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By LARRY VAUGHT
For the first time this season, freshman Archie Goodwin played less than 20 minutes in Saturday’s 72-62 win over Auburn.
Goodwin, UK’s leading scorer, had just three points, two rebounds and one assist in 17 minutes of play. He was 1-for-6 from the field, missed his only free throw and had two turnovers.
“Archie was struggling a little bit and I didn’t start him in the second half,” said Calipari. “But again, I’m trying to get Archie to zone in on his team, what he’s got to do for his team and get out of how he’s playing because then you can’t make a shot, you’re afraid to make a play because you’re afraid you are going to screw up, versus I’m playing for the team, I know what the team needs me to do, they need me to drive. I need to come to jump stops for the team so I don’t jump over.
“If I miss some shots, it’s okay, they need me to be aggressive and score. But if you’re thinking about how you look, how it makes you look, it’s hard.”
Calipari again emphasized how he is teaching “life skills” and had former Wildcat Derek Anderson speak to the team Friday night. After reading part of Anderson’s new book about his life and what he overcame to become a UK star and NBA player, Calipari read portions of that book to his team at Saturday’s shoot-around.
“His story is a great story,” Calipari said.
Calipari hopes sitting Goodwin on the bench as much as he did and giving extended playing time to Jarod Polson — a SEC high 20 minutes — will help his freshman.
“We were fine without him. It’s good for him to see it, too. But he’ll be fine,” Calipari said. “He works hard. He’s the first one in, the last one out, and he comes at night and he wants to do well. Putting way too much pressure on him because he’s worried about how he’s playing. But this is — he’s 18 years old. He’s supposed to do some of this stuff.”