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|UK’s Archie Goodwin|
By LARRY VAUGHT
LOUISVILLE — As he drove into traffic with less than 40 seconds remaining in Saturday’s game, Kentucky freshman Archie Goodwin knew he was in trouble against Louisville’s trapping defense.
Kentucky had rallied from a 51-34 deficit five minutes into the second half to get back in the game and was down 78-74 thanks in large part to Goodwin, who had 10 points in the final four minutes of the game. However, he threw a pass that Louisville’s Chane Behanan intercepted and turned into a dunk that sealed No. 4 Louisville’s 80-77 victory.
“I thought maybe I should call timeout, but I didn’t know how many we had left,” said Goodwin. “I didn’t want to get a T (technical foul).”
Kentucky coach John Calipari didn’t fault Goodwin for his lapse in judgment. Instead, he blamed himself for not calling a timeout and costing UK a possible upset.
“I told my team, ‘You get us close and I will help get you over the edge,’” said Calipari. “Down four with the ball and I did not call timeout. That effectively ended the game. This one is on me.”
Calipari said UK will “hopefully win more than I cause us to lose” as he explained why it should have been his move to take a timeout — something he always says he does not like to do late in games — before Goodwin committed his turnover.
“That was a coach’s play. We were down four and had our chances,” Calipari said. “I liked their fight. We have a ways to go, but it is unexcusable what I did.”
Why didn’t he call the timeout?
“I don’t know,” Calipari said. “As soon as he threw the ball away, I looked at (assistant coach) John Robic and said, ‘What was I thinking (not calling timeout)?’ They deserved to win, but I did not give my guys a chance at the end.”
Calipari joked he would have set up a “four-point play” at the timeout.
But he was serious about another mistake he said he made.
“The other thing I did, I did a poor job. I coaches this team like I have others against the press. And then you saw what I ended up doing. I brought the big guy up so we could just get it in and then play from there,” Calipari said. “After then, the press didn’t hurt us. There were a couple of bumps and grinds and grabs where we may have lost the ball, but it had no effect on the game. But again, why didn’t I do that earlier? These kids are 18 years old.”
Goodwin wanted no part of blaming his coach for the loss.
“He steps up and take responsibility for it. Even if he thinks it was our fault, he would come up and do that,” Goodwin said. “I wouldn’t blame it on him. I would blame it on us as a team. We missed 12 free throws and that’s really a big thing that we have to make those. A couple of hustle plays we didn’t get as well. All those things contributed to us not winning this game. It is not coach’s fault.”
Still, Calipari was saying something different.
“Look, I am coaching this young team and their job is to make it a close at the end. My job is to give them a plan to finish it off,” Calipari said. “They got us right where we wanted to be, and I dropped the ball.”