Bradley Lands 2016 Commitment From Local 2-Guard

By Roy & Harv Schmidt

July 14, 2015

1:00 P.M. CST

Illinois Prep Bulls-eye said three and a half months ago that the most immediate benefit of Bradley University hiring Brian Wardle as the next head coach of their men's basketball program would be the rewards that would be reaped on the recruiting trail (http://ilprepbullseye.com/Wardle_Bradley.html).  And sure enough, after a spectacular job of solidifying his 2015 recruiting class, Wardle is off to a great start with respect to 2016.

This is because Wardle and the Braves have secured a commitment from 6'5 2016 2-guard Nate Kennell from Metamora High School in Metamora, IL.  Kennell made his decision official this morning.  He chose Bradley over scholarship offers from UIC and Siena.

Kennell took an unofficial visit to Bradley during the Spring.  Wardle offered him a scholarship two weeks ago (at the end of June). From the time that Wardle had Kennell on campus, he and his assistants let it be known to Kennell that he was one of their top recruiting priorities--in fact he was their #1 priority among shooting guards in the 2016 class.

The bottom line is that Kennell was never looking to venture far away from home when it came to making his college choice.  He grew up a Bradley fan, and the moment that Wardle extended the scholarship offer, it was basically a done deal.  Kennell summed up his decision by calling it "a dream come true."

Kennell turned in strong performances on the travel team circuit during the Spring evaluation period.  Above all else, he showed that he has become a more diverse offensive player.  That is when the majority of schools that recruited him began to take notice.

Make no mistake about it--Kennell is a shooter first and foremost, with range that extends beyond the 3-point line and the ability to consistently knock shots down from behind the stripe.  However, Kennell has become much improved when it comes to his ball skills and being able to utilize screens and score on the move as well as spotting up.  He is also effective on the break, where he has proven to be a good finisher.

Kennell becomes Bradley's second commit in their 2016 class, as he joins 6'10 center Koch Bar from West Oaks Academy in Orlando, FL.  The impact of Kennell's commitment cannot possibly be overemphasized.  It sends a loud and clear message that the Braves are going to be a recruiting force with respect to keeping top Peoria-based talent in the fold.  

In addition to Kennell, Wardle and Bradley have extended a scholarship offer to the top prospect in Peoria--6'3 2017 combo guard DaMonte Williams and have also shown interest in a couple of other top local players in 2017--6'4 wing Romon Douglas from Peoria Manual and 6'4 2-guard A.J. Youngman.  There is no question that Wardle and his staff deserve kudos on an outstanding job of resurrecting Bradley's recruiting in both 2015 and 2016 in a relatively short period of time. 

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