Skip to content

Archie Goodwin on Kentucky’s new team: ‘just a matter of them meshing’

Jul 29, 2013, 2:19 PM EDT

Archie Goodwin, Alex Oriakhi, Keion Bell

Three players that were members of Kentucky’s 2012-2013 team, which found its way out of the NIT in a first round loss at Robert Morris, were back in Lexington on Monday.

Kyle Tucker, writing for USA Today, caught up with Julius Mays, Nerlens Noel and Archie Goodwin, asking them about advice they would give to the the newest crop of Wildcat freshmen. Their responses? (Emphasis mine):

Mays: “From what I’ve seen, they’ve got all the talent in the world. Like I told them: If they can all check their egos at the door … they’re going to be real dangerous.”

Goodwin: ” “I feel like with the team that they have this year, just the talent alone is going to win a championship. It’s just a matter of them meshing together.”

Noel: “Establish team chemistry early on in the year and make sure a leader steps up, because a young team like that, they’re especially going to need a leader that’s always going to keep them like a rock-solid team and always keep those guys composed.”

Obviously, this is a little bit of insight into just what happened with last season’s Kentucky team and why they struggled.

But more importantly, this touches on the major concerns I have for Kentucky heading into next season. (Well, some of the major concerns, as rumors like this keep popping up.) Right now, looking at Chad Ford’s top 100 draft prospects leading into the 2014 draft, seven of the top 31 players are Kentucky Wildcats, with an eighth (Marcus Lee) popping up in the 70s. Draft Express is currently projecting five Wildcats to go in the first round in 2014, and that’s operating under the assumption that James Young and Dakari Johnson aren’t going to be in the 2014 draft.

Simply put: Kentucky is going to have first round draft picks — plural — coming off of the bench next season. They are going to have role players with one eye on the lottery. Coach Cal is going to have to convince those kids to embrace the role that he brought them in to play, or the team is going to once again struggle with chemistry issues.

I’ve long said that what made the 2012 Kentucky team special wasn’t the fact that they had six players drafted or that they had the top two picks in the 2012 draft. What made that team great was that their two best players and the two highest-rated NBA prospects — Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and Anthony Davis — were role players. They were awesome, but MKG was a junkyard dog, a glue-guy that defended and rebounded and provided all the hustle plays while Anthony Davis was a defensive presence that owned the paint and gave Kentucky’s guards an outlet to throw lobs.

How often do you see that in a team?

How many blue-chip recruits and potential lottery picks are willing to fit into a role that the team needs them to play?

Will the players on this Kentucky team be able to embrace that mindset?

If they can, this team will win a lot of games and, potentially, do something special.

If they don’t, it will be interesting to see just how good the Wildcats actually are.

You can find Rob on twitter @RobDauster.

Latest Posts
  1. Pittsburgh adds to interior depth as graduate forward Rafael Maia commits

    May 3, 2015, 11:30 PM EDT

    AP Photo AP

    Maia led the Ivy League in rebounding in each of his three seasons playing at Brown.

  2. Notre Dame lands four-star 2016 point guard Temple Gibbs Jr.

    May 3, 2015, 10:55 PM EDT

    AP Photo AP

    Notre Dame’s first commitment in the 2016 class is an important one.

  3. Four-star point guard becomes Texas A&M’s first 2016 commitment

    May 3, 2015, 10:05 PM EDT

    AP Photo AP

    The Aggies are on the board in 2016, and they’ve landed one of the top distributors in the class.

  4. Excerpts of Wisconsin forward’s testimony in Kessler lawsuit unsealed Thursday

    May 3, 2015, 8:25 PM EDT

    Nigel Hayes, Frank Kaminsky AP

    Nigel Hayes believes that each individual school should be allowed to decide how much they give an athlete should they be allowed to pay them in the future.

  5. Former Penn State forward headed to Houston Texans rookie minicamp

    May 3, 2015, 6:10 PM EDT

    AP Photo AP

    The Texans will hold its rookie minicamp next weekend.

  6. UNLV-bound Derrick Jones wins yet another dunk contest (VIDEO)

    May 3, 2015, 5:00 PM EDT

    Kelly Kline/Getty Images Getty Images

    Jones hasn’t played a college game yet, but when he arrives on campus at UNLV he’ll be one of the best dunkers in college basketball.

  7. Colorado transfer will finish his career at Arkansas

    May 3, 2015, 4:00 PM EDT

    (AP) AP

    Former Colorado guard Dustin Thomas is heading to Arkansas.

  8. Report: Bo Ryan has no future plans to retire from Wisconsin

    May 3, 2015, 3:30 PM EDT

    Getty Images Getty Images

    Wisconsin head coach Bo Ryan will be around for at least a few more years, it seems.

  9. Gonzaga lands Washington transfer Nigel Williams-Goss

    May 3, 2015, 1:55 PM EDT

    (AP) AP

    Gonzaga landed a huge transfer in former Washington guard Nigel Williams-Goss.

  10. Louisville’s Rick Pitino raises separate funds for charter jet use in recruiting

    May 3, 2015, 1:20 PM EDT

    Getty Images Getty Images

    Louisville head coach Rick Pitino’s charter jet use is examined in a new report.

  11. Former Old Dominion forward Richard Ross offered to join Minnesota Vikings mini-camp

    May 3, 2015, 10:45 AM EDT

    (AP) AP

    Former Old Dominion forward Richard Ross is continuing to pursue the NFL and has been invited to a mini-camp.

  12. UTEP receives commitment from former Oregon guard

    May 2, 2015, 11:00 PM EDT

    AP Photo AP

    After being dismissed from Oregon, Dominic Artis spent a year at Diablo Valley CC in California but did not play basketball.

  13. Former Mercer guard Ike Nwamu commits to UNLV

    May 2, 2015, 9:33 PM EDT

    Getty Images Getty Images

    Nwamu averaged 15.1 points per game and shot 37.4 percent from three at Mercer last season.

  14. Former Alabama forward headed to UTPA for final season of eligibility

    May 2, 2015, 7:41 PM EDT

    Getty Images Getty Images

    Dakota Slaughter didn’t see much playing time at Alabama, but that could change at UTPA.

  15. Four-star shooting guard Kenny Williams commits to North Carolina

    May 2, 2015, 5:36 PM EDT

    Jon Lopez/Nike Jon Lopez/Nike

    A high-level perimeter shooter, Williams can help a team that was lacking in that area in 2014-15.

  16. East Carolina plans on meeting full cost of attendance for scholarship athletes

    May 2, 2015, 5:00 PM EDT

    AP Photo AP

    ECU scholarship athletes in football, men’s basketball and women’s basketball will receive an extra $4,025 in scholarship money beginning August 1.

  17. Three Florida Class of 2015 commits update status after Billy Donovan’s departure

    May 2, 2015, 3:30 PM EDT

    AP Photo AP

    Florida has four Class of 2015 recruits signed for next season.

  18. Elite Class of 2016 guard De’Aaron Fox focuses on defense and leadership this spring

    May 2, 2015, 2:15 PM EDT

    (Getty Images) Getty Images

    De’Aaron Fox is one of the elite players in the Class of 2016 and he’s spending the spring focusing on defense and being a leader.

  19. How Jaylen Brown’s commitment made a huge impact on the finalists recruiting him

    May 2, 2015, 1:00 PM EDT

    (Getty Images) Getty Images

    Jaylen Brown’s commitment shook up the college basketball world on Friday night.