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High Risk, High Reward with Goodwin


There’s no denying that Archie Goodwin is a fun player to watch (scroll down for that dunk video if you don’t believe me. Watch it twice for good measure. Say “Brrrr” if you’re feeling the chill). His energy, athleticism, and quickness all combine for an insane ability to finish, and he fits perfectly into Kentucky’s up-tempo style of transition play that they’re sporting this season. Last night, Archie finished with 13 points, 3 rebounds, 3 assists… and 3 turnovers.



Those three turnovers lead us to the one sore spot in Archie’s game- he’s still a high risk, high reward player. He’s playing too fast, too furious, taking ill-advised shots and careening out of control on some of his drives. It’s starting to add up in the turnovers column. Goodwin has had ten on the season- the most of any Wildcat and one more than his assist total- and his decision-making even against a cupcake team like Lafayette has caused Calipari to yank him for a stern talking-to on the bench. I hate to say anything negative about that dunk last night (mostly because I’m afraid Archie will come up to Chicago and dunk on me while I cower meekly in the corner), but he had Willie Cauley-Stein wide open for the auto lob and could have easily avoided the charge and dangerous play. Calipari noticed, and wanted to talk about it, loudly, on the bench immediately after. Against Lafayette? Not a huge mistake over the course of the game. Against any team after the Hostess portion of our schedule? Could be dangerous.



There’s a few possible explanations for Goodwin’s erratic play style thus far. First, the typical freshman syndrome. We know freshmen (especially at the Kentucky level of play) need a few games to get the jitters out and quit trying to do too much too soon. Calipari has been through this before with nearly every elite guard he’s coached at Kentucky, and has in fact compared Goodwin to former Memphis player Tyreke Evans in terms of development. After two high-profile games away from Rupp to start the season, I expect Archie to settle down some before the next portion of the schedule.


Also, Goodwin has been forced to play out of his position so far this season. With Harrow sick (but hopefully back on Sunday, according to Calipari in last night’s post game presser), Goodwin has been taking his turn at running the point. He does a fine job- he can bring the ball up comfortably, he’s an aggressive driver, and his size is ideal for point guard. But just like Garth Brooks looked unnatural and uncomfortable in his attempted new role (and his wig) as Chris Gaines, so does Goodwin look a little awkward in his recent role as point guard. Goodwin doesn’t know how to create shots for other people (as seen in his unnecessary blarge during his dunk with WCS wide open), and he’s not yet comfortable running Kentucky’s set offense. When Ryan Harrow returns and Goodwin moves back to shooting guard, I predict his play will become much more efficient with less turnovers, more points, and more posters that Ryan Harrow can caption for motivation in his bedroom.


Like Calipari constantly reminds us, our Cats are a mid-November team. Archie is the epitome of a mid-November elite freshman. If there’s a silver lining to his reckless play so far, it’s that we know Archie ain’t never scared. He WILL drive to the basket and he WILL dunk all over you. If-WHEN- Goodwin can gain control over his faculties (and maybe round out his game with better rebounding and defensive effort), he can challenge Poythress for leading scorer and Nerlens Noel for hustle MVP- moving from a high risk/high reward player to an absolutely terrifying Weapon of Mass Destruction. And when that happens- I’m booking my ticket to Atlanta.



Article written by Kristen Geil

33 Comments for High Risk, High Reward with Goodwin

  1. wbguitar08
    11:34 am November 17, 2012 Permalink

    Harrrow back on Sunday? Good news if true. Love Archie & JP, but if we are to make tourney run, the Cats need Harrow.

  2. wbguitar08
    11:35 am November 17, 2012 Permalink

    Oh – & #1

  3. tdogg40330
    11:39 am November 17, 2012 Permalink

    yeah, this team has so much potential that I almost feel sorry for the rest
    of the NCAA. When they get it all together, it wont even be close on who the #1
    team in the nation is …

  4. Jimmy Hotsauce
    11:40 am November 17, 2012 Permalink

    Archie has ZERO bball IQ

  5. Maxps8
    11:41 am November 17, 2012 Permalink

    Love Archie. Mays is our 2nd PG. And he proved it last night w/ 10 assists. Let Mays run the point until Harrow returns. I promise…guarantee it will produce our best line-up. Archie can still run the point when Mays is out trading off time with JP. And on JP’s play…Wow. He’s a legit D1 starting PG for 90% of the teams out there.

  6. Maxps8
    11:43 am November 17, 2012 Permalink

    4 – Not true at all.
    3 – I agree this team has incredible potential and looks even better AT THIS POINT in the season that last year’s team did. BUT…let’s also not get ahead of ourselves. There are some GREAT teams out there and we don’t have to go far to find them. GO KATS!!!

  7. Miguel
    11:45 am November 17, 2012 Permalink

    If Goodwin knew how to play pg he’d be the best in the nation. He has just never been asked to do anything besides try to score 40 every game, that is until he came here. Athleticism, ability, size, but he just can’t make the right split decision pass yet. When he’s able to slow it down a tiny bit, as stated above, I can’t imagine anyone else running this offense, a healthy Harrow included, to it’s fullest potential. As for his pro career, he’ll either learn and become a top 10 pg in the League, or he’ll be another trigger happy combo guard to come off the bench for the duration of his career. A lot of the same stuff was true of Bledsoe, and he seems to be getting it

  8. MKG for MVP
    11:51 am November 17, 2012 Permalink

    I think we are all forgetting that this was just the 3rd game of the season. He will be fine. I remember a lot of people complaining about John Wall playing too fast as well.

  9. mike
    11:53 am November 17, 2012 Permalink

    archie is probably our best or second best player on the team. he is great and is trying to carry the team until everyone else on UK can catch up to the intensity that he plays with. that is all..he is not out of control…just playing hard

  10. jimp
    12:00 pm November 17, 2012 Permalink

    Wish some people would quit expecting so much out of the freshmen right off the bat. Even after the blue white game there was some fans criticizing some of these guys for the way they played. Give them some time for goodness sakes. There have been many freshmen at UK that did not start off theie career’s looking that good. Remember John Wall, Brandon Knight, Marques Teague and I could go on and on did not play that well at the beginning of their freshmen seasons. Just enjoy what we have.

  11. bluebird
    12:01 pm November 17, 2012 Permalink

    Back seat coaches. Goodwins gonna be fine Cal preaches to go for the kill, that is what Goodwin thinks hes best at. Goodwin has a nice jumper, and has Bball IQ3 you dumbass. Cats roll all season They all play hard, Goodwin didnt miss pass to WCS to show boat he missed pass cause he wanted the kill. Cal will get that under control. The team is still learning how to set each other up, but also be real aggressive with taking your man to school.

  12. TAXman
    12:09 pm November 17, 2012 Permalink

    John Wall was amassing turnovers like he was little debbie in his first 10-15 games. Goodwin averaging 3.33 turnovers/gm in his first 3 games is nothing compared to what Wall was doing (11 TO’s in first 2 games)

  13. back seat coach
    12:12 pm November 17, 2012 Permalink

    #5 gimme a break homer. Don’t get me wrong, I think Mays has a steadying influence on this team with his experience and I think Polson plays his part. But when we play teams the caliber of Duke instead of teams like Lafayette, then Mays and Polson are both exposed. Both of these guys got killed playing defense against Seth Curry. Mays is a 2 guard. Mostly spot up shooter. Yes, he had 10 great share the ball assists (mostly to Wiltjer on the perimeter though), but again, vs. Lafayette. You must be Polson’s cousin to say he’s a legit D1 starting PG at 90% of teams. That is just flat out absurd. I love his effort and the fact he’s a homegrown kid. But seriously, his ability (or inability?) to contribute was more evidenced in the Duke game than in the Maryland or Lafayette game. What do you think he’s gonna do in the SEC or in later games when there’s some film on him??? HURRY BACK HARROW

  14. archie's my man
    12:13 pm November 17, 2012 Permalink

    First off, #4 is the stupidest thing I’ve seen on KSR all week. Big effin deal, a few turnovers. Archie is a like a big lion huntin’ gazelles. He’s fierce and he’s going to miss once every once in a while. He’s my favorite dude. Archie, don’t listen to the BS, keep doing your thing my man, you’re awesome.

  15. SKat
    12:17 pm November 17, 2012 Permalink

    Archie is stuck in no-man’s land until Harrow returns or until Cal ends this experiment and installs Mays at point. Griffin’s natural instinct is to go all out, driving to the basket, and he’s being told to slow down, look for his teammates. Cal is quick to scream at Archie’s wrong decisions or indecision. He gets understandably frustrated and impatient and sometimes just barrels to the hole. If he had thrown down that dunk in Plumlee’s face he would have brought the house down, turned the game and made SportsCenter highlights. When he leaped over a Lafayette defender for a spectacular dunk, he earned a charge and a scolding from Cal for missing WCS with the lob. The look of pain and disbelief on Archie’s face after that was indicative of the way his season is going. Against Lafayette, Archie showed a decent outside jumpshot, a good shot for a point guard, but you sense he isn’t looking for that shot. I feel for the young man, a tremendous talent shackled by circumstance. With so much pressure from Cal on him, Archie does not appear to be enjoying the game right now. Hopefully this period in his career will soon be behind him. #FreeArchieGriffin

  16. BigBlue
    12:18 pm November 17, 2012 Permalink

    Archie is great. Love his killer instinct. This team is doing well right now for their maturity level. All we need is to get Harrow back and get him on board and Cal’s development will do the rest. Not worried at all about this team.

  17. Ashland
    12:23 pm November 17, 2012 Permalink

    Who in the hell is Archie Griffin #15? Do you know anything about this team?

  18. martin VanDyke
    12:24 pm November 17, 2012 Permalink

    13– One could say the same thing about John Wall — that he played well against the crappy opponents, but look what happened when we played the only Top Ten team we played that year? John Wall got humiliated against West Virginia and it cost us the national championship. You don’t get any points for saying that players look better against weaker competition, and struggle (as John Wall did) against Top Ten competition. If you look at Jarrod’s ability to run the system, control turnovers, and not make stupid mistakes (like Archie CONSTANTLY makes, unfortunately), I’m not sure Harrow has anything on him at all.

  19. archie's my man
    12:26 pm November 17, 2012 Permalink

    Archie Griffin is Archie Goodwin’s alter ego. Like Clark Kent is to Superman.

  20. The Real Phillip
    12:27 pm November 17, 2012 Permalink

    I actually HATE watching Archie right now because he reminds of of the old turnover machine that was DeAndre Liggins when he had to play the point. It’s not a question of whether he’s going to do something stupid, it’s when, and just how bad is it going to be. No amount of showboating makes up for that in my book. Can’t stand that kind of player. “It’s okay if I have seven turnovers, as long as I have a circus shot that makes Sportscenter.” Can’t wait for him to grow out of that mess.

  21. Surfboy77
    12:29 pm November 17, 2012 Permalink

    6 — You’re an idiot. 4 is absolutely right. You know nothing about basketball.

  22. Ashland
    12:30 pm November 17, 2012 Permalink

    Archie is the most talented player on the team. Maybe not the most controlled, but still my favorite.

  23. TAXman
    12:41 pm November 17, 2012 Permalink

    Didn’t realize we had the 2 time heisman winning running back playing for us. #FreeArchieGriffin indeed!

  24. mudcreekmark
    12:42 pm November 17, 2012 Permalink

    Goodwin will be fine. He does get out of control sometimes and turns his back to the rim and throws up some kind of shit shot thinking he is going to get a call. This only happens when he forces things. Cal will teach him to let the game come to him and play within the system and then he will cut down on the dumb plays. I would rather have a extremely talented player and try to teach him how to play under control that to have one that has little talent that already plays under control.You cannot teach God given talent and ability.

  25. Wildcatsteeler
    12:55 pm November 17, 2012 Permalink

    I’m already tired of the Goodwin bashing. The kid is a superstar in the making. Just stfu and watch him develop into a lottery pick.

  26. Goodwin4Life
    1:02 pm November 17, 2012 Permalink

    Kid is a baller. Ramel Bradley’s fire in Jody Meek’s body. Who was the last freshman that came in and wasnt a bad decision maker? I recall Bledsoe and Wall having terrible turnover problems until February, Cousins wanting to kill everyone, Lamb and Jones having their share of defensive lapses, Knight and Teague couldnt run the offense, etc. I’ll take an extra turnover for the ability to jump over a defender in the lane…every time.

  27. Kyle
    1:15 pm November 17, 2012 Permalink

    First off that wasn’t a charge. He jumped over him. I don’t know how someone falling down without contact can be called a charge. I think the ref was just shocked what happened.

    So that charge was one of his 3 “turnovers”. I’m fine with his play.

  28. Tebkats
    1:47 pm November 17, 2012 Permalink

    Don’t forget that Teague’s ball handling wasn’t looking that good at this point last year. He turned out okay, didn’t he, give it time.

  29. Crump Seed
    1:56 pm November 17, 2012 Permalink

    This will all be water under the bridge when we are watching “M”Archie Goodwin!!

    2:00 pm November 17, 2012 Permalink

    Does anyone else think that the issue with Ryan Harrow could be with his academics? Coach Cal mentioned in a press conference that someone on his team is struggling academically and he is making him read a book from his book club so they could discuss it together. I just wonder if Ryan is struggling so much academically that Cal is making him focus on his classes so that he doesnt become ineligible? Idk.. whatever the issue, whether it an illness or other problem, I hope he gets better soon.

  31. BigBlue
    4:45 pm November 17, 2012 Permalink

    With Harrow it could be any number of things…or maybe a combination…I hope it is academic and he just has to bear down on class a little more. He could have been ill and then gotten behind in his classes; that happens. If it is health, that is tricky…most normal flu viruses, even severe, do not last longer than a week. I really hope he gets the attention he needs from the staff to get whatever the issue is lined out. I am sure he wants to get on the court as soon as he can. He came here for reason, pursue his goal of making it to the league…I am sure whatever the issue is he wants to get on the court as soon as he can.

  32. Wild Turkey 101
    4:57 pm November 17, 2012 Permalink

    Goodwin only had 2 turns, not 3. That charge call on his dunk was b.s.

  33. Carl
    10:56 pm November 17, 2012 Permalink

    I can’t believe people Re even talking about turnovers this early in the season. True fans should be used to this bynow. They’ll settle down once they get Harrow and Beckhamhealthy and they learn the offense.
    GO CATS!!