As he often does before big games, or even before the season starts, Cal has hopped on the Hype Express to start talking up his players in very early preparation for the 2013 NBA Draft. While some coaches like to put the “hype” in “hyperbole,” with Cal, it’s often the case that what he says is a hundred percent accurate. Early in the pre-season, Cal spent a lot of time talking about under-the-radar freshman Willie Cauley-Stein, and how he would be better than most people expected. He even asked Joe B. Hall how to play “Twin Towers” (we’ll call them Blanding and Kirwin).
Now, Cal’s shifted his focus to another of the freshmen: shooting guard Archie Goodwin. It’s easy to pick any of the four guys coming in to rave about, but Goodwin is the latest to receive high praise. According to Andy Katz’s 3-Point Shot:
2. Kentucky coach John Calipari loves to toss out platitudes of his newcomers before practice stars [sic]. He’s very impressionable and more times than not his hype sticks. He raved about Doron Lamb’s potential last summer and ultimately Lamb proved to be as vital a part of the national title run as any other player not named Anthony Davis. Well, the latest to receive the plug is freshman guard Archie Goodwin. Calipari said that Goodwin has a motor like Michael Kidd-Gilchrist. That’s high praise since MKG’s motor was one of the reasons he was selected in the top 10 in the NBA draft. Goodwin is one of four freshmen (Nerlens Noel, Willie Cauley, Alex Poythress) expected to play major minutes this season.
Coming off a national championship season, any comparison to last year’s team is a good one. MKG’s hustle and attitude were as big a part of that team as Anthony’s wingspan, so hearing that Goodwin has a motor to match is great news. We know that the team has already adopted the “Breakfast Club” tradition put in place last fall, and now it looks like Michael’s legacy will last a little longer in the locker room with Archie around. We’ll see if Goodwin lives up to the hype this season, but if Cal’s track record is any indication, smart money says he will. I’m already ready to see it.