Academy National Invitational: Thursday

It was an interesting day Thursday in Houston - the first full slate at the sixth annual Academy National Invitational. Norcross barely held off Rice and a DeMatha team that has battled injuries early in the season looked dominant in a blowout against Rainier Beach.

Jai Lucas, PG, Bellaire – The uncommitted senior floor leader struggled at times, especially finishing at the basket, but he led his team to a victory and finished with 25 points and six rebounds.

Jeff Francis, F, Westbury Christian – The 6-foot-6 senior runs the floor, is athletic and can put the ball on the floor and get to the basket. He did a nice job against Bellaire and should be a good fit for a Southern Conference team. Finished with 9 points and a dozen boards in the loss to Bellaire.

Gani Lawal, F, Norcross – The Georgia Tech-bound forward finished with 22 points and 9 boards and had an array of dunks in the overtime victory against Rice, but what stood out was his free throw shooting: Just 8of-18 to allow Rice to get back into the game.

Gary Johnson, PF, Aldine – Johnson did what he always does. He put up another double-double (31 points, 12 rebounds) and just overpowered a helpless Woodlands team.

Sei Paye, SG, Strake Jesuit – The Louisiana-Monroe-bound shooting guard had it going. He scored a game-high 27 points and was 10-of-12 from the line in the win against Tommy Mason-Griffin's Madison team.

Mike Singletary, SF, Kingwood – He's all about production. The Texas A&M-bound swingman put up 17 points and 11 boards to lead his team to a big win against Christ the King.

Demetri Goodson, PG, Klein Collins – The 6-foot, 175-pound junior point guard had his most anemic scoring output of the season, but he was trapped for most of the game and forced to give up the ball. That's exactly what he did – make quality decisions, control the tempo and show that he could make his teammates better. Although he showcased a solid floor game, we'd like to see him be more assertive.

Anthony Jones, PF, Yates – The slender 6-foot-10 junior would much rather be out on the perimeter. That's blatantly obvious. He had his moments in the loss to Klein Collins – such as when he showed nice touch with a 17-footer. However, he needs to play hard on a more consistent basis.

Lamont Jones, G, Rice – Was a complete non-factor for Rice in the overtime loss to Norcross. As a matter of fact, he didn't even score a single point.

Erving Walker, PG, Christ the King – The knock on Walker is that he just isn't big enough, but he plays bigger than his size. He had a spurt in which he was the most dominant player on the court and was 5-for-10 from downtown for the game and had 21 points.

Brandon Peters, SG, Yates – Here's a guy to keep an eye on for the future. Strong, assertive and athletic. The 6-foot-1 shooting guard got to the basket and was able to finish despite being just a freshman. He really gives energy off the bench and thrives going to the basket and in transition.

Goodson, whose older brother, Michael, is the starting tailback for Texas A&M as a freshman, put up 18 points and 10 assists recently in front of Kansas. ``This game today was about as bad as it gets for him," Klein Collins coach Tim Schumacher said. Goodson said that the game showed he could still lead the team to victory without having to score. Klein Collins sophomore forward Justin Wesley is Keith Langford's brother. Wesley is still working his way back from an injury he suffered prior to Christmas. … Westbury Christian coach Greg Glenn was without arguably his most talented player in Bahamas native Dwight Miller, a 6-foot-8 junior who apparently returned to the team shortly after quitting. Miller sat at the end of the bench in his warmups.

The early leader for Demetri Goodson appears to be Cincinnati. He also mentioned Clemson, Texas A&M, Kansas, SMU and Wichita State. …Anthony Jones said that Texas leads. He also likes Arizona. … Jai Lucas said he's still focused on four schools: Kentucky, Oklahoma State, Maryland, Oklahoma and XXXXXX. ``Nothing has changed," Lucas said. "Those are the four schools I'm still looking at." ... The Woodlands senior combo guard Ashton Caesar said he's received interest from Texas State. … Aldine 6-foot-1 junior guard Brandon Williams said he is receiving interest from SMU, Rice, Southeast Louisiana and Florida Atlantic. … Christ the King senior Andrew Gabriel mentioned Boston University, Manhattan, Duquesne, Providence and Rutgers.

Coaches in the Gym – Florida coach Billy Donovan and assistant Donnie Jones watched Christ the King's diminutive 5-foot-7 junior point guard Erving Walker. … Other teams represented include Kentucky, Iowa, LSU and Texas A&M.


  • Klein Collins 56, Yates 44

  • Bellaire 51, Westbury Christian 39

  • Norcross (Ga.) 60, Rice (N.Y.) 53 (OT)

  • Aldine 79, The Woodlands 53

  • DeMatha (Md.) 73, Rainier Beach (Wash.) 44

  • Strake Jesuit 88, Madison 72

  • Kingwood (Texas) 71, Christ the King 60

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