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Believe it or not but with game on line Missouri guard asked Goodwin about quote in newspaper


Ever wonder what opposing players might chat about on the court during the closing minutes of a hard-fought overtime game?

Kentucky freshman Archie Goodwin and Missouri point guard Phil Pressey said a lot after a Pressey turnover late in overtime that led to free throws for UK during the Wildcats’ 90-83 win Saturday.

Since Goodwin had also helped force Pressey into a miss on potential game-winning shot at the end of regulation, I thought maybe Goodwin was telling him the defense wasn’t going to stop. But I never imagined what the two were actually talking about.

“He actually was asking me a question about a statement he said I made in the newspaper. I just had to explain it to him,” said Goodwin.

Say what? Pressey, who had 27 points and 10 assists, was worried about something Goodwin said Friday during a key time in Saturday’s make-or-break game for UK.

“Yeah,” Goodwin smile and said.

Was he asking about Goodwin saying he felt UK point guard Ryan Harrow was better than Pressey?

“That was it. I had to tell him what I had to tell him,” Goodwin said.

Actually, Goodwin and his teammates had already told Pressey plenty with their overall play in this game. But for Goodwin, the target of almost constant UK fan criticism this year, it was an especially sweet win for a lot of reasons.

First, he made a 3-pointer. That might not sound big, he had not made one since Jan. 12. In 11 games since then he was 0-for-13 from 3-point range and he missed two more in the first half against Missouri before nailing one early in the second half.

“It felt real good. It felt like I released a monkey off my back,” said Goodwin, who also hit his only other 3-point shot in the second half.

Second, he overcame a scoreless first half that featured three turnovers to score 18 points in the second half when he was 7-for-10 shooting.

“I wasn’t aggressive in the first half like I should have been. At halftime Coach (John Calipari) just told me to come out with a strong second half and gave me encouragement. I just came out and played my game,” he said.

Third, he didn’t let seven turnovers put him into a funk. He had an assist, one steal and three rebounds — and never quit playing hard.

“Earlier this season, or just maybe a few games ago, a lot of times if we made mistakes we put our head down,” Goodwin said. “That’s one thing that gives the other team a lot more confidence when they see it. But when we come out and make mistakes and keep our head up, and just make up for what we did it demoralizes the other team. I mean we fought hard. That is what it ultimately came down to. We made a lot of mistakes, but at the end we just wanted it more than they did. I think we showed a lot of toughness. This game right here just showed that we can do it.”

Fourth, Goodwin was eager for the challenge when Calipari put him on Pressey for Missouri’s final possession in regulation and he combined with Alex Poythress to force Pressey to take an awkward shot left of the basket.

“Coach just put me on him, but I accepted the challenge. I just wanted to use my length on him and make things hard for him,” Goodwin said. “He was having a good game. So I was like hoping, ‘Please don’t go in. Please don’t go in.”

Ironically, Goodwin has at times failed to spot open teammates when he’s had the ball. After Pressey’s miss in the final seconds, UK’s Julius Mays got the rebound and missed about a 40-foot shot. But Goodwin was open near the UK basket and Mays had time to have thrown him the ball.

“I looked open but Julius was not aware at the time. We got the win either way, so it didn’t matter,” Goodwin said.

That’s the kind of talk teammates like to hear. Cover for each other just like Goodwin did when asked about the Pressey-Harrow matchup, even if Pressey didn’t like it.

Besides, Goodwin owes Mays, who had 21 of his 24 points in the second half.

“There is not another person like Julius. He’s a great leader and a great big brother to me. He’s like my best friend,” Goodwin said. “He is just always there for encouragement. Sometimes when things aren’t going our way, he is always the person that pulls me aside to try and get my head back right. I am going to miss him after this season is over. He is going to be the type of guy you will have a long life relationship with because you don’t find too many people like that.”

Of course, when Goodwin plays like he did in the second half, there are not an abundance of players quite like him. Even he had trouble denying that.

“It is pretty hard to beat that second half I played, I played a pretty good second half. I don’t even like speaking high on myself, so that just lets you know how I feel about it,” he laughed and said.

That second half play included a statement one-handed dunk after his first 3-pointer that ignited the Rupp Arena crowd.

“That just was me being aggressive. I came out the first half and didn’t have a good half at all. The second half, after I made the 3 it just gave me a lot more confidence in myself . Then I added a little something special to it (the dunk) to get the crowd going,” Goodwin said.

Maybe Pressey should have just ask him about that play, too.

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  1. Jim Boyers

    Why on Earth would an upperclassman let a Freshman know that he had gotten into his head that badly?


    1. UKFMLY


      It just shows even savy guys like Pressey with NBA talent let what they read effect them to a degree. So imagine what our young guys are thinking when they read some of the stuff written by UK fans! ! It just shows that we can actually encourage these guys and they will get it. Staying positive can have a big effect on this team. Just like a rocking Rupp can. It’s all about support! ! !



      1. ken4230

        Truer words were never spoken. These kids know what is said about them.

  2. Love SEC

    I agree – The fans contributed more than usual.
    Lets keep Rupp Rocking!

  3. Karen Sprinkle

    I always did wonder what the players were talking about on the court, but like you, Larry, never dreamed that they could be talking about a quote in the newspaper, especially in a game this tight. It has taken a little longer than we’d hoped for the guys to “get it” on this team, but Archie’s comments and their play has shown that they are beginning to get it. They just need to keep building on the foundation. Go Cats!

  4. Shinny

    Maybe Coach Cal has realized Goodwin responds better to encouragement!

  5. LindaS

    Ya gotta love this team, no matter what. They showed the true heart of a Wildcat against Mizzou. I loved the way Nerlens sat on the bench and encouraged them and cheered for them. All these young boys are special, they have their moments both good and bad but I’ll take ‘em.

  6. Zo

    Good game fellas!I was holding back tears most of the second half.I’m so proud of the youngsters.Like our kids growing up before us.Been a crazy season so far.Crazy how most of us never meet these guys in person,but they feel like our family.Thats just how we seperate ourselves from other universities,”FAMILY”.Please stay focused and keep proving the haters wrong.Everything I was wanting the team to show me they did,and then some.Keep the post moves up Poythress.Gotta get Wilt more involved and then we can a be serious threat.Keep playing with heart guys.We still believe.GO CATS!!!

  7. Kokamo Joe

    I suppose that dyed in the wool fans of all programs like to feel that “their” players are family. I was pleased and proud of how they came back from what looked like a Missouri blow out in the first half. Througout this seasons we have had games which took us to the mountain top and other games that hit rock bottom. This was a mountain top win, even though we have to be realistic and know that Missouri is a terrible road team, having lost 8 road games before Saturday made it 9. That win plus the blow out win this Wednesday will take us to 20 wins and a berth in the NCAA torunament.

    Family? Just like the mountain top wins and the deep sea loses, these are the same kids that were questioned just a couple of weeks ago at Tennessee.


    I’m sure someone brought that quote to his attention. It’s what is called BULLETIN BOARD material. Just so happened that UK won this one. However, Pressey got “his”, but TEAMS win games.

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