Godfrey's commitment bolsters LSU

May, 8, 2012
5/08/12
11:09
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Good things have come in pairs during LSU basketball coach Johnny Jones' brief tenure this spring.

[+] EnlargeJustin Hamilton
Zuma Press/Icon SMIJustin Hamilton's early exit from LSU opens an opportunity for two former junior college players who recently signed with the Tigers.
It started when Jones brought in a pair of his former North Texas assistants in Shawn Forrest and Charlie Leonard last month, and the news continued to come in twos Monday afternoon when he secured the commitment of Howard Junior College forward Calvin Godfrey.

Godfrey is the Tigers' third commitment of Jones' tenure and the second to come from Howard after his roommate, Shavon Coleman, gave his pledge to Jones in April. The decision gives LSU a pair of established teammates in Coleman and Godfrey, who combined to average 14.7 and 12.6 points, respectively, for Howard last year.

Mark Adams, Godfrey's coach at Howard for the past season, said Godfrey brings a versatile post presence to the LSU roster.

"We had a great year, and he was a big part of our success," Adams said. "He's a great athlete -- one that finishes at the basket as well as anybody we've had here. Inside, he's a tough individual to take charges and block shots, and he's very competitive."

The timing of Godfrey's decision makes it look even more like a package deal, as Coleman delivered his commitment two weeks ago. But although Godfrey said he is excited to play with his longtime friend, he was considering joining the Tigers before Coleman became one.

"It didn't really (factor into the decision). I went on a visit to the school and I liked it," Godfrey said. "I've always liked LSU because of the football, and I just felt like I wanted to go to a school with a good football and basketball program. If Shavon were never here and they were recruiting me, it still would have been a highly considered school to go to."

Most importantly for Jones and his big-depleted roster is that Godfrey and Coleman will be eligible immediately, having come from a junior college. At 6-foot-6, 200 pounds, Coleman promises to spend more time on the wing. But Godfrey's 6-foot-8, 240-pound bulk should be useful for the Tigers, who lost bigs Justin Hamilton, Storm Warren and Malcolm White last season.

"They were in need of a presence inside, and they felt like I could fill that void," Godfrey said.

That definitely seemed to be Jones' biggest excitement about his new signing. In a press release to announce his newest player, Jones stressed the need for post depth after such big departures.

"He will fill a much needed void on our team with the graduation of three of our post players last year. Calvin is very good at defending and rebounding plus he has the ability to score around the basket," Jones said.

Godfrey wasn't even sure of the Tigers' interest in him after the departure of Trent Johnson for TCU. Johnson's staff had contacted him prior to his resignation from LSU, but Jones quickly picked up the slack to make sure the Tigers stayed in Godfrey's thoughts.

"I've been thinking about it for a while. I was getting recruited by one of the coaches there before Coach Jones," Godfrey said. "Once Coach Jones got in, they called my coach to let me know they were interested, too."

Godfrey said Jones and his staff sold him hard on the need for an inside presence. But he admitted he's probably got some work to do before he can help LSU navigate its SEC slate.

"In my opinion I feel like I could put a little bit more weight on," Godfrey said. "But I'm at the position now where I can play the inside, and if I need to I can run the ball and push the ball and play fast, up-and-down."

Baton Rouge won't be Godfrey's first Division I stop, which should come in handy. The Crystal, Minn., spent a season at Iowa State before transferring to Howard. He averaged 5.7 points and 5.4 rebounds for the Cyclones as a freshman, which Adams said should help his adaptation to the rigors of the SEC.

"He had respectable statistics for a freshman," Adams said. "(Division I experience) is invaluable, because it's always tough for a college player to make that adjustment to go from this level to high Division I ... We're certainly hopeful he'll be able to get right in and contribute."

David Helman | email

Reporter, RecruitingNation

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