Monday, August 8, 2011

Billy Kennedy with a good start to his Texas A&M tenure

Billy Kennedy has taken the route less traveled in his coaching career.

Before taking the Texas A&M job vacated by Mark Turgeon's move to Maryland this spring, he worked 12 different collegiate jobs. His wasn't until his eighth season as an assistant coach that he spent two consecutive years on the same staff. (Ironically, one of those stops was as a member of the Aggie staff in 1990-1991.)

Now that he has become the latest Murray State head coach -- following Mark Gottfried and Mick Cronin -- to get a high-major job, Kennedy is hoping to stay there. And over the weekend, Kennedy took major steps towards ensuring that his tenure would be a successful one.

It started on Friday when J-Mychal Reese, a sharp-shooting lefty combo-guard out of Bryan, TX, committed to the Aggies. He currently ranks 46th in our 2012 Consensus Recruiting Rankings.

Reese made headlines a few months back when it was discovered that his father -- who also happens to be the head coach at Bryan HS -- was being offered assistant coaching positions at the schools that were recruiting "J-Mike". Brent Zwerneman broke the news that the elder Reese was resigning his position at Bryan HS and will be offered a spot on Kennedy's staff.

(The NCAA has instituted legislation preventing package deals, making a rule that there must be a two-year window between the hiring on a non-assistant staff member and the signing of a recruit that he was associated with in high school. Momo Jones couldn't transfer to St. John's because Moe Hicks, who coached him in high school, in the Director of Basketball Operations with the Johnnies. But John Reese will be hired as an assistant coach, making this package deal acceptable.)

Reese's brother also happens to be a student-manager for the Aggies, which surely played a role in his decision to head to college station.

Reese wasn't the only get for Kennedy. Kendrick Nunn, a top 50 scoring guard from the class of 2013 and a Chicago native, committed to play for Texas A&M on Sunday. Nunn's recruitment didn't have the intrigue that Reese's did, but according to Jeff Borzello of, Nunn's "play in the spring and summer cemented his spot amongst the top guards in the country".

Kennedy still has a long way to go filling out the 2012 and 2013 recruiting classes, but the weekend's commitments are a good start.

With Khris Middleton and David Loubeau headlining a talented crop of returnees for the 2011-2012 season, Kennedy will have every chance in the world to continue the success Turgeon and Billy Gillispie had in the program.

Some video of J-Mychal Reese:

And Kendrick Nunn:

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