Busy Spring Kicks Off For Goods

The high school season ended just four weeks ago for Corona (CA) Centennial junior combo guard Anthony Goods, but this weekend already marks the beginning of a crazy spring and summer of AAU basketball for the Stanford recruit. Like many other Cardinal recruits this morning, though, Goods also has some business to tend to at a testing center that could help determine his fate with Mike Montgomery's program...

What are you doing to keep yourself occupied this weekend?

Premier Inland Empire guard talent Anthony Goods is pushing his student-athlete label to the limit with a travel tournament that kicks off his busy spring AAU season, while the 6'3" junior from Corona (CA) Centennial also takes his third SAT this morning. Goods is scheduled to play with the Compton Magic squad at an adidas event in San Diego weekend that tipped off yesterday, with a plan to drive home last night, get some sleep, wake up and take the SAT locally, then drive back down I-5 to rejoin his AAU teammates for the remainder of the weekend.

"I'm ready as I'll ever be," Goods says about his SAT preparation. He took the test as a sophomore and scored a 1020, then he took it again earlier this junior year to boost his score 50 points. His quantitative score is a strong 600, but the SoCal standout on the court has been working tirelessly to improve his verbal score beyond his current 470.

"I get up at 6am on the weekends to take practice tests," the Centennial High School junior describes. "My friends are trying to get me to go out on Friday nights, giving me a hard time, but I feel like an old man - ready to go to bed by 8:30."

Goods gives a little laugh with that final comment, but he is serious about his commitment to his athletic and academic endeavors. SAT preparation has not been the only thing rising him at the crack of dawn in recent weeks. Ever since the end to his Centennial Huskies' season four weeks ago, the combo guard has been up for daily 6:30 am ball drills in the morning before school. Sixth period is used for agility work with his teammates, and afternoons find him in the weight room.

"I need to lead by example off the court," says Goods about his focus for senior year preparation.

His junior season finished with the selfless guard averaging 16 points, five assists and four rebounds per game with a chameleon identity on the floor. Midway through the year he was switched from the point to the shooting guard position, and Goods never complained.

"I did what the coach wanted me to do," he comments. "When he moved me to the 'two' to rebound more, I embraced it. When he wanted me at the point, I distributed the ball."

And when Centennial trailed by 18 points late in the third quarter of their second round playoff game to Arroyo Valley High School, with backcourt teammate Ryan Burnett unable to shoot well (injured shoulder), Goods was there to take over the team. He rattled off eight points in a 10-0 run that hurled the Huskies back into the game. The deficit was slashed down to five points at 59-54 at one point, and later at six points with a minute to go in the game, but Centennial could not climb all the way back. Goods did everything in his power, scoring 11 of his 30 points in the fourth quarter. He also dished out seven assists in the game.

"If we were going to lose, I'd rather lose like that - going down swinging," he comments on the season-ending loss for the 20-8 team. Ironically, it was the play in the paint that doomed the Huskies despite Goods' valiant backcourt efforts. Arroyo Valley 6'10" senior center Ephraim Williams scored 25 points, grabbed 13 boards and blocked seven shots in the win.

"We nicknamed him 'the eclipse' because every time you thought you had daylight, he moved in to cut everything off," Goods offers.

With his high school season now in the rear-view mirror, the AAU spring and summer circuit is getting rolling. Look for the 6'3" guard, who Greg Hicks and Tracy Pierson has ranked as the #2 point on the West Coast in the 2005 class, to spread himself among several travel teams. He remains loyal to the Spirit of the North, but he could play with them only sparingly as they are not scheduled to attend some of the bigger events this year. He is in San Diego with the Compton Magic this weekend, and again with Etop Udo-Ema's team at the Las Vegas Spring Showcase and Kingwood Classic events in April. He will hit Vegas another weekend in April with the Spirit of the North at the Las Vegas "Mae Fisher" Easter Classic. The spring season will close out with a cross-country trek to North Carolina with a joint Belmont Shore/H-Squad team led by Dinos Trigonis at the Bob Gibbons Tournament of Champions. In the summer Goods will play with a team yet to be determined at the Reebok Big Time and then the Best of Summer event. Individually he will camp early in July at either the adidas or ABCD camp.

When I spoke with Goods earlier this week, he had fielded phone calls from San Diego, San Diego State, Colorado State, Yale, Pacific and UC Santa Barbara. Many college coaches from high majors were squeezing in calls late this week and will finish early next week as they make their one allowed phone call per recruit in March. A SoCal school who made some waves (no pun intended) early this month is Pepperdine, who became the first school to make a firm scholarship offer to the athletic combo guard.

He continues to keep in close contact with the Cardinal coaches, of course, with regular emails and phone calls he makes to the Stanford Basketball office. This SAT score is something to watch, but it is also big news to report that Goods says he will have his Stanford application completed and in the mail "no later than Monday."

This should be a busy spring for Anthony Goods, who could fill needs for Stanford at either guard position. His size and athleticism allow him to play as an off guard, but his ballhandling and on-court leadership could also make him a premier Pac-10 floor general. With Mike Montgomery looking to fill five scholarship slots in this class, a versatile player like Goods is a goldmine. We will keep you up to date with all of his latest throughout the spring and summer, as his recruitment heats up.

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