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Photo by Twitter / Keonte Kennedy

Bears Add Memphis Portal Guard Keonte Kennedy

May 2, 2023
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The Bears’ backcourt and perimeter presence continued get deeper and more experienced with the commitment today of Memphis shooting guard Keonte Kennedy‍.

The 6-5/180 sixth-year senior was a 2018 signee with UTEP out of Westlake High School in Austin, Texas, where the 4 star senior averaged 14 points, 4.7 rebounds, 2.6 assists and 1.5 steals per game during the 2017-18 season. Kennedy was named All-District 25 first team, 6A Regional Defensive MVP and District 25-6A Academic All-District as a senior before arriving at UTEP.

Kennedy’s most productive season at UTEP was in his final season there in 2021-22 where he averaged 14.1 points, 6.1 rebounds and 1.8 steals per game, shooting 31.9 from 3. Last season with Memphis after his transfer, Kennedy averaged 9.1 points per game, shooting 46.1% from the field and 38.1% from the perimeter in 23 minutes per game, missing eight games with an injured hand.

Kennedy is the fourth portal addition for the Bears this spring, joining guards Jalen Cone‍ and Mike Meadows‍ and center Fardaws Aimaq‍, leaving two more roster positions to fill this spring.

Related:

Bears Make Another Portal Addition in Portland Guard Mike Meadows

Aimaq Ready to Turn Cal Program Around

Discussion from...

Bears Add Memphis Portal Guard Keonte Kennedy

7,584 Views | 22 Replies | Last: 29 days ago by FloriDreaming
Bearly Clad
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Another plus shooter for Madsen's offense. Suddenly we are looking deep and talented. One more elite player (Jaylon Tyson?) and one more big man who can play defense (Aziz Bandaogo?) and we're looking like a complete roster ready to compete for the PAC-12.

More importantly though . . . welcome to Bear Territory Mr. Kennedy. Blue and Gold suits you and we know you'll get after it on and off the court. Roll on you Bears!
KoreAmBear
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Bearly Clad said:

Another plus shooter for Madsen's offense. Suddenly we are looking deep and talented. One more elite player (Jaylon Tyson?) and one more big man who can play defense (Aziz Bandaogo?) and we're looking like a complete roster ready to compete for the PAC-12.

More importantly though . . . welcome to Bear Territory Mr. Kennedy. Blue and Gold suits you and we know you'll get after it on and off the court. Roll on you Bears!
Mad Dog is relentless! I am so happy for Cal Basketball.
KenBurnski
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Welcome and so excited to have you!
Also I love how Fardaws just tweets "lol keep 'em comin" to these announcements.
APT43Bear
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Great to see these players want to come to Cal and play for Madsen. My question though, where do you get those shoes in the background? haha
Econ141
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WE deserve this!
BearHunter
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Holy smokes! The staff is moving quickly
ktownbear83
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KoreAmBear said:


I am so happy for Cal Basketball.
Me too, KAB. So many positive aspects combining! Madsen's support from top NBA people. His NBA-player-development-recruitment focus in building his staff. The new coaches already being mentioned in comments from recruits. A key recruit like Fardaw having played for Madsen and being able to talk about that to recruits he knows.

Something's happening here. I've watched recruiting here for 30+ years. Too me, and I'm admittedly overgeneralizing, it seemed that many recruits, historically, viewed Cal as a power-five place for local talent to stay local (Kidd), or for SoCal kids who might want to get out of SoCal for a bit, but not too far away, and to not-too-different weather and culture. Yes we got some top players from far afield, but not consistently, or so it seemed.

Now? None of these first four recruits are locals. None had Cal on their radar three months ago. They're coming (i) for NBA-skill development from a head coach and staff focused on that, (ii) for the chance to play up-tempo, NBA style ball, and (iii) for the chance to play under a head coach who players want to play for and who gets mad respect. So it seems to me they're coming for the opportunity Madsen is assembling here at Cal, as opposed to coming here just because it's Cal. That's as it should be. They're coming for the basketball program at Cal, one just getting started but underway. Then, when the new recruits get here they'll get to discover all the things that make this such a good place to be. May they enjoy their time here even more than they thought they would. Welcome to Keonte, Mike, Jalen, and Aimaq!

Cal has not always been a big BB recruiting draw in and of itself. Entrance requirements can be an issue (but do not appear to have slowed down current efforts). Outsiders and competing coaches have at times insinuated that Cal's administration has never really supported winning in FB or BB. Yet Madsen himself has no doubt whatsoever that he will win here. On day one, he had every reason to ask for patience and everyone expected him to. But he refused to do so and instead, said, "It's not going to take as long as you think." That was ballsy. But only five weeks later (i) he's hired four asst. coaches with development and recruiting cred; (ii) he's signed four portal recruits who look pretty impressive; and (iii) they're not done yet, given talk that another two or even three might follow.

The first few games are going to be awesome. So will the ones that follow, most likely, but the very first chances to see, appreciate and support what's coming should be pretty special.

And meanwhile, Athletic Dept, you have a huge opportunity here both to jump start the enthusiam and increase ticket revenue. Do whatever it takes to fill Haas from the very first game (non-conference). Giving free tickets to freshmen worked nicely in football, remember? Give undergrads not only student section seats but also those not otherwise sold. Allow online returns for credit or deduction right up to tip off. Or, for every former season ticket holder who comes back for season tickets, provide x extra tickets per game to be given out to students or even high schoolers.

The point is that if you can help create the perception from game one, that the demand for Cal BB tickets is suddenly so high that it thretens to sell out most of the good non-season seats, and maybe all such seats, for any subsequent game, you will sell more of the subsequent game seats, and more such seats at higher prices, going forward. Take avantage of and inflate the bump that curiosity is going to make in any event. Help create excitement. Full strawhat band enters to fanfare followed by lights out.

Also, how about a giant video screen over the front gates, with stadium speakers, and a roped off plaza, for free plaza viewing for those who might want to try to get a last minute seat? Like the warriors do for away games? Maybe sell them hot dogs and drinks if that can be done. Why not?

Last, make sure tickets can be exchanged and resold online right up to game time. Consider competing with Hubstub.

Go Bears! ('cause Gobert gonna be a gone bear for now).

Go!Bears
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ktownbear83 said:

Allow online returns for credit or deduction right up to tip off.
They already do this. It makes it a lot easier for me to justify season tickets, knowing I won't make every game. I turn misses into tickets for my grandkids. We have great fun Saturdays at the gym. Join us.
Big C
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Madsen's come out of the gate firing, I love the attitude. Also gotta give some credit to the guys forking out the NIL: Thanks!
RedlessWardrobe
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I am genuinely excited, this is fantastic! Don't want to be a wet blanket but I'm still hoping that Madsen uses at least one of the two remaining schollies for an incoming freshman.
stu
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Madsen may not have had enough time to cultivate relationships with current high school players.
mbBear
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RedlessWardrobe said:

I am genuinely excited, this is fantastic! Don't want to be a wet blanket but I'm still hoping that Madsen uses at least one of the two remaining schollies for an incoming freshman.
If your name isn't Bronny, haven't most players made a decision for the upcoming season?
MoragaBear
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Staff
mbBear said:

RedlessWardrobe said:

I am genuinely excited, this is fantastic! Don't want to be a wet blanket but I'm still hoping that Madsen uses at least one of the two remaining schollies for an incoming freshman.
If your name isn't Bronny, haven't most players made a decision for the upcoming season?
Yes, though 17 of the 2023 Top 150 haven't signed yet, including some Hall of Fame names like Garwey Dual, Dink Pate, Marvel Allen, Jazz Gardner, Baye Ndongo and Blue Cain. Hard to imagine Madsen passing on some of the instant strong contributors he can bring in with the last two remaining slots in favor of a prep player, though, especially one he doesn't have a connection to, as much sense as it might make.
Civil Bear
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RedlessWardrobe said:

I am genuinely excited, this is fantastic! Don't want to be a wet blanket but I'm still hoping that Madsen uses at least one of the two remaining schollies for an incoming freshman.
Which 2 of Tyson, Woodbury, and Bandaogo would you prefer to give up for another incoming frosh?
RedlessWardrobe
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Civil Bear said:

RedlessWardrobe said:

I am genuinely excited, this is fantastic! Don't want to be a wet blanket but I'm still hoping that Madsen uses at least one of the two remaining schollies for an incoming freshman.
Which 2 of Tyson, Woodbury, and Bandaogo would you prefer to give up for another incoming frosh?
Civil, I understand your point completely. My original comment was based more on evening out the class distribution so that after this season when all of the portal guys leave we might be in a better position. I confess I'm not completely up on my details. I believe Tyson has two more years of eligiblity which would make him a great get. As mentioned above, I know its late but there are still a few 4 star high school guys out there. In any case, I'm excited for next season!
calumnus
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RedlessWardrobe said:

Civil Bear said:

RedlessWardrobe said:

I am genuinely excited, this is fantastic! Don't want to be a wet blanket but I'm still hoping that Madsen uses at least one of the two remaining schollies for an incoming freshman.
Which 2 of Tyson, Woodbury, and Bandaogo would you prefer to give up for another incoming frosh?
Civil, I understand your point completely. My original comment was based more on evening out the class distribution so that after this season when all of the portal guys leave we might be in a better position. I confess I'm not completely up on my details. I believe Tyson has two more years of eligiblity which would make him a great get. As mentioned above, I know its late but there are still a few 4 star high school guys out there. In any case, I'm excited for next season!


The Portal makes concerns about "class composition" a relic of history.

Next year the number of minutes for returning players will likely be extremely low. Possibly near the lowest in our history. Yet, we are all very excited.

Madsen will likely take more freshmen going forward but the ability to continually replenish your roster with experienced players via the Portal makes concerns about one year have a team full of freshmen moot. Madsen also plays a looser, more NBA style system so there is less need to have players be in his system for years to learn all the structure/set plays of some other coaches. Just reload every year and go:
Big C
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calumnus said:

RedlessWardrobe said:

Civil Bear said:

RedlessWardrobe said:

I am genuinely excited, this is fantastic! Don't want to be a wet blanket but I'm still hoping that Madsen uses at least one of the two remaining schollies for an incoming freshman.
Which 2 of Tyson, Woodbury, and Bandaogo would you prefer to give up for another incoming frosh?
Civil, I understand your point completely. My original comment was based more on evening out the class distribution so that after this season when all of the portal guys leave we might be in a better position. I confess I'm not completely up on my details. I believe Tyson has two more years of eligiblity which would make him a great get. As mentioned above, I know its late but there are still a few 4 star high school guys out there. In any case, I'm excited for next season!


The Portal makes concerns about "class composition" a relic of history.

Next year the number of minutes for returning players will likely be extremely low. Possibly near the lowest in our history. Yet, we are all very excited.

Madsen will likely take more freshmen going forward but the ability to continually replenish your roster with experienced players via the Portal makes concerns about one year have a team full of freshmen moot. Madsen also plays a looser, more NBA style system so there is less need to have players be in his system for years to learn all the structure/set plays of some other coaches. Just reload every year and go:

Exactly. It took the Mark Fox teams four years to perfect the run-clock-then-hoist-up-a-desperation-shot-with-a-second-left-or-not-even-know-the-shot-clock-was-expiring play. It was not easy to get that just right, believe me.

For example, that clown we used to have in 2021-22, Jordan Shepherd, used to screw it up royally: He would start the play way too early, like with 7-8 seconds left on the shot clock, then, of all things, his shot would go in!

Really, it took four seasons to get to the point where that play was run perfectly (last season).
calumnus
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Big C said:

calumnus said:

RedlessWardrobe said:

Civil Bear said:

RedlessWardrobe said:

I am genuinely excited, this is fantastic! Don't want to be a wet blanket but I'm still hoping that Madsen uses at least one of the two remaining schollies for an incoming freshman.
Which 2 of Tyson, Woodbury, and Bandaogo would you prefer to give up for another incoming frosh?
Civil, I understand your point completely. My original comment was based more on evening out the class distribution so that after this season when all of the portal guys leave we might be in a better position. I confess I'm not completely up on my details. I believe Tyson has two more years of eligiblity which would make him a great get. As mentioned above, I know its late but there are still a few 4 star high school guys out there. In any case, I'm excited for next season!


The Portal makes concerns about "class composition" a relic of history.

Next year the number of minutes for returning players will likely be extremely low. Possibly near the lowest in our history. Yet, we are all very excited.

Madsen will likely take more freshmen going forward but the ability to continually replenish your roster with experienced players via the Portal makes concerns about one year have a team full of freshmen moot. Madsen also plays a looser, more NBA style system so there is less need to have players be in his system for years to learn all the structure/set plays of some other coaches. Just reload every year and go:

Exactly. It took the Mark Fox teams four years to perfect the run-clock-then-hoist-up-a-desperation-shot-with-a-second-left-or-not-even-know-the-shot-clock-was-expiring play. It was not easy to get that just right, believe me.


Going into the 2022-23 season he said he "finally" had a roster made up entirely of his recruits who were "fully cooperative" and would follow his orders.

The result was the lowest scoring team with the worst record in the entire nation. The worst. Out of well over 300 schools. Either he is the worst coach of all time or the result was partly intentional. I lean towards the first but that seems improbable.
movielover
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Nice add.
ktownbear83
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Go!Bears said:

ktownbear83 said:

Allow online returns for credit or deduction right up to tip off.
They already do this. It makes it a lot easier for me to justify season tickets, knowing I won't make every game. I turn misses into tickets for my grandkids. We have great fun Saturdays at the gym. Join us.
Thanks Go!Bears. There I go again, demonstrating how long I've been away. and how much I don't know. I'll look into season tickets for that reason (got some grandkids myself.)
Big C
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ktownbear83 said:

Go!Bears said:

ktownbear83 said:

Allow online returns for credit or deduction right up to tip off.
They already do this. It makes it a lot easier for me to justify season tickets, knowing I won't make every game. I turn misses into tickets for my grandkids. We have great fun Saturdays at the gym. Join us.
Thanks Go!Bears. There I go again, demonstrating how long I've been away. and how much I don't know. I'll look into season tickets for that reason (got some grandkids myself.)

Our fanbase has been peeling away the past several years, understandably so. Everyone is welcome back! Go Bears!
FloriDreaming
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Big C said:


Madsen's come out of the gate firing, I love the attitude. Also gotta give some credit to the guys forking out the NIL: Thanks!
I second that second part (the first part, too). Madsen's bringing a lot of energy, but support from alumni and admin is crucial to any rebuild. Really nice to see buy-in. Looks to be an exciting season, and it's been a while since I've been able to say that.
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