By LARRY VAUGHT
Kennedy Chandler, the highest ranked point guard in the 2021 recruiting class, is leaving Briarcrest Christian in Memphis, Tenn., to play his senior season at Sunrise Christian Academy in Kansas.
Kentucky is one of the finalists Chandler has listed as a potential college destination. At Sunrise, he’ll get to play against a competitive national schedule and also face better year-round competition in practices as well.
Briarcrest coach John Hampton has known Chandler since second grade and has coached him during his rise to national stardom. He averaged 22 points and four assists per game last year when Briarcrest when made its second straight state title game appearance. He’a also a two-time Class AA Mr. Basketball.
Sunrise Christian finished last season 22-3 and ranked fourth in the nation.
Chandler played at Marshall County Hoopfest last season.
Two of John Calipari’s children attended Briarcrest and Harrington knows Calipari and his family well.
Duke, Memphis, Tennessee and North Carolina are the other teams on Chandler’s final five. I thought he could be a definite Memphis lean. Others thought Tennessee was in good shape. However, his leaving the state to play could be good news for Duke — the team that Chandler said earlier this month in an interview with Pro Insight was his “dream school.”
Chandler is a speedy, speedy guard with a nice scoring touch outside. But even at 6-1, he can find ways to score at the rim. He also has a knack for drawing fouls much like former Wildcat Shai Gilgeous-Alexander did. I was also impressed when I saw him play with how disruptive he could be on defense — sort of similar to how Tyler Ulis looked when I saw him in high school.
Calipari has watched Chandler play several times and so far is the only point guard in the 2021 class with a UK scholarship offer.