Men’s hoops picks up transfer Kearney

There’s a new face at the ASU men’s basketball practices this semester.

The Sun Devils have announced the signing of Brandan Kearney, who transferred from Michigan State. He’ll sit out a year due to NCAA rules, but Kearney will be eligible to play in the spring semester.

Although the schedule for next season has not been released, Kearney should be back during the early part of conference play of the 2013-14 season.

Kearney said in a team statement that 20 schools contacted MSU, his family, his high school coach and his AAU coach after he decided to leave the Spartans. He chose ASU over Texas A&M; and Iowa State.

“I felt coach Sendek and his staff were honest with me, and I was honest with them,” Kearney said. “We talked about basketball, academics and life. Coach Sendek is very intelligent person, and he gave me the blueprint of what he thought about me as a player. He let me and my family know up front that (MSU) coach (Tom) Izzo had nothing but positive things to say about me.”

The long, lanky wing is listed at 6 foot 5 inches tall and 190 pounds. He averaged 9.6 minutes in 34 games last season. He scored 1.2 points and 0.8 rebounds in limited play.

The Spartans won the Big 10 Championship, tournament title and earned a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament. They lost to Louisville in the Sweet 16 at U.S. Airways Center.

“I just want to say first and foremost that I will always be respectful for my time at MSU,” Kearney said. “I played there for two years, won a Big 10 Championship and conference tournament championship. I played in some very big games, hit a couple of big shots and made some big defensive stops. I just felt for me I needed a change. My challenge now is to continue to get stronger, work more intensively on my skill set, and finish my last two years on a great note.”

The Detroit native was a three-star recruit on Rivals.com in the 2011 class. He was ranked the No. 28 small forward in the country.

While at Detroit Southeastern High, Kearney averaged 18.5 points, seven rebounds and 6.5 assists and was a 2011 Class A First-Team All-State honoree.

He was part of the 2009 USA Basketball U-16 squad that took gold in the FIBA Americas along with current NBA players Bradley Beal and Andre Drummond.

“Playing in the Pac-12 Conference will be a challenge for me, although I’m hopeful because historically guards have been very successful in the Pac-12,” Kearney said. “I bring Big 10 experience, and I will provide leadership to my new teammates at Arizona State. The visit to Tempe, Arizona, was pleasant. The community while there gave my family and I a warm feeling. The campus is very attractive and the surroundings gave you a confident feeling also.”

Kearney said along with Sendek’s honesty, he liked the NBA experience ASU had on staff with assistant coaches Eric Musselman and Larry Greer. Kearney said assistant coach Dedrique Taylor did a great job recruiting him.

Kearney got along with redshirt freshman point guard Jahii Carson and senior wing Carrick Felix, who Kearney will likely replace in the starting lineup next season.

“Brandan is a good player he’ll help the team next year,” Felix said. “He can handle the ball. He can definitely penetrate and create his own shot. One thing that I think he’s good at is passing and finding other people on the court. Especially with him being 6’5″ and being able to play like that point guard position is really good for us. He’s a good kid. We’re lucky to get him, and he has a tremendous opportunity here.”

 

Reach the reporter at mtesfats@asu.edu