game will be easy, every one is a fight in the league."
Kennedy said that he expects to be on campus in late August for the start of the fall semester at SMU.