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By LARRY VAUGHT
Kentucky fans may not have thought Archie Goodwin always appreciated what coach John Calipari was doing for him last season, but he certainly made it clear to Josh Newman of ZAGSBLOG that he appreciated how his former coach prepares players for the NBA after a workout with the Brooklyn Nets.
“It definitely helped me because he expects so much from his guys,” Goodwin said. “All the things he put us through during the year really helped me to transition from there to here. He’s a big factor. He talks to guys all the time for me, stays in their ear. He’s always a constant, nagging gnat towards these GMs in letting them know about me, so I appreciate him for that.”
Goodwin averaged a team-high 14.1 points per game last season and put his name into the NBA Draft. DraftExpress.com has him projected as the No. 39 overall pick.
Obviously, teams have interest as Goodwin already has had seven team workouts and has 10 more scheduled based on what he told Newman.
Several NBA scouts have told me the key for Goodwin is improving his jump shot and learning to make better decisions at point guard.
Goodwin’s UK team lost in the NIT. He sees better days ahead next season for Calipari’s team.
“That’s a national championship contender.They have the talent, the toughness and the competitive spirit, so as long as they put all that together, they’ll be fine,” Goodwin told Newman.
By MIKE MARSEE, email@example.com
By just about any Kentucky fan’s standard, last season was a failure. By John Calipari’s standard, not so much.
The Kentucky coach said he was disappointed that the Wildcats didn’t have a better year — they finished 21-12 and lost in the first round of the NIT one year after winning a national championship — but he said that wasn’t the only measure of success for him or the players.
Calipari said all of Kentucky’s players got something out of last season — even those who didn’t play as well as expected. He talked about what he and the players took from the season Monday during his remarks to children and their family members at his satellite camp at Boyle County High School.
“In a lot of ways, it was really rewarding for me. We were disappointed. We finished second in the SEC, we were disappointed. The three (SEC) teams that went to the NCAA tournament, we were 3-1 against those teams,” Calipari said. “And you never use injuries as an excuse or any of that. Here’s what’s disappointing: We didn’t even get to the tournament; we played our way out of it.”
“But this is a players-first program. We had a 3.4 grade-point average as a team last year. Twelve out of 13 guys had a B average. Two had a 4.0. Aside from that, players benefitted from last season. We talk about players first, that’s what this is supposed to be about.
“Did we benefit from this, our staff? No. But did Nerlens (Noel) benefit from this past season? He may get drafted (number) one. He did all right. How ’bout Archie (Goodwin)? We would have like to have him come back, but we’re going to support him. Looks like he’s going to be a first-rounder, maybe a second-rounder; he’s going to get drafted.
“How ’bout Willie (Cauley-Stein)? No one knew who Willie was. He benefitted. How ’bout Alex (Poythress)? Oh, yeah, he benefitted. The benefit was you saw signs and he saw signs of where he can go, but knowing he’s got to change the path he’s on to get where he’s trying to go.
“How ’bout Kyle Wiltjer? Sixth man of the year. By the end of the year, though, what happened to him? What did every team do to him defensively? They went at him on defense, and he knew, ‘I’ve got to change my body.’ He benefitted. How ’bout Julius Mays? No one knew who Julius Mays was. Julius is going to get a contract to play in Europe.
“You may say, ‘Well, what about Jon Hood?’ Jon Hood benefitted. How ’bout Jarrod Polson? Did he benefit? Yes, he benefitted. Ryan Harrow. You may say, ‘Well, he didn’t benefit.’ Yeah, he did. In a lot of ways, he benefitted in that (he realized), ‘I’m not made for this.’ So now, that season got him to where he can go to have success.
“What I mean to say, again, when you’re about players first, it’s got to be that way, your principles, your core values, even when it doesn’t go good for me, it’s got to be about those guys first. We graduated 10 of our last 10 players in four years. Ten players who have used up their eligibility have graduated. Ten out of 10. We’ve had 17 draft picks? We just helped create 17 millionaires. Isn’t that nice. Wouldn’t you like to have that lottery ticket?
“Now, 10 out of 10 have graduated, 17 have gone on to pro careers. Some have done both: Darius Miller, Josh Harrellson. They stayed the (entire) time and they became pros. We call it a success rate. People have this graduation rate. OK, we graduate our kids, but it’s more than that.”
Calipari said he’s excited about the team he’ll put on the floor next season, but he said the incoming players will also need some work.
“This team we have coming in, with the players we have returning, we should be good. They will decide how good we’ll be,” he said. “And every one of those players, they need us in different ways. Some need us to be right on top of them, some need us to just teach. Some need us to encourage, some need us to bring them back to show we have no fear of coaching them as a player. They all need us in different ways.
“So I’m excited about the opportunities we have. I’m really excited about where this program is, what it stands for, what it stands for around the country, not just in the commonwealth. We’re about players first. We drive them. They don’t always like us, they’re not always happy with us, it doesn’t mean I’m trying to be everybody’s buddy, that’s not what it’s about. It’s about helping them reach their dreams. When we help them reach their dreams, they drag us to where we’re trying to go.
“Do we want to win national titles? Absolutely. And if we win a national title, I’m ecstatic. But you know what would disappoint me? If we won a national title and not one player was drafted. That would disappoint me.
“And you say, ‘Well, why?’ I should benefit from that, you should benefit from it, the school should benefit, the state should benefit, but those young people shouldn’t benefit? If you’re about them, it’s about, yeah, we want to do all this, but not at the expense of our young people. We’re here to help them reach their dreams.”
Phoenix coach Jeff Hornacek thought former Kentucky guard Archie Goodwin’s jump shot looked “much improved” during a workout Saturday based on what he told Kevin Zimmerman of valleyofthesuns.com.
“Obviously he’s going to need to learn the game better,” Hornacek said. “He’s used to being a scorer. He can still be a scorer but he’s going to have to be, more the mental part of the game … a point guard. Really see the game, see how it develops, not only for himself but for his teammates. When you got a young kid like that, those are the guys you can kind of train. You can tell he has a feel.”
Goodwin, who won’t be 19 until August, is projected as a more likely NBA draft target for Oklahoma City rather than Phoenix by Zimmerman. He noted that Dallas, Philadelpia, Cleveland and Oklahoma City, which has the 29th pick in the draft while Phoenix has No. 30, have all worked Goodwin out.
Here is what ESPN college basketball analyst Fran Fraschilla and ESPN NBA Insider Chad Ford said Wednesday when asked about Kentucky freshman Archie Goodwin and his NBA potential.
FRASCHILLA: Well, first of all, I can't wait to start talking to you about next season's Kentucky Wildcats, but we'll save that for another day. If Chad doesn't want to start, I'll start. I watched a lot of film of Archie Goodwin. I think that given this draft, he's a developmental player. If I'm not mistaken, he'll be one of the two youngest players in this draft. He does a lot of things well for a young player. He's athletic, terrific end to end quickness. Gets into the lane at will. There is one and he's actually a willing passer at 6'4", 6'5".
The problem with him right now, as you know and you saw this is he has a way below average jump shot, so that's going to scare a lot of people off. I think he's a kid that has really good value for a team that's looking for a developmental player, kind of like Lance Stephenson a couple years ago, not equating the off the court stuff at all. But this is a kid that's very much in the developmental stage of his career, but he has NBA athleticism. The jumpshot is the major red flag in this overall game, along with the fact that he's a very inexperienced young player.
FORD: I agree with Fran on that. I just add, he's having a rough go right now with NBA teams, partly because the expectations were so high for him out of high school, and that so many of the freshman have been successful and Calipari has had this ability to get the most out of these guys. I think that's been a huge feather in Calipari's cap. So when it didn't happen with Archie, I think a lot of NBA scouts put that back on the player and said if Calipari can't get the best out of you, and it didn't feel like he developed much as a player from the beginning of the season to the end of the season, how does that bode for your NBA future playing in the D League or playing on an NBA team?
And I think that is the big question mark, not athletically, but the questions about will he develop as a player when they just didn't really see it happen at Kentucky this year?
FRASCHILLA: I talked to more teams and we're seeing this too, Jeremy Lamb, who was a terrific college player spent much of the year in the D League. Archie Goodwin is one of those guys that I can almost guarantee you where and when he gets taken, is going to probably spend a lot of his time playing in the D League in the next year or two, just because a team can work with him, give him minutes.
Chad, I don't know about you, but it seems like the D League is becoming much more of an opportunity for the teams to utilize their young players and develop them.
FORD: Exactly, I agree, and I think that's where he'll go. His potential suggests still he should be a mid to late first round pick. I think the question mark is: Will he take that time; will he have the right attitude; will he be willing to be coached; and will he work on his weaknesses? No one knows the answer to those questions, and by the way, he's a young player, as Fran pointed out and players can mature and get a better work ethic or what have you, but there are those questions right now about him and his lack of development at Kentucky. If he can't develop there, will it make any difference whether he's in the D League or not?
By LARRY VAUGHT
Kentucky coach John Calipari said he gave freshman Archie Goodwin ” the information, what was out there, what we were told” before Goodwin put his name into the NBA draft.
“We sat down and talked to him and he came back and said he wanted to put his name in the draft and we said, ‘Great, let’s go for it,’” Calipari said Wednesday. ” I’m not going to sit here and give you everything I said or my opinion because I don’t think it’s fair but they get everything they need and whatever decision they make – I’ve been on the phone right now with probably five or six NBA teams about Archie.
“You think about it, basically, if you draft him he’s 18 years old. You’re getting a high school player, the old days when the high school player could come out, that’s what you’re getting. You may have players in that draft that are four years older than him. Think about what I’m saying, three years older than him.
“The whole point with him is where do you project him? Would it have been better for him and maybe for us if I had played him at point at the start of the year? Maybe, but at his age they’re going to have a chance to mold him as a wing guard, point guard, whatever they want him to be. Workouts will be important for him but I think he’ll be fine because if you have a good attitude and you truly have a huge work capacity like a Brandon Knight you’re going to be fine. There may be bumps in the road but you will be fine. Someone will take him in a good position and he’ll be fine.”
By LARRY VAUGHT
The more the speculation continues, the more it seems that former Wildcat Archie Goodwin could indeed land in the first round of the NBA draft.
Now DraftExpress.com projects the Boston Celtics willl select Goodwin with the 16th pick in the first round.
Here’s what Jay King of MassLive.com wrote about Goodwin:
“Despite an uneven year during which he averaged 14.1 points per game on 44 percent shooting (including 26 percent from beyond the 3-point arc), Goodwin possesses enough athleticism to make scouts drool. With a 6-10 wingspan that puts him in an elite class of length for guards, Goodwin is viewed as a project of sorts; still, his defensive potential should endear him to (Boston GM Danny) Ainge, whose Celtics can always use an infusion of perimeter stoppers.
“NBADraft.net, which lists Terrence Williams and Tyreke Evans as Goodwin’s two NBA comparisons, does not predict the guard will be selected in the first round. But it’s entirely possible some team will fall in love with Goodwin’s potential. While Ainge has at times shaded toward players who produced effectively in college (think Glen Davis and Jared Sullinger), he’s also not against taking a less-developed talent with upside (think Avery Bradley or Fab Melo).”
NBADraftblog.com’s Ed Isaacson correctly predicted that two of Kentucky’s freshmen (Archie Goodwin and Nerlens Noel) would put their name into the NBA draft and two (Willie Cauley-Stein and Alex Poythress) would return to UK for their sophomore seasons. Now he’s had a chance to watch Kentucky coach John Calipari’s next No. 1 recruiting class that includes six McDonald’s All-Americans and he offers his insights on those players and their futures.
Question: Which of Calipari’s newest players has the most work to do before he can reach the next level and which one perhaps has the most untapped potential?
Isaacson: “Marcus Lee has the most work to do, but you can see by the raw ability and athleticism why many are high on him. As for untapped potential, Lee is there, as well Dakari Johnson. Johnson has a lot of the physical tools you want, but he relies on the physical way too much right now. He has to put a lot of work into the skill part of his game.”
Question: Can all six of the McDonald’s All-American signees thrive on the same team?
Isaacson: “I don’t know if all six will ‘thrive,’ but in the best case scenario they all get better. The reality is there won’t be enough minutes for every one of the freshman to get exactly what they need to get better, but there will be enough for all to take some steps in the right direction.
Question: How good is Andrew Wiggins and could you see him fitting in well with the six UK commits if he decides to also sign with Kentucky?
Isaacson: “Wiggins is a very good player who still has plenty of room to keep getting better. I think Wiggins has the demeanor and attitude that he can fit in easily with whatever group of players surround him. If he heads to Kentucky, I would actually see him having few problems. He is versatile and can find ways to make an impact from a variety of spots on the floor.”
By LARRY VAUGHT
NBADraftblog.com’s Ed Isaacson correctly predicted that two of Kentucky’s freshmen (Archie Goodwin and Nerlens Noel) would put their name into the NBA draft and two (Willie Cauley-Stein and Alex Poythress) would return to UK for their sophomore seasons.
Now he’s had a chance to watch Kentucky coach John Calipari’s next No. 1 recruiting class that includes six McDonald’s All-Americans and he offers his insights on those players and their futures.
Question: Could you just give me your impressions of each future Wildcat?
Isaacson: “Julius Randle: Skilled with good size, he can create matchup problems in different spots on the court.
“Andrew Harrison: Love the size at the point guard position, let’s him see the court and options easily. Has shown comfort in both the halfcourt and transition, but he needs to make better decisions with the ball at the college level.
“Aaron Harrison: Though Andrew is known as the point guard and Aaron as the shooter, their games are very similar. Aaron has the ability to hit the open jumper, but has shown that he can create off the dribble and sees the floor well.
“James Young: Needs to get stronger, but likes to attack the basket and he is very good finishing around the basket.
“Dakari Johnson: A physical post player, he uses his body well to create space and looks to finish strong around the basket. Footwork still needs to improve, as well as understanding how to defend in the post.
“Marcus Lee: Athletic and raw. Needs to get stronger, but his leaping ability makes him a threat around the rim on both offense and defense.”
Question: Is it too early to for folks to be talking about Andrew Harrison and Julius Randle both being potential top 10 picks in 2014?
Isaacson: “Is it too early, absolutely, but that won’t stop it from happening. If both make the same progression their freshman year that they did during their high school years, it is a legitimate possibility.
Question: Are all six of these guys future NBA players?
Isaacson: “I will say all six have potential to be future NBA players, but if there is anything we have learned by now, is that you can’t tell how things will play out once they get to college.”
Saturday: More with Isaacson on which new player has the most untapped potential, how the super six can thrive on the same team and how Andrew Wiggins might fit at UK.
By LARRY VAUGHT
Paul Seaver (@PaulSeaverRS) of RantSports.com has an interesting take on Kentucky’s Archie Goodwin and thinks he has the potential to be a first-round NBA draft pick next month after averaging 14.1 points, 4.6 rebounds, 2.7 assists and 1.1 steals per game in his one season at UK.
Strengths: Goodwin’s offensive attack is one of the better strengths that he has in his arsenal. He has good size and great potential, showing flashes of his excellence throughout his freshman season at Kentucky. Goodwin is only 18 years old, so that will work to his advantage as whatever NBA franchise drafts him is likely to give him some time to find consistency at the professional level.
Weaknesses: Goodwin was inconsistent at times this past season, but he did show signs of his down-the-road potential. Goodwin may have a bright future in the NBA, but will he be able to transition himself more consistently at the professional level? During the season, Goodwin shot only 26.6% from the outside — he will need to become a better shooter as he prepares to enter the NBA ranks.
Draft Projection: Mid-to-Late First Round.
Again, the more you listen to those who should know, the more it seems that Goodwin’s decision to leave UK after one year might turn out a lot better for him than many UK fans first believed.
By LARRY VAUGHT
Many Kentucky fans think freshman Archie Goodwin made a mistake putting his name into the NBA draft. However, DraftExpress.com writer Kyle Nelson has an interesting analysis on Goodwin at www.draftexpress.com as part of the site’s analysis of the top prospects for the draft.
It’s well worth the read to get an unbiased opinion about Goodwin. But here are three paragraphs that might surprise you:
“Goodwin shows excellent potential on the defensive end – guarding three positions at the collegiate level – primarily due to his good lateral quickness and excellent length. Consistency and focus are significant issues for him at times, as they are for many freshman wings, but that he does show the ability to fight through screens and stay involved after he has been beaten speaks well to his prospects. He was, by far, Kentucky’s best perimeter defender as a freshman, and scouts will be evaluating his ability to consistently stay in front of NBA-caliber shooting guards throughout the pre-draft process.
“While Goodwin presents quite a few weaknesses to scouts, it’s hard not to be intrigued the potential he brings to the table as an NBA prospect. Between his ability to get his own shot around the basket, his well above average physical profile, and his upside as a defender, Goodwin looks the part and already does a few things that NBA teams value highly in young players. That being said, his extreme youth, average fundamentals, inconsistency, and lack of comfort as a jump shooter will likely prevent him from contributing right away, making him more of a project than some expected him to be coming out of high school. Additionally, NBA scouts will want to do their due diligence surrounding his strange departure from Kentucky.
“At the end of the day, however, Goodwin shows a good amount of promise for an 18-year-old freshman. His draft prospects are far from sure at this point, but he has every opportunity to solidify himself as a first round pick with solid showings in pre-draft settings, and could certainly emerge as a steal later on in his career if a team is willing to be patient with his development.”