High major coaches, make a note to self: must see Vernon Goodridge in the next three weeks. The 6-foot-9, 215-pound power forward/center Lutheran Christian Academy in Philadelphia is one of the top big men in the class of 2005 and he’s got the skills to prove it. Onlookers caught a glimpse of it at the adidas Superstar camp in Atlanta on Wednesday night.
Goodridge is a defensive specialist that skies for rebounds and blocks a number of shots. He’s athletic for a big man but still needs to get up and down the floor faster. Nevertheless, Goodridge has been a hot commodity for several programs. He’s taken unofficial visits to Georgetown, St. John’s and UConn. He just returned from a trip with the Huskies.
“It’s nice up there. I liked it a lot. The academics are a nice strength and that’s important to me,” Goodridge said. “They have a nice weight room, too. The coaching staff is cool. They easy to get along with.”
The National Champions have had success developing big men. Case in point, Emeka Okafor, the number two pick in the NBA draft. That’s appealing to the shot-blocking specialist Goodridge.
“The coaches explained to me that it would be a good decision to go there and develop,” he said. “They used Josh Boone and Emeka Okafor as examples on what I could be for them.”
The Huskies aren’t the only program he’s considering.
“UConn, Georgetown, Virginia Tech and Wake Forest are the schools that keep in contact with me more than anyone else,” Goodridge said. “They’ve all offered.”
Seton Hall, North Carolina, Arizona, Georgia Tech and Syracuse have also inquired. Expect his list to grow but for now, he says, he’s entertaining ACC and Big East schools for now.