Duke’s freshmen phenoms RJ Barrett, Cam Reddish, and Zion Williamson are taking the college basketball world by storm. The nightly spectacle at Cameron Indoor Arena is a sight to behold, but it’s not the only place where a talented freshman roams.
Ironically, their names are alike, but the Cam Henderson Center is home to a diaper dandee that you need to know, his name is— Taevion Kinsey.
Unlike the previously-named freshmen, Kinsey isn’t a household name. But in time he will garner national attention. He got a taste of it last week as he made ESPN’s Top Ten.
This was a wild alley-oop sequence 😮 #SCtop10 pic.twitter.com/GdKkCgaFq2
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) January 19, 2019
Everything Kinsey does is full of excitement. From defending an inbounds play to his infectious personality or his warmup dunks, everything Kinsey does is must-see-TV.
— HoodieTae🎸🧕🏾 (@Taevion_) January 22, 2019
Kinsey will never be confused with being in conversation with the top players or freshmen in the country, and that’s perfectly fine. He is not on the same stratosphere as Bol Bol, Mac McClung, or Zion Willamson, but that does not mean he can’t be special. He won't be shaking hands with Adam Silver this summer and he will likely play in college for four years. Despite that, Kinsey is one to watch for years to come.
He came to Marshall as an unheralded player from Eastmoor Academy High School in Columbus, Ohio. There, he was an All-State performer and reminded those locally of skywalker former McDonald's All-American and Kansas Jayhawk Kenny Gregory (Word to Zach Fleer of 270 Hoops) who starred at nearby Independence High School. While he was most known for his breathtaking dunks, Kinsey averaged nearly 20 ppg and he shot close to 40 percent from three-point land.
Even at Marshall, things didn’t start off with fireworks as he came off the bench, he chipped away and played himself into the starting lineup. In this era of positionless basketball, Kinsey's skillset bucks tradition and serves as an advantage for him. Although, Kinsey was recruited as a shooting guard, he was moved to power forward to use his versatility and athleticism. Since Head Coach Dan D’Antoni made the switch, Kinsey hasn’t looked back.
Kinsey has spent 2019 tearing up opponents in and out of conference. Since entering the starting lineup, Kinsey has upped his averages across the board by averaging 15.2 points 6.8 rebounds in his five starts. This week, he was celebrated as the Conference USA Freshman of the week and Marshall fans are celebrating like they got that surprise casino bonus while visiting Las Vegas.
The Columbus, Ohio native averaged 13 points and 7.5 rebounds in two of wins last week over FAU and FIU for the Herd, while accumulating a 59.1 shooting percentage. Against FIU, Kinsey tallied 20 points and nine rebounds, which included eight dunks.
Surprisingly, Marshall basketball has a history of getting lucky developing great players. From Mike D’Antoni to Hal Greer to Jason “White Chocolate” Williams, there has been a litany of players that have made their mark in Huntington, West Virginia. Not to say Kinsey is in line to be like those mentioned, but if he soars to those expectations—don’t be shocked.