Booze, two others leave Cardinals

Published 4:08 pm Thursday, March 17, 2016

When Tic Price landed his fall signing class in November, the Lamar men’s basketball coach expected to be loaded in the frontcourt and backcourt for the 2016-17 season.

Now, he has some spots to fill.

Lamar announced Thursday morning that sophomore guard Kevin Booze, freshman forward Boaz Williams and junior center Christian Kennedy will not return to the team next season. The announcement comes two weeks after the Cardinals concluded their season at 11-19 and 3-15 in the Southland Conference, having lost four straight and 13 of their past 15.

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“We wish all three young men the very best in their future endeavors,” Price said in a release Thursday.

Booze’s departure may be the most stunning.

The 5-foot-10 point guard from Irving finished second on the team in scoring at 9.3 points per game and made 18 starts this season. He missed three games because of an infection in his elbow.

Booze also shot 42.2 percent from the floor, 34.2 percent from three-point range and 70.7 percent from the line. He had 4.2 assists per game and totaled 36 steals on the season, both team highs.

His 35 points against Abilene Christian on Feb. 9, 2015, marks the last time a Cardinals scored more than 30 points in a game.

Williams, a 6-6 freshman from Houston, played in 22 games, averaging 6.3 minutes per game. He shot 49.1 percent from the floor, 50 percent from three-point range and 57.1 percent in free throws, but scored 3.2 points per contest.

Kennedy, a 6-11 junior from Warner Robins, Georgia, transferred from Daytona State Community College in Florida. He totaled nine points, 16 rebounds and 85 minutes all season in 16 games.

Williams and Kennedy were among three Lamar players who did not make a start this season. The other was true freshman forward Terrance Hubby.

Booze’s absence could mean junior transfer Lincoln Davis will see more playing time at the point, allowing leading scorer and three-point specialist Nick Garth (13.4 ppg), who is just a freshman, to remain at the shooting guard role. Sophomore Zjori Bosha and guard/forward Marcus Owens are expected to return in the backcourt, with Cameron McGee of Dallas and T.J. Atwood of Beaumont coming to Lamar next season. Atwood was a swingman at Central.

Nederland and Lamar State College Port Arthur product Colton Weisbrod will fill a hole as a forward. Port Arthur Memorial graduate Dorian Chatman and freshman classmates Josh Nzeakor and Hubby are expected to return to the frontcourt as well.

LeMon Gregory, Dontavious Sears and Quan Jones were seniors this season for Lamar. Preston Mattingly is graduating as a junior.


About I.C. Murrell

I.C. Murrell was promoted to editor of The News, effective Oct. 14, 2019. He previously served as sports editor since August 2015 and has won or shared eight first-place awards from state newspaper associations and corporations. He was born in Memphis, Tennessee, grew up mostly in Pine Bluff, Arkansas, and graduated from the University of Arkansas at Monticello.

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