BOZICH: Archie Goodwin Making His Point -- and Points -- For UK - WDRB 41 Louisville News

BOZICH: Archie Goodwin Making His Point -- and Points -- For UK

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Archie Goodwin says he is ready to play point guard at Kentucky. Archie Goodwin says he is ready to play point guard at Kentucky.

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WDRB) – The questions were about Ryan Harrow, but the answers were about Archie Goodwin. 

John Calipari isn't certain when – or if – Harrow will return to play point guard for the University of Kentucky basketball team that dispatched Morehead State, 81-70, Wednesday night in Rupp Arena.

"If I knew more, I would keep it from you," Calipari said. "But I don't know more."

But what has become more certain is that whatever Harrow decides, Goodwin is the guy who deserves the keys to this team.

Calipari was coy while answering questions about Harrow. There is nothing coy about the way that Goodwin plays the game of basketball.

He is skilled. He is determined. He is confident. He is relentless.

"I had an idea that I'd be playing point guard but not this soon," Goodwin said.  "It's something that I thought I was going to play maybe later on in the year.

"We had to make adjustments sooner than I thought.  It's something that I'm ready for."

What other qualifications does a guy need to run a team?

Yes, Goodwin scored 28 against Morehead. Yes, that was his career high. But keep looking at the box score. Scan over several more columns. Check how many free throws the kid shot.

The number is 17 – one more than the entire Morehead team. He made a dozen.

Give Goodwin the basketball. He will make a play. You will not have to wonder about that. After four games, Goodwin is averaging 18.3 points. He is capable of averaging 20. No Calipari player at UK has averaged more than 17.3.

Goodwin has scored 73 points in his first four college games. Anthony Davis scored 51, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist 49 last season.  Don't forget that Goodwin also banged his way to six rebounds and three blocks.

Was he flawless against Morehead? Hardly. You want a better assist-to-turnover ratio than the 4-to-4 ratio that Goodwin delivered. But he is a freshman who never played point guard at Sylvan Hills High School in Little Rock, Ark. He made mistakes. He will make more. Knight, John Wall and Marquis Teague made mistakes, too.

But Goodwin has the temperament and enthusiasm for the job.

"I think the logical move is to make Archie Goodwin the point guard," ESPN analyst Fran Fraschilla said earlier Friday after Calipari delivered the news on Twitter that Harrow would miss the game because he was returning home for a family issue.

I hope Harrow does return. I hope whatever issues have kept him off the court the last three games are resolved. I wouldn't look for Harrow Friday night when UK plays Long Island but the word after the game was that the coaches expected him back by the weekend.

But even when Harrow returns, Goodwin is a better option to run the team. Ask Fraschilla. He is a basketball junkie who works at his job. Fraschilla said that last summer he used Synergy Sports Technology to watch video clips of every offensive possession Harrow played at North Carolina State two seasons ago.

This is what he saw:

"I just really wondered what all the excitement was about. I'm not trying to disparage the kid. I saw a quick, undersized, thin, non-finishing, sometimes out of control point guard.

"We all know he's not John Wall or Brandon Knight. No one expected him to be that. I was surprised given Cal's ability to sign anybody he wanted that he cast his lot with Ryan Harrow.

"I don't know him as a young man. I only go by what I saw on tape. I've seen him in the past in person. But I went and watched every possession of his freshman year and I was mildly surprised because in terms of basketball talent, it seems to me that John would have had an opportunity to sign somebody even better."

Remember: The coaching staff thought they were going to sign somebody better. His name is Shabazz Muhammad. He would have played in the same backcourt with Goodwin. Instead, he plays for UCLA.

Now Goodwin is poised and capable of running this team.

"I think it's something that I can do," Goodwin said.

Copyright 2012 WDRB News. All Rights Reserved.





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