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Postseason Player Review: Luke Kornet

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All hail LUUUUUUUUUUUUUUKE.

NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament-First Round-Northwestern vs Vanderbilt Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

When Luke Kornet committed to Vanderbilt back in April 2013, he was an afterthought, a guy Kevin Stallings took a flyer on because he was Frank Kornet’s son and he’d grown from 6’3” to 6’10” during his senior year of high school.

In 2016-17, he was a First Team All-SEC player. Yeah, I would say that worked out.

Luke’s senior season got off to a slow start. Through Vanderbilt’s first 12 games of the season, Luke was averaging 12.7 ppg — but he was shooting 39.8 percent on twos and 28.2 percent on threes. But while we were trying to figure out just what was wrong, Luke stepped up his game once SEC play began. In conference play, Luke averaged 14.1 ppg — and was the team’s leading scorer for the season — while shooting 54.1 percent on twos and 37.8 percent on threes. And at 7’1”, he was the sixth-best free throw shooter in the SEC at 85.7 percent and posted the SEC’s lowest turnover rate.

What’s more, Luke committed just 2.9 fouls per 40 minutes while being one of the SEC’s best defenders in the paint. With Vanderbilt having a thin bench, Luke’s ability to stay on the floor wound up being very important. In SEC play, Luke played fewer than 30 minutes just once — and that had far more to do with the game being a blowout (a 77-48 win over Mississippi State) than foul trouble or fatigue.

But this is why it’s worth taking a flyer on a late bloomer with size. Luke Kornet was definitely a Best Case Scenario, but he’s graduating as Vanderbilt’s all-time leader in blocked shots and 37th on the career scoring list.

Luke Kornet, we salute you.

Grade: A. You thought it would be any less?