Kennard headlines list of local players in NCAA tournament

DURHAM, NC - FEBRUARY 28: Luke Kennard #5 of the Duke Blue Devils reacts after a play during their game against the Florida State Seminoles at Cameron Indoor Stadium on February 28, 2017 in Durham, North Carolina. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

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DURHAM, NC - FEBRUARY 28: Luke Kennard #5 of the Duke Blue Devils reacts after a play during their game against the Florida State Seminoles at Cameron Indoor Stadium on February 28, 2017 in Durham, North Carolina. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

In addition to the usual rooting interests with area teams such as Dayton, Cincinnati, Xavier and Kentucky in the NCAA tournament field – along with first-time participant Northern Kentucky – there are a handful of players from local high schools who fans might want to follow for the next three weeks.

Here’s an alphabetic list:

Kyle Ahrens (Versailles), Michigan State

A sophomore guard/forward, Ahrens has played in 32 of 33 games this season with four starts. He averages 2.7 points and 1.6 rebounds in 8.4 minutes per game, and his .750 free throw percentage is third best on the team.

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EAST LANSING, MI - FEBRUARY 28: Kyle Ahrens #0 of the Michigan State Spartans drives baseline against Deividas Zemgulis #1 of the Penn State Nittany Lions in the second half at the Breslin Center on February 28, 2016 in East Lansing, Michigan. (Photo by Rey Del Rio/Getty Images)

EAST LANSING, MI - FEBRUARY 28: Kyle Ahrens #0 of the Michigan State Spartans drives baseline against Deividas Zemgulis #1 of the Penn State Nittany Lions in the second half at the Breslin Center on February 28, 2016 in East Lansing, Michigan. (Photo by Rey Del Rio/Getty Images)

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EAST LANSING, MI - FEBRUARY 28: Kyle Ahrens #0 of the Michigan State Spartans drives baseline against Deividas Zemgulis #1 of the Penn State Nittany Lions in the second half at the Breslin Center on February 28, 2016 in East Lansing, Michigan. (Photo by Rey Del Rio/Getty Images)

» RELATED: 5 things to know about NCAA First Four tournament in Dayton

Justin Bibbs (Chaminade Julienne), Virginia Tech

One of two Hokies who average more than 31 minutes per game, Bibbs has scored in double figures in 11 of his last 14 games. The junior forward averages 9.2 points and 2.8 rebounds with a .425 shooting percentage from 3-point range.

After playing two years at CJ, Bibbs finished his high school career at Montverde Academy, leading the team to back-to-back national championships including a 28-0 record as a senior.

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ANAHEIM, CA - NOVEMBER 27: Justin Bibbs #10 of the Virginia Tech Hokies dribbles the ball during the third place game against the Nebraska Cornhuskers at the Wooden Legacy at Honda Center on November 27, 2016 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Robert Laberge/Getty Images)

ANAHEIM, CA - NOVEMBER 27: Justin Bibbs #10 of the Virginia Tech Hokies dribbles the ball during the third place game against the Nebraska Cornhuskers at the Wooden Legacy at Honda Center on November 27, 2016 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Robert Laberge/Getty Images)

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ANAHEIM, CA - NOVEMBER 27: Justin Bibbs #10 of the Virginia Tech Hokies dribbles the ball during the third place game against the Nebraska Cornhuskers at the Wooden Legacy at Honda Center on November 27, 2016 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Robert Laberge/Getty Images)

Jarron Cumberland (Wilmington), Cincinnati

Cumerland averaged 7.9 points and 2.3 rebounds as a freshman to earn a spot on the American Athletic Conference all-rookie team. He appeared in 32 of 33 games while averaging 18.6 minutes.

He led the Bearcats with 14 points in their AAC tournament championship game loss to SMU and has scored in double figures in five of his last six games.

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HARTFORD, CT - MARCH 11: Vance Jackson #5 of the Connecticut Huskies drives against Jarron Cumberland #34 of the Cincinnati Bearcats during the first half of the semifinal round of the AAC Basketball Tournament at the XL Center on March 11, 2017 in Hartford, Connecticut. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

HARTFORD, CT - MARCH 11: Vance Jackson #5 of the Connecticut Huskies drives against Jarron Cumberland #34 of the Cincinnati Bearcats during the first half of the semifinal round of the AAC Basketball Tournament at the XL Center on March 11, 2017 in Hartford, Connecticut. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

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HARTFORD, CT - MARCH 11: Vance Jackson #5 of the Connecticut Huskies drives against Jarron Cumberland #34 of the Cincinnati Bearcats during the first half of the semifinal round of the AAC Basketball Tournament at the XL Center on March 11, 2017 in Hartford, Connecticut. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

» MORE: 7 things to know about the First Four teams

Vince Edwards (Middletown), Purdue

An All-Big Ten honorable mention selection this season, Edwards played in all 32 games with 24 starts while averaging 12.2 points and 4.8 rebounds per game while leading the Boilermakers to the regular-season title.

The junior forward will declare for the NBA Draft but will not hire an agent, leaving open his options to return to Purdue next year.

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WEST LAFAYETTE, IN - DECEMBRER 21: Vince Edwards #12 of the Purdue Boilermakers shoots the ball as Carrington Ward #0 of the Norfolk State Spartans trails behind at Mackey Arena on December 21, 2016 in West Lafayette, Indiana. (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images)

WEST LAFAYETTE, IN - DECEMBRER 21: Vince Edwards #12 of the Purdue Boilermakers shoots the ball as Carrington Ward #0 of the Norfolk State Spartans trails behind at Mackey Arena on December 21, 2016 in West Lafayette, Indiana. (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images)

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WEST LAFAYETTE, IN - DECEMBRER 21: Vince Edwards #12 of the Purdue Boilermakers shoots the ball as Carrington Ward #0 of the Norfolk State Spartans trails behind at Mackey Arena on December 21, 2016 in West Lafayette, Indiana. (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images)

» RELATED: First Four to spur economic growth in Dayton

AJ Harris (Dunbar), New Mexico State

Harris is redshirting this year after transferring from Ohio State, but he’ll be on the bench cheering on his teammates when they begin play Friday in Tulsa against Baylor.

Luke Kennard (Franklin), Duke

The sophomore guard was voted first team All-Atlantic Coast Conference and is one of 10 finalists for the Naismith Award, presented annually to the nation’s top player.

Kennard, who ranks third in the ACC with an average of 35.9 minutes per game, leads the Blue Devils in scoring (20.1) and is third in rebounding (5.3). He’s scored in double figures in 19 consecutive games and has posted 20 or more 19 times this seasons and at least 30 four times.

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DURHAM, NC - FEBRUARY 11: Luke Kennard #5 of the Duke Blue Devils shoots against Gabe DeVoe #10 of the Clemson Tigers during the game at Cameron Indoor Stadium on February 11, 2017 in Durham, North Carolina. (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)

DURHAM, NC - FEBRUARY 11: Luke Kennard #5 of the Duke Blue Devils shoots against Gabe DeVoe #10 of the Clemson Tigers during the game at Cameron Indoor Stadium on February 11, 2017 in Durham, North Carolina. (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)

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DURHAM, NC - FEBRUARY 11: Luke Kennard #5 of the Duke Blue Devils shoots against Gabe DeVoe #10 of the Clemson Tigers during the game at Cameron Indoor Stadium on February 11, 2017 in Durham, North Carolina. (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)

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Trey Landers (Wayne), Dayton

Landers, a freshman guard, has appeared in nine games this season with a career high five points, which he achieved three times, the most recent of which was in an 85-63 win at St. Louis on Feb. 14.

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Dayton’s Trey Landers scores against Saint Louis on Sunday, Jan. 22, 2017, at UD Arena. David Jablonski/Staff

Dayton’s Trey Landers scores against Saint Louis on Sunday, Jan. 22, 2017, at UD Arena. David Jablonski/Staff

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Dayton’s Trey Landers scores against Saint Louis on Sunday, Jan. 22, 2017, at UD Arena. David Jablonski/Staff

» MORE: What are the Dayton Flyers’ odds of winning a national championship?

Ryan Mikesell (St. Henry), Dayton

He’s one of three Flyers to appear in all 31 games, and his 24 starts are second most on the team. The sophomore forward averages 5.9 points and 4.0 rebounds.

The 21-point outing Mikesell had in his first collegiate game stands as his career high. His first career double-double (12 points, career-high 11 rebounds) came this season in a 68-63 win against Vanderbilt on Dec. 21.

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Dayton’s Ryan Mikesell dribbles against Duquesne’s Isiaha Mike on Saturday, Feb. 4, 2017, at UD Arena. David Jablonski/Staff

Dayton’s Ryan Mikesell dribbles against Duquesne’s Isiaha Mike on Saturday, Feb. 4, 2017, at UD Arena. David Jablonski/Staff

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Dayton’s Ryan Mikesell dribbles against Duquesne’s Isiaha Mike on Saturday, Feb. 4, 2017, at UD Arena. David Jablonski/Staff

D’Mitrik Trice (Wayne), Wisconsin

Trice has appeared in all 34 games with two starts, making his just the fifth true freshman to start at Wisconsin since 2000.

He averages 5.9 points and 1.9 rebounds while logging 18.6 minutes per game. Trice leads the Badgers and ranks sixth in the Big Ten in 3-point shooting (.437) and shares the team in lead in charges taken (six).

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WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 10: D’Mitrik Trice #0 of the Wisconsin Badgers dribbles the ball against the Indiana Hoosiers during the Big Ten Basketball Tournament at Verizon Center on March 10, 2017 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 10: D’Mitrik Trice #0 of the Wisconsin Badgers dribbles the ball against the Indiana Hoosiers during the Big Ten Basketball Tournament at Verizon Center on March 10, 2017 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)

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WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 10: D’Mitrik Trice #0 of the Wisconsin Badgers dribbles the ball against the Indiana Hoosiers during the Big Ten Basketball Tournament at Verizon Center on March 10, 2017 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)

» RELATED:Tournament announcement never gets old for Flyers

Xeyrius Williams (Wayne), Dayton

The sophomore forward averages 8.4 points and 4.8 rebounds per game, and his 36 blocks are most on the team. His five blocks in a 91-59 win against St. Joseph’s (Ind.) were one shy of the school record.

Williams, who is shooting .438 from 3-point range, hit a game-winning trey in a 75-74 win at Rhode Island on Feb. 10 after slicing the Rams’ lead to one on a 3-pointer with 18.7 seconds to go.

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Dayton’s Xeyrius Williams dunks against St. Joseph’s on Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2017, at UD Arena. David Jablonski/Staff

Dayton’s Xeyrius Williams dunks against St. Joseph’s on Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2017, at UD Arena. David Jablonski/Staff

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Dayton’s Xeyrius Williams dunks against St. Joseph’s on Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2017, at UD Arena. David Jablonski/Staff

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