Though there was far more intrigue for the end-game in Anthony Goods' recruitment, one notable parallel with the Lawrence Hill episode was the parental support for Stanford. Carol Goods was with her son last June when they came to The Farm for the High Potential Camp, and she visited with him again less than a week ago on the official visit. Her enthusiasm for the vision of her son at Stanford throughout the last 12 months has been tremendous.
"I have to be candid - oh, my goodness. There are three excellent schools for [Anthony] to choose from," she told The Bootleg on Friday. "But Stanford truly stands on its own... I have my preference, and I believe Anthony is pretty close to my thinking."
Despite that support, Carol Goods put the new Stanford head coach Trent Johnson through the ringer during that official visit. She was the one who pulled the plug on the originally scheduled trip two weeks earlier, after Mike Montgomery took the Golden State Warriors job and yanked the proverbial carpet from under the Goods family. All the questions she and her son had probed in late April of the previous head coach now had to be asked anew - and then some.
"To me it was a clean slate," the concerned mother reports on her approach to the new Stanford head man. "I didn't know what Coach Johnson wanted to do with his players and with the recruits on the table."
She left campus Tuesday morning quite satisfied with what the 47-year old coach had to say, and what they meant about the immediate future of Stanford Basketball.
"The transition should be seamless; the supporting staff is still all there. As I understand, Coach Johnson was at Stanford before with Coach Montgomery and has had relationships with the current assistants. He knows the players and the style of basketball," she reports.
"I think it exceeded my expectations. It was nice. I got a good feel for the players," the guard recruit describes of his own experience on the visit. "It was important for me to get to know Coach Johnson; I already knew about Stanford academically. He's a cool dude - real cool. He's easy to talk to."
One of the areas where both mother and son grilled Montgomery in April was the style of guard play that Stanford would offer Goods. The response, which more than soothed any concerns, described how the Cardinal coach had employed Brevin Knight 10 years earlier. Questions arose again on the subject of style of play, and Johnson had equally satisfactory answers.
"The players are going to have a lot more freedom than Stanford has had in the past," the recruit reports. "They are going to push the ball a lot more. I will be asked to do a lot in my career."
The next concern, which was a weighty one, was depth chart and playing time. Goods walked away content with his opportunities. He says that he will play shooting guard his freshman year, and then play some at both guard positions starting his sophomore year.
There was one nagging anxiety which the coaching staff could not address for this Centennial High School combo guard. For answers, he looked to the players and Stanford student body.
"Academically you know Stanford is Stanford," Goods begins. "But the other side of that is the people. Your first thought is that they are just studious - heads in the books but not play. I'm considered a bookworm at my school, but I look around at my AP classes and see some people I couldn't hang with for four years of college. I went to Stanford on my visit and found I was completely wrong. The people are the best."
"I was looking through the media guide," the 6'3" guard continues. "And I saw all the player profiles where they answer a bunch of questions. They were asked what do they most like about Stanford, and almost all of them said the people. I can see where they get that. All the people are down to earth."
While his third and final spring official visit to the Cardinal campus left the most positive of impressions across the board, Goods was doing very little thinking about recruiting in the days after he returned to Southern California. He had a mad rush of final exams and assignments that had been rearranged to allow him to spend all of Monday at Stanford. The previous week he missed a critical day of school to visit Washington. He and his mother worked with his teachers to construct a tight but feasible plan to handle the missed work and tests, but he had the great misfortune of having his backpack stolen this past week. Inside was something more valuable than his Walkman - he lost his make-up homework. Goods will see his semester GPA take a hit as a result.
Understandably he pushed recruiting out of his mind during the remainder of the week, but his mother refocused the college decision process on Sunday. There had been some thought about letting the process push deeper into the summer or maybe the early part of the fall. Some East Coast schools, namely Georgia Tech and Illinois, were making strong pushes for visits from Goods.
"I honestly didn't know what an East Coast program, or one who had not yet been as involved with him, could offer that his top three on the West Coast could give him," Carol Goods maintains.
She told Anthony that he needed to come to an answer on his commitment that day or the next. The two sat down most of Sunday and settled confidently on Stanford.
"Both Coach Johnson and Coach [Lorenzo] Romar are great guys, so you put the coaches aside and then look at the schools," the recruit opines. "Stanford is the place where I felt the most comfortable."
"I'm excited," Goods exclaims. "I wish I didn't have to go through my senior year of high school. I want so bad to get on The Farm a little earlier."
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