Roderick Pearson Gets Gopher Interest

Roderick Pearson, a 6-foot-1 guard from Raytown South, averaged 12.3 points and six assists per game this past season. Pearson played in the adidas Super 64 in Las Vegas and at the Pricechopper, where he was watched by several college coaches, including Minnesota assistant Bill Walker. recently caught up with Pearson to learn the latest on his recruitment.

Roderick Pearson was a member of the All-Suburban Small Six first team and was named to the Examiner's 2004-05 All-Area Boys Basketball team. Pearson was forced to carry a big share of the offensive load down the stretch last season when Chris Allen and George Goode were ruled academically ineligible before returning for the playoffs.

Raytown South finished 21-6 last season and was 9-1 in the Small Six confernece. Pearson plays for controversial head coach Bud Lathrop, whose teams have won conference titles in 33 of the last 39 seasons. The Cardinals have won 20 or more games, 31 times in school history.

Raytown South lost in the District 15 finals at Raytown South to Lee's Summit North 55-48 in overtime.

Pearson played for the Kansas City Pump N Run AAU team that advanced to the Super 64 title before losing to eventual champion EBO/EA Sports in Las Vegas.

Kansas City Pump N Run defeated the Chicago Mean Streets Express 79-65 Sunday in the championship game of the Price Chopper/Kansas City Prep Invitational tournament at the Johnson County Parks and Recreation facility.

Pearson held standout guard Derrick Rose to 6 of 18 shooting in the championship game, making him work for everything as he finished with 20 points.

Lathrop announced that he would retire from the Raytown South program this past December, after school administrators suspended him for three weeks for cursing at his players. However, he deicded to finish the season and improved his career mark to 904-253 in 48 years with the school. He is 933-306 overall.

Pearson averaged 12.4 points per game as a sophomore, leading the Cardinals to a 19-9 mark. He was an Examiner's 2003-04 All-Area Boys Basketball team honorable mention selection.

Raytown South is considered to be one of the top teams in the state, as Goode is one of the top juniors in the Midwest and Allen will also be a third-year starter with Pearson.

What colleges are you hearing from?
"Dayton, Murray State, San Diego, Southwest Missouri State, Minnesota, Florida Atlantic, Western Illinois, Eastern Illinois."
Do you know much about those schools?
"I know about Dayton and (head coach) Brian Gregory. He was at Michigan State (as an assistant)."
What do you know about Minnesota?
"I know Bill Walker. His dad was athletic director at CMSU, when my dad (Roderick Sr.) played. I kind of know Bill Walker a lot."
What was your record last year?
"We were 21-6. We lost in the district championship."
Do you have most of your players back?
"We've got me, Chris Allen and George Goode."
Have you thought about schools that you definitely plan on visiting?
"I know that I am visiting Dayton and probably SMS (Southwest Missouri State) and San Diego. Those are the three that I know I am going to visit right now."
Do you know when you are going to go there?
"I know that I am going to Dayton in the beginning of the school year."
Have you taken the SAT or ACT yet?
"I passed with a 17."
Have you thought about a major yet?
"Engineering. I have a 3.0 GPA."
Do you play any other sports?
"Just basketball. I used to play football and baseball and ran track. I did the long jump and high jump."

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