By LARRY VAUGHT
Taylor County sophomore guard Quentin Goodin, a possible Kentucky recruiting target, and his father, Chris, are spending a lot of time on the road and will continue to do so because he’s played with the 17 and under St. Louis Eagles of the Nike Youth Basketball League now and through the summer.
He’s already been to Sacramento and will be in Dallas next weekend, Virginia a week later and Minneapolis after that in hopes that his team advances to the EYBL Finals at the Peach Jam on July 16-20 in North Augusta, S.C.
Goodin is playing in the same backcourt with the Jayson Tatum of St. Louis, who already counts a UK offer among his scholarship list. Tatum is one of just three sophomores with a Kentucky scholarship offer.
“I drive all the time,” joked Chris Goodin. “But it is a great opportunity. They contacted me and expressed interest because they heard about him. I sent video, they watched him play in Louisville against (former UK target and Duke commit) Luke Kennard and his (Franklin, Ohio) and he had a good game. They liked him and wanted him to come play. It goes all the way through May, June is high school season and then they finish AAU in July.”
The Goodins have made the five-hour drive to St. Louis for weekend practices.
“It is definitely a sacrifice, but that should let coaches know we are dedicated to getting better,” Chris Goodin said.
Recently UK assistant coach John Robic has visited the Goodins.
“It went good. He checked in and watched us do individual workouts and we had a good conversation,” Chris Goodin said. “The thing now is for coach Cal (John Calipari) to watch him play quite a bit this summer. He has not seen him enough (to offer a scholarship). Now the main thing is for him to see him play more before they can make any kind of determination about what they may want to do.”
The guard’s father knows playing with the St. Louis team will “absolutely elevate” his son’s play.
“Our team is made up of a majority of 16-year-old kids playing in a 17-year-old league with the best kids in the country,” Chris Goodin said.
Quentin Goodin, who recently got a scholarship offer from Kansas State to bring his offer list to 11, already knew Tatum from USA Basketball.
“He is a really good player and very good kid,” Chris Goodin said. “They play in the backcourt together. Tatum plays the one, two, three, four or just a little bit of everything. Quentin primarily plays the one, but he also plays the two.”
Goodin’s father would like to see him become a “more confident knockdown shooter” this summer and also “learn to value possessions more to where each one really counts no matter what” the score might be.
Chris Goodin said his son will be tested during Taylor’s high school season as well. Taylor will play in a tournament in Indianapolis in December and as well as the King of the Bluegrass in Louisville. The team might go to Ocala, Fla., for a December holiday tourney and will be in the King of the Bluegrass Showcase in late January and the Jock Sutherland Classic in February. There will also be a regular-season game with Hopkinsville.
“It’s a tough schedule, but we need that,” Chris Goodin said. “But the good thing for Quentin is that he has no pressure. We can worry about recruiting in the future. He can just relax and play for the most part. There is no pressure on him as far as having to impress coaches immediately, but the pressure is always there to make sure you work on your game and do not get stagnant.”