Greene scored 12 points in a win for the South team
By early Saturday afternoon, Landen Lucas had posted up in front of the flat screens at the ESPN Zone. Never mind a trip to Disneyland, he didn’t want to miss the Final Four.
The Oregonian was in California for spring break, and says: “I had to escape the rain and get some sun.”
Given the weather we’ve endured lately, it’s hard to blame him. Or for this next bit, either.
Lucas, a 6-foot-10 center from Beaverton’s Westview High School, will play next season for Kansas, joining the parade of big-time players leaving Oregon to play college basketball elsewhere.
As Lucas watched the Jayhawks beat Ohio State on Saturday night, he dreamed about what might be in his future.
“A lot of people will have high expectations (for Kansas) heading into next year,” he said, “but that’s how you like it.”
…There was apparently a mutual cooling between Lucas and Oregon. It wasn’t meant to be. And then Lucas visited Kansas, spent some time at Phog Allen Fieldhouse, encountered the school’s hoops tradition. It’s hard to fault his choice. Just like if he had picked Kentucky. Or Duke (Kyle Singler). Or UCLA (Kevin Love).
But like the others before him, Lucas is leaving home.
When Miller School boys basketball coach Scott Willard first met Andrew White, he saw something special.
Willard was White’s coach on a national team after White had excelled in the Richmond area’s public schools, and Willard was starting his coaching tenure at the private school in Crozet. A bond was formed, and White ended up playing his final two high school seasons under Willard in Albemarle County. Two years later, White has developed himself into a highly touted small forward who will soon be signing to play for Bill Self at the University of Kansas.
“From Day 1, he’s as good as advertised in the community, in the classroom and obviously on the basketball court,” said Willard in a recent interview. “We go back about three years… so I got a chance to have a first-hand look at his demeanor, work ethic, how good a teammate he was, and we knew when he committed to come to Miller that he wouldn’t skip a beat. He’s really allowed us to compete at the [VISAA] Division-I level, which we’ve been at for three years, and really I’d say we’re one of the top teams in the state because of kids like that.”
This past season, White averaged 22.9 points and 3.4 rebounds a contest, leading the Mavericks to the state quarterfinals. For his hard work, leadership and dedication on and off the hardwood, White is The Daily Progress’ All-Central Virginia boys basketball player of the year.
“It’s just another testament that working hard pays off,” White said in a recent interview. “All the awards that I’ve gotten, I love seeing them, love having them and cherish it for a moment and then I’ll let my family talk about it, kind of show it off. And then I just try to get on to the next thing, just keep working heading in the right direction. But it’s a big honor; to be in this area… it’s good to have my name represented that way with The Daily Progress, which is followed so much.”
White scored in double figures in 28 of 29 games, with a season-best of 38 against Evangel Christian on Jan. 30. In one game against a tough Virginia Episcopal squad, White scored all 21 of the Mavericks’ points in the first quarter.
“I was expecting to have a big year but I knew I’d have that red X on my jersey,” admitted White. “So I did my normal [routine] when the school year started up, kept working, kept trying to do some things differently just so I could have a season up to my expectations as far as myself and for the team. So it took a lot of extra work just to have the year I had with everybody kind of gunning for me, but you’ve got to find a way to stay motivated, so people trying to shut you down and not let you score, that’s all the motivation I need.”
Willard explained exactly what the Jayhawks will have to look forward to when White steps on campus in Lawrence later this year.
“Well obviously, they recruited a shooter, so they’re getting a shooter with size who can rebound at the 2-spot in that league,” said Willard. “What Coach Self is soon going to learn is that he’s also getting an unbelievably hard worker, a role model, and someone who could be the face of a program in a short period of time by doing things the right way, saying the right things, and really out-working everybody without having to talk about it.”