Wednesday, March 28, 2007

NY Post: Goodridge Took Long Way Home


Goodridge's path to big-time college basketball was not pretty and it's one the NCAA would like to cut down on.

From his days roaming the halls at Erasmus, where he never was eligible in more than three years, to time spent at a pair of prep schools, Milford Academy and Philadelphia Lutheran Christian, that were in the NCAA's crosshairs after Goodridge left them, the 6-foot-9 center could have been the poster boy for wasted opportunity.

But the NCAA cleared him to play for Mississippi State shortly before his freshman year began in the summer of 2005 and tonight, he'll be with the Bulldogs as they face West Virginia in the NIT semifinals. Clemson faces Air Force in the other semifinal.

"I never thought I'd get here," Goodridge said. "There were so many things against me."

Timing, however, wasn't one of them. Goodridge got out of Philadelphia Lutheran before the NCAA's belated crackdown on prep schools that provide little more education than that found on a basketball court.

And while new prep schools open faster than the NCAA can keep up with them, Goodridge is lucky to be playing in the SEC, but he insists that he belongs there.