Welcome back, L.J. Rose.
At least that's what the team and followers from Houston Second Baptist School were saying late Monday night. The opposing team probably was whispering the exact opposite.
Rose, the nationally recognized 2012 point guard, played in his first game of the year in a Second Baptist jersey Monday, helping the Eagles defeat homeschool program SATCH (Sports Association of Texas for Christian Homeschoolers), 72-59. Rose's statistics appeared as if he hadn't missed a game all season -- 14 points and 18 assists.
The 18 assists offered truth to what Second Baptist coach Roger Kollmansberger said prior to Rose's return.
"We have a young group of big men, and [Rose] will help getting them the ball," he told TexasHoops.com. "He knows how to get the ball inside and through the defense. His vision on the court is one of the best in the state. We look forward to having him and allowing him to do what he needs to do for us to win."
Rose broke his left foot over the summer during an AAU tournament. He underwent surgery in August and had been patiently -- and sometimes impatiently -- anticipating Monday.
"It felt really good," Rose said of being back on the court. "You know, it's the first game back in a while, and my teammates continued to step up big. It made it easy for me to get back into the flow of things."
Rose said he set his goals high for his return game, but the stats were still surprising to him.
"My goal was to get 20 [assists] in my first game," he said. "My dad said he thought I had about 15 or so, but I was shocked when I found out I had 18."
What's scarier for Second Baptist opponents is that he's not the player to watch as far as scoring is concerned. Charles Allen entered the game as the Eagles' leading scorer. He finished with 25 in the win against SATCH. Julien Person and Alex Cooper, in addition, have been consistent double-figure contributors.
Rose and the Eagles are scheduled to compete in the Race to the Rim Invitational in Lexington, Ky., this weekend.
TexasHoops.com recruiting analyst Blue Zertuche contributed to this report.