Stanford Basketball practiced in the middle of the afternoon Wednesday, and at 5 pm they boarded a bus to head to the airport for the trip to Los Angeles. But assistant coach Eric Reveno ducked out a little earlier than the rest, catching his own flight.
Junior point guard Anthony Goods from Corona (CA) Centennial High School told me Tuesday night that he thought it possible that Stanford would be at his Wednesday evening playoff opener against Alta Loma. It is not confirmed that Reveno was there, but Goods and his Huskies were firing on all cylinders in a 74-53 drubbing that advances them to the second round next Tuesday against either Walnut or Arroyo Valley.
When we last reported to you on Goods, he was enjoying a solid season averaging 15 points and five assists per game, but Centennial was a somewhat disappointing 11-7. Things looked like they would slide downhill when the Huskies' starting small forward and center were lost to academics, but Goods and the team have enjoyed an inspiring turnaround. With a reshuffle of the lineup, Goods moved from playing primarily the point guard to playing out on the wing, so that his athleticism could allow him to take a bigger role in the team's rebounding.
Since that move, the team has streaked to nine straight wins and now stand 20-7. Centennial is one of the hottest teams in the Southern Section, and though they face a ridiculously tough draw as the #10 ranked team in Division I-A (projected games against the #7, #4 and #1 seeds to just reach the March 6 finals in Anaheim), they are in a groove. Goods has picked up his scoring and rebounding since that switch, with an average of 18 points, six boards and four assists. For the season he is averaging 16 points, four rebounds and four and a half assists.
"Playing at the two guard just means I have to get in the paint," he says of his position transition. "I have to crash the boards and use my athleticism to get to the rim. I like running the two - it's fun. But I still play some point when our other guard comes out of the game, and I can still do that, too."
His assist numbers have barely suffered at the off-guard, but he does have greater chances to set himself up on the wing for jumpers in his new role. To wit, he drained six three-pointers in the first half alone in a February 6 game at Corona High School, scoring 23 in the half and 26 in the game.
Goods says that there has not been a flurry of recruiting activity during his past month of hot play, and he recalls just two coaches coming to his games. Arizona's Rodney Tention took in one game, and a University of San Diego coach has also come to watch the 6'3" junior combo guard.
His overall recruiting outlook has scarcely changed, he reports. "It's pretty much the same," Goods declares. "Arizona and Stanford are still there and Stanford is still my top choice. Purdue and Indiana are now on my list - we've been emailing and I've called them both."
You might remember from my January report on Goods that he had the precious Stanford admissions application in his hands and was taking his second SAT. We reported that he scored a 1020 his sophomore year, with a 600/420 breakdown for math/verbal. Goods had consulted with the Cardinal coaches and decided to focus his efforts almost entirely on improving that verbal score, and he reports some success with a 470 on his January verbal test.
Not ready to rest on that score, Goods has already signed up for the March 24 SAT, which is as strong a sign as anything that he has a very genuine love for Stanford. Too many times in recruiting reporting I have seen juniors who have brushed off the SAT or ACT and taken just one test late in the spring of their junior year - or none at all. We of course remember the famous case of a certain nationally acclaimed center in the 2003 recruiting class who took the test once in the spring and then was handcuffed when he received a dismal score that summer. The next test in the fall hits after many kids want to conclude their recruitments.
But Goods is taking his third SAT by March of his junior year and in doing so is giving himself every opportunity to maximize the board scores portion of his application profile. Though the junior from the Inland Empire is a bright and motivated kid, you have to also give credit to the influence and urging he gets at home.
"My mom keeps sending me emails all the time reminding me about the SAT," Goods says with howling laughter. "And she's in the same house!"
"I'm working on getting this application done," he additionally reports. "I'm taking my time and want to get it perfect."
Earlier this week, we reported the surprise finding that Goods had a friendship with another premier recruit in the 2005 class from a few hundred miles away. He and Glendale, AZ forward Lawrence Hill had played together on the Compton Magic AAU travel squad in an Iowa tournament. The Hoops In The Heartland event in Iowa City last October gave the junior pair their first introduction.
"I had heard a little about him," Goods recalls of Hill. "But I didn't really know all about what he could do. Then during warmups we had a dunk contest. He did some stuff I had never seen before, and I was like 'Wow.' We also had a good time playing video games when we weren't in the gym."
The two have recently started emailing each other and discovered that they have some common recruiting interests.
"Yeah, that's my boy," the SoCal junior says of his Arizona friend. "We've been talking about how it would be if we both end up at Stanford. That would be crazy - he's so athletic and I'm so athletic. It could be big trouble for the Pac-10."
If you would like to follow Goods and Corona Centennial during their playoff run, click here for a SS Div. I-A bracket from our good friend Jerry Gale at SoCalHoops.
Are you fully subscribed to The Bootleg? If not, then you are missing out on all the top Cardinal coverage we provide daily on our website, as well as our full-length feature articles in our glossy magazine. Sign up today for the biggest and best in Stanford sports coverage with TheBootleg.com (sign-up) and The Bootleg Magazine (sign-up)!