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Kenney gets an All-Star snub

April 11, 2019

We all know why Colin Kenney should have made the Indiana All Stars.

He was one of the top 13 senior basketball players in the state. Duh, right?

Here are the basic reasons why the Marquette Catholic star didn’t make it — he comes from a small school in Northwest Indiana that didn’t make a deep post-season run.

Our corner of the state always cries foul when things like this happen. We’re always quick to chalk up snubs to a bias against the Region. It’s an easy rationalization for a perceived lack of recognition. There are always good players who miss out, but scenarios like this make us feel that the slight is real. No one’s out to stick it to us, per se, we’re just not always going to get the same consideration as those closer to the state hub.

All save for a few players on the team are from the greater Indianapolis area. That would lead us to believe the vast majority of elite basketball this season was played in or close to Marion County. We know better.

“I think his numbers certainly qualified him to be an Indiana All-Star,” Andrean coach Brad Stangel said of Kenney.

The list would also suggest it’s an awfully steep hill to climb for a small-school player to make the team. There isn’t a single player on the roster below Class 3A and there’s just one of those.

“I am disappointed there wasn’t a 2A or 1A selection,” Stangel said.

Looking at the list, there was no major debate over most of the roster. I honed in on two picks as possible spots that could have went to Kenney. Those appeared to be Culver Academy’s Ethan Brittain-Watts and Warren Central’s Jesse Bingham.

Brittain-Watts, a Boston University commit, averaged 16 points per game for an Eagles team that featured three big scorers, notably high D-I recruit Trey Galloway. The 6-foot-1 guard was the only selection who wasn’t a member of the Indiana Basketball Coaches Association Senior Supreme 15. The Furman-bound Kenney, who was on the Supreme 15, scored 25.8 points per game with a rare offensive efficiency trifecta of 40 percent 3-point shooting, 50 percent overall shooting and 80 percent free throw shooting.

″‘CK’ got everyone’s best defenders and double teams,” Marquette coach Fred Mooney said.

Brittain-Watts’ advantage? He played in two state championship games.

“If it takes a deep tournament run to make the all-star team, then it might as well be a team award,” Mooney said. “It’s not like we haven’t made the rounds. We played Culver Academies, we lost by one (in regionals) to the 2A state champs (Andrean), we beat the Ohio Division 3 state champs (Harvest Prep) and we crushed a really good Mishawaka Marian team.”

As for the 6-5 Bingham, a Supreme 15 pick who will play for the University of Indianapolis, he averaged 14.4 points per game. His in? Criss Beyers, his coach at Warren Central, is the Indiana All-Stars coach.

Kenney was one of three Supreme 15 seniors not named to the all-stars. The others were Frankie Davidson of Class A state champion Fort Wayne Blackhawk and Fort Wayne Northrop’s Sydney Curry, two more northern Indiana players.

It would’ve been a blast to see Kenney share the same experience as Marquette classmates Emma and Sophia Nolan. Good thing the Blazers girls won state or who knows what would have happened with that roster.

To Kenney’s credit, he plans to channel the oversight in a positive way.

“I know I am plenty deserving of a spot on the team,” he said. “It’s unfortunate that I wasn’t selected, but I’m going to use this as motivation. I’m going to push myself to improve all aspects of my game before I leave for Furman. In the end, I know hard work will prevail.”