In a niche conference such as the WCC, sometimes a program must go against the norm recruiting wise to succeed. The Gonzaga Bulldogs and the Saint Mary’s Gaels have both found success by finding players overseas, especially in Canada and Australia.
Marty Wilson is doing a similar thing with incoming freshmen Ryan Keenan, an unknown center from Woodbury, Minn. Keenan does not have indepth profiles on any of the major recruiting sites, nor does he have a lot of hype surrounding him for the 2014-2015 season. However, the Pepperdine Waves believe they might have found their future starting center in Keenan.
While at East Ridge High School
Initially, basketball was not Keenan’s main sport. Before a large growth spurt, baseball was the sport Keenan put forth most his effort towards, where he was primarily a pitcher.
However, when Keenan shot up to 6-foot-10, basketball started to become his primary sport. And when Pepperdine came calling, Keenan love for the game was cemented.
Keenan played as a backup center his junior season, his first year on varsity. The Pepperdine coaches were still able to find him despite Keenan serving as a role player, and offered him a scholarship. Keenan eventually chose Pepperdine over South Dakota, making his dream of playing Division I basketball come true.
Keenan slid in the starting lineup his senior year, where he averaged 6.4 points, 4.6 rebounds and 1.4 blocks. The 6-foot-10 Keenan set record at East Ridge for field goal percentage his senior year when he shot 63 percent from the floor. His efforts in 2013-2014 earned him All-Suburban East Conference honorable mention honors.
Impact at Pepperdine
Keenan, at 6-foot-10 240 pounds, will likely be Pepperdine’s biggest body this year, making him a valuable asset to the team.
While he is raw, there is still a chance Keenan can shine in a reserve role this season for Marty Wilson and the Waves. However, if Keenan shows he is not ready to play 10-15 mintues per game this season, a redshirt year might be necessary.
Nonetheless, Keenan’s best basketball is likely in front of him. Because he is still a raw talent, Keenan might be a late bloomer and will probably make his biggest impact on the program as an upperclassman.