Causey is MVP of Regional game

Georgetown-bound star has 13 points in 108-86 win

Capital Classic notebook

High Schools

April 18, 2003|By Lem Satterfield and Jeff Zrebiec | Lem Satterfield and Jeff Zrebiec,SUN STAFF

WASHINGTON - Matt Causey didn't want much out of his first time on the court of the MCI Center, home of the Georgetown Hoyas, for whom he will play basketball next season.

"All I wanted to do was come out and have some fun," said Causey, a 6-foot guard out of Berkmar High in Lilburn, Ga. "It's nice to play here in front of all the Georgetown fans. All I wanted to do was come out and put on a show."

And all Causey did was take over the game and win over the crowd, earning Most Valuable Player honors for leading the White Team to a 108-86 rout of the Blue Team in the Regional game before the 30th annual Capital Classic.

Causey nailed three of four three-pointers in the first half, when he scored all of his 13 points. He also had five of his eight assists in the second half and had four steals and four rebounds.

Maryland-bound D.J. Strawberry scored 13 points and had four assists for the Blue Team, whose scoring leaders were Maureece Rice (18 points) of Strawberry Mansion in Philadephia and Kentucky-bound Sheray Thomas (20 points, 10 rebounds) of Riverdale Baptist in Prince George's County.

Causey, who will be joined at Georgetown by 6-9 teammate Darian Townes (15 points, five rebounds), also dazzled the crowd with his dribbling ability, once driving past a defender for a finger-roll layup.

But what pleased the crowd most was a behind-the-back maneuver that faked Drake University-bound Nick Grant out of his shoes as the defender fell to the floor beyond midcourt.

Later, Causey stole the ball from the far corner of the opposite court, drove down the center of the court and tossed an alley-oop pass to Patrick Ewing Jr. (11 points, seven rebounds) for a reverse dunk.

A friendly push

During the summer, when he stayed with Ewing Jr., Causey said he pushed hard to get the son of the former NBA and Georgetown star to follow him to his father's alma mater.

"We practically lived together this summer. I tried to go through his mother first, then I thought big Patrick was going to help me out," Causey said. "I leaned on him every day."

Ewing Jr., who might go to Indiana, said he is not completely sold on the Hoosiers.

"I've got the papers [for Indiana] at home," he said. "All I've got to do is sign them and ship them off."

James jammed in football

If he hadn't chosen to focus on basketball, LeBron James would easily have made it on the football field, according to recruiting analyst Tom Lemming.

James starred as a wide receiver during his sophomore and junior years, catching 62 passes for more than 1,200 yards as an 11th-grader. But James eschewed his senior season of football, feeling he needed the fall to recover from a summer wrist injury.

"If he'd have come back to play football for his senior year, at 6-8, 240 pounds and running the 40 [yards] in 4.6 seconds, he would have been the No. 1 player in Ohio and the top wide receiver prospect in the country," said Lemming, whose ratings are used by "He was going to be invited to play in the Army All-American Bowl, a game that features the top 78 players in the country."

Giddens still going?

Aside from all the hype surrounding James, perhaps the second most popular topic at last night's Capital Classic has been the future of J.R. Giddens, a 6-6 forward from John Marshall High in Oklahoma City who is bound for NCAA tournament runner-up Kansas.

Giddens, who played for the Gray Team in the National game, was rated the No. 1 player from Oklahoma's No. 1 team. He averaged 25 points, has a 40-inch vertical leap, averaged 7.2 rebounds and is noted for his shot-blocking capabilities.

Giddens committed to Kansas primarily because of that program's former coach Roy Williams, who has since left that program to coach at his alma mater, North Carolina. Giddens is part of a solid recruiting class for Kansas that includes 7-0 All-American David Padgett and 6-4 guard Omar Wilkes.

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