Sunday, October 11, 2020

Four-star big man Franck Kepnang chooses Oregon Reprint - Rob Cassidy, National Recruiting Analyst

Oregon landed its second commitment in as many days on Saturday, when four-star center Franck Kepnang chose the Ducks over Texas A&M, Alabama and a number of other high-major suitors. Kansas, Miami, Ohio State, Oregon, Pitt, and St. John's were also linked with the Westtown (Penn.) School star at various points over the last year. Below, has a look at what the Rivals150 prospect brings to the table as well as what his commitment means for the bigger picture.

WHAT THE DUCKS ARE GETTING: One of the few truly elite rim protectors in this class, Kepnang is a top-30 prospect for a reason. He’s an extremely mobile and athletic big that can easily score at the basket but makes his living on the defensive end. Kepnang is a top-flight shot blocker that will also contribute on the boards in the Pac 12. He certainly has the frame of an NBA prospect and could become even more of a weapon if he continues to become a more versatile scorer. This is a massive recruiting victory for Oregon, as adding an athletic big to the roster will give Dana Altman’s squad a boost in an area of need.

WHAT IT MEANS FOR THE PROGRAM: The Ducks closed incredibly well here, stealing Kepnang’s pledge away from a number of major programs down the stretch. It was likely an Oct. 1 zoom meeting with the Oregon staff that helped seal the deal. Dana Altman and company have managed to add even more impressive size to a class that already includes 6-foot-11 center Nathan Bittle. The recent addition of 6-foot-6 guard Jonathan Lawson will give the Ducks length on the perimeter to match what they have working on the inside. Oregon hasn’t done much successful recruiting in the Northeast in recent cycles, so if winning the battle for Kepnang helps open the door to the region and, more specifically, to the powerhouse PSA Cardinals program for which Kepnang plays, it’s a giant bonus.

Antetokounmpo "Fishy" 2020 MVP Award

By Leah Cordier - EHR Online Talent

As COVID-19 has impacted many lives, it does not seem to be impacting Giannis Antetokounmpo! He is ON FIRE, as he scores yet another back-to-back Most Valuable Player Award. The All-Everything power forward for the Milwaukee Bucks seems to have “bested” his last year stats. He has made small but still significant improvements in regards to point average, rebounds, and three-pointers leading him to gain the 2020 MVP award. 

Nonetheless, the MVP received his award just as the Milwaukee Bucks lost to the Miami Heat in the second round of the playoffs.  One could say that the Bucks vs. Heat game was not a total loss for Antetokounmpo. 

Now Giannis is one of the three current players who have obtained multiple MVP awards, joining legends Stephen Curry and Lebron James. Being placed in the same category as such NBA stars, will Antetokounmpo soon take over the league as we know it, or will his presence start an uproar?

Many NBA fans are upset at the MVP voting outcome. A lot of people think it was “rigged." Even Laker’s player Lebron James, who came in second in the voting, stated to ESPN that, “[It]Pissed me off. That's my true answer."  Should Antetopkunmpo even be put into the same category, let alone the same sentence, as James at this point?

Stats have shown that in both 2018-2019 and 2019-2020 seasons, Antetopkunmpo was undeniably dominant and pulled in big numbers for the Bucks.  However, in both seasons Antetopkunmpo did not do too well in the playoffs.  Giannis slacked off and some might even say he let his team down.

Antetopkunmpo’s 2020 MVP award is questionable given his postseason strugglesAs an unbiased fan, looking in for the outside perspective, I would have to agree that Antetopkunmpo receiving the MVP award yet again...something smells fishy.