Carrington Leads Lightning to First Win as Rutgers-Bound Williams Sits With Ankle Injury
NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C. –– Late in the New York Lightning’s 77-65 victory over the St. Louis Eagles Friday night at the Peach Jam, Khadeen Carrington made a steal at midcourt, took a few dribbles and then soared in for an uncontested, picturesque dunk.
Carrington finished with a game-best 24 points as the Lightning ended a three-game losing streak here to improve to 1-3.
“That one felt good,” the 6-foot-2, 180-pound combo guard from Bishop Loughlin told SNY.tv after going 7-for-8 from the field, including 2-for-2 from the arc and 8-for-10 from the line.
“I haven’t been shooting well this weekend so it felt good to get a breakaway layup, breakway dunk. That got me going a little bit.”
The Lightning are without Rutgers-bound shooting guard Mike Williams, who suffered a severely sprained ankle and is on crutches and likely out for a couple of weeks.
“We lose some shooting. some knockdown shooting but everyone stepped up,” Carrington said of Williams. “We didn’t cry about it. He’ll be back healthy.”
Cincinnati, UConn, St. John’s and Hofstra are among those recruiting Carrington. Cincinnati head coach Mick Cronin had a midcourt seat for the steal and dunk.
“I like how they play,” Carrington said of Cincinnati. “They [had] a player form New York, Lance Stephenson.”
Cincinnati also features New Yorkers Jermaine Sanders and Jermaine Lawrence and New Jersey native Shaq Thomas.
“That will be a good place if I decide to go there,” Carrington said. “I’ll be playing on and off the ball.”
UConn and coach Kevin Ollie have also made Carrington a priority.
“Same thing, lead guard, on and off the ball, like [Ryan] Boatright and Shabazz [Napier] do,” he said.
St. John’s has been in the mix, and Carrington took an unofficial there last month.
“There’s no favorites right now, I’m just weighing my options right now,” he said.
Carrington said he plans to take official visits in the fall and then decide “so I can focus on the season.”
WILLIAMS SIDELINED BY ANKLE SPRAIN
Mike Williams just recently committed to Rutgers and was looking forward to showing his future coaches what he could do here at the Peach Jam.
But the 6-1 Williams sprained his ankle Thursday night and is now walking on crutches.
“It’s really frustrating, it’s very hard but it’s also enjoyable at the same time because I’m able to watch and see at the same time,” Williams told SNY.tv. “I’m able to tell them what’s going on. It’s different than being on the court.”
Williams was taking a 3-pointer Thursday when he came down and crashed onto an opponent’s foot.
“I landed on it and twisted it,” he said.
On a scale of 1-10, Williams said it felt like a “10 and a half.”
Williams was treated at a nearby clinic and said, “The swelling went down tremendously and I should be better in 10 days.”
In the meantime, he can’t perform in front of the Rutgers staff.
“It’s hard seeing your future school right there and you’re not playing but they know what I’m capable of,” he said.
Williams is working as a recruiter, trying to get 6-8 rebounding machine Angel Delgado — who went for 20 points and 8 rebounds in the win — to come to college with him..
“I’m trying to get him to come to Rutgers,” Williams said. “We need rebounders.”
Williams will have stiff competition as Rick Pitino, Tom Izzo, Tom Crean and Mick Cronin were just a few of the coaches watching Delgado explode in another strong performance.
Williams is one of three Rutgers pledges for 2014, when coach Eddie Jordan and the Scarlet Knights join the Big Ten.
“The Big Ten is the best league in the country,” he said. “Playing in the best league in the country day in and day out, what can be better than that?”
Photo: Ny Post
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Adam Zagoria is a New York Times contributor and Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.