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
"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
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.