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SMU’s latest high-major transfer is ex-Villanova big man Markus Kennedy

Marcus Kennedy (Getty Images)Markus Kennedy found one of the few ways possible to remain in the Big East after leaving Villanova.

The 6-foot-9 big man will transfer to a Big East school not yet a member of the league.

According to ESPN.com's Dave Telep, Kennedy plans to enroll at SMU, which means he'll become eligible just in time for the Mustangs' Big East debut during the 2013-14 season. The rising sophomore also considered Tulsa and Boston University before settling on the Mustangs.

The addition of Kennedy is further proof that an aspect of new SMU coach Larry Brown's strategy to make the Mustangs competitive in the Big East is to make the school a destination for high-major transfers. Brown previously added former Illinois guard Crandall Head and thought he had ex-Arizona guard Josiah Turner committed before the former five-star recruit opted to turn pro instead.

It's no surprise Kennedy chose SMU over his other suitors considering his extensive ties to the program. Kennedy had a prior relationship with SMU video assistant Jay Duncan, a former Villanova graduate assistant, and knew Brown well from the time he spent around the Wildcats program last year.

Although Kennedy alone certainly won't transform SMU into a Big East-caliber program,  he'd be another key cog in the Mustangs' rebuilding process.

Kennedy averaged 3.0 points and 4.4 rebounds in 15 minutes per game as a freshman, but he could be ready to have a breakout season by 2013 if he improves his body and game during his year sitting out.  Either way, he'll be a nice frontcourt pairing with Class of 2013 7-footer Jordan Dickerson, who committed to SMU this week.

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