UK Basketball: Archie Goodwin looking forward to Big Blue Madness tonight
Kentucky freshman Archie Goodwin said Thursday that he is looking forward to tonight¿s Big Blue Madness at Rupp Arena. (Victoria Graff / October 12, 2012)
The Kentucky freshman guard received a glimpse of the hype surrounding the program three years ago when he received a picture displaying what has become known as “tent city,” but added “just to see it is another thing.”
“It’s crazy,” Goodwin said. “That’s something that a lot of other schools aren’t doing. The atmosphere has been what I expected. I expected great fans and a lot of support around here. It’s everything I was thinking it was going to be.”
Although Goodwin was named Mr. Basketball in Arkansas last season and one of the top shooting guards in his class, Goodwin never envisioned playing basketball beyond high school. He considered basketball as more of a hobby and did it more “for fun” and didn’t take the sport seriously until he realized his full potential.
“I grew up not really worried about basketball,” he said. “As I got older and started playing the game more and more, the more I started to love the game. Now I do have aspirations of playing at the next level.”
Before he can think about the NBA, Goodwin is focused on the present and knows that following last year’s squad that went 38-2 and won the school’s eighth national championship, won’t be an easy task.
“We’re not worried about last year’s team, that was another team,” he said. “We’re going to do whatever we do, where we win or lose every game. We’re still a different team. We can’t focus on what they did last year, because that’s in the past. We’re a totally different team and we’ll do (what we have to do to succeed) and whatever happens is going to happen and hopefully it’s winning a national championship, but at the end of the day, we’re a totally different team. They did the unthinkable and hopefully we’ll do the same thing.”
What Goodwin does know, is he is part of a “tough team” and “have guys who won’t quit.”
Kentucky coach John¿Calipari said Goodwin’s defense is a mixture between former Kentucky players DeAndre Liggins and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist. Goodwin embraced the comparison.
“Those were two great guys who played great on defense and brought a lot of intensity to the court,” he said. “Hopefully I’ll work harder to live up to their standards. I don’t compare myself with anyone else, because I feel like I’m my own player.”
Goodwin didn’t latch on to the being a defensive-minded player until late in his prep career because “being younger, I always wanted to shoot the ball.”
“It’s something that came along as I got older and matured,” he said. “If I scored 30 and the guy I was guarding scored 30, then I wasn’t doing any good (on the court), so I just started focusing more on playing defense and it started coming along for me.”
Goodwin said his primary role is to be a shooting guard, but won’t mind taking over point-guard duties when called on by Kentucky’s coaching staff.
“I practice hard and do whatever coach Calipari needs me to do,” he said. “I’m a guy that’s who is a coaches player. I’m comfortable with it, my whole life I’ve been a shooting guard, but I have played some point guard. I’m a scorer, whether it’s driving (to the basket) or shooting. I feel like I’m pretty good at both.”
Calipari said Goodwin’s isn’t ready to be the team’s vocal leader just yet, but don’t expect him to stay quiet as the season progresses.
“It’s something that’s going to have to happen,” he said. “It will be maybe out of fear of losing and I will talk, but I think it will come along. Somebody is going to have to stand out as a leader on this team and I feel like eventually I will (become the vocal leader). Being a leader is something that I’m used to doing. I like for everybody to follow me, because I know I’m not going to do something wrong. I’m not going to try to lead them down the wrong path. That’s going to help us out a lot.”
Goodwin has a special dance planned for Big Blue Madness tonight at Rupp Arena and isn’t taking a backseat to the rest of his teammates.
“l’m the best dancer - easy,” he said with a smile. “Don’t let anyone else tell you I’m not, because if they do, they’re lying. I’m going to do a little dance and hopefully everybody likes it.”