When the preseason polls come out next year, Dwight Lewis hopes the newspaper writers don't make the same mistake they made this season with his Archbishop Rummel High School team. The Metairie, La. native ended a great junior campaign as he proved the doubters wrong and doubled the win total that many believed they'd achieve this season.
Lewis, the No. 84 ranked player in the class of 2006, was the anchor for the 20-16 Archbishop Rummel team. The 6-foot-5, 190-pound versatile wing averaged 27 points, 9.5 rebounds and 4.5 assists per game this season. He improved on the rebounding end, he became a vocal leader and lead his team to the playoffs but lost in the first round.
"I think we were picked to win just 10 games this year," Lewis explained. "Every practice, we came out with that on our mind. We wanted to shock everyone and let them know that we were better than that. That was our mindset."
It worked. Don't expect to see Archbishop Rummel near the bottom again. In fact, expect anything less than a team that will contend for the championship, Lewis says.
"I hope they pick us to finish first or second in our league," Lewis said matter-of-factly. "We basically have the whole team back. We will lose one senior. Over the year we progressed so much. We'll have experienced starters back and everyone knows what we need to do now."
With offers from Baylor, LSU, Ole Miss, Oklahoma and Texas A&M, Lewis is already a hot recruit. Schools like Kansas, Texas, Miami, UCLA, Florida, Mississippi State and UNLV joined the schools that have already offered with visits to Metairie to see Lewis play this season. Still unaffected by the attention, Lewis insists there is no clear cut leader early on.
"I'm really open in this recruiting thing," Lewis said. "It's real hard to say who is the favorite right now. If I had to say who I like I'd probably have to say Kansas, USC, LSU, Oklahoma, Texas, Illinois and Stanford. But like I said, I'm wide open right now. There are no favorites."
Lewis said he didn't have any concrete plans to take any visits. For now, he's watching the playoffs in Louisiana. And he's taking mental notes on what it takes to go even deeper into the playoffs next season.
Lewis will play with the Houston Westside All-Stars this AAU season.