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By LARRY VAUGHT
Sometimes a bold proclamation can come back to haunt a player, but incoming Kentucky freshman Archie Goodwin won’t hide from the pressure. In fact, he welcomes it.
He’s already openly talked about winning a national title just as UK freshmen Anthony Davis, Marquis Teague, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and Kyle Wiltjer did at this time a year ago.
“I think that is the good kind of pressure we want. If you do not want that pressure, you picked the wrong college to go to at Kentucky,” Goodwin said. “At Kentucky, they expect to win championships. Sweet 16 and Final Fours are good, but with the tradition like that at Kentucky, championships are just something they are used to doing over and over. The students, University and Kentucky fans do not expect anything but a national championship. I am the same way.”
His stepfather, Datron Humphrey, chuckles when asked if he worries about the pressure and expectations Goodwin faces.
“I figure he will be just fine. I read how some say this recruiting class not as good as the class that just won the national championship. A lot of stuff like that I tell him and let him read that to show him what people are saying and why he has to work so hard,” Humphrey said. “It is just me adding fuel to the fire. He sucks it up and goes right to the gym to work. Any negative stuff I read, I give to him. You have to be honest with the kid, but I use it to motivate him.”
Humphrey says Goodwin has thought about being a one-and-done player and Calipari’s success developing NBA talent played a role in his college choice.
“His dream is to play professional basketball. He just figured out which school could help that and going to play for coach Cal seemed the best by far,” Humphrey said. “I don’t know how all this will play out in the years ahead. But I tell him all the time, ‘However, this turns out, we will have had one hell of a run and I will still love you, so just take things one day at a time and enjoy the moment.’”