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. Five-star freshman still waiting to be cleared by NCAA to play at Kansas

    Aug 4, 2015, 10:33 PM EDT

    AP AP

    Cheick Diallo was rated as the fifth-best player in the Class of 2015.

  2. Minnesota will grant Jarvis Johnson a release if he were to pursue one

    Aug 4, 2015, 8:58 PM EDT

    AP AP

    Jarvis Johnson was not cleared to play at Minnesota back in mid-June.

  3. Four-star 2016 point guard Jaylen Fisher down to six schools

    Aug 4, 2015, 7:38 PM EDT

    Getty Images Getty Images

    The four-star point guard cut his list in half on Tuesday night.

  4. Student who accused Oregon players of sexual assault settles lawsuit for $800,000

    Aug 4, 2015, 5:24 PM EDT

    Getty Images Getty Images

    The lawsuit stems from an alleged incident back in March of 2014.

  5. Mamadi Diakite becomes Virginia’s third four-star recruit in Class of 2016

    Aug 4, 2015, 4:45 PM EDT

    Getty Images Getty Images

    The 6-foot-9 power forward becomes the third four-star recruit in the Class of 2016 to commit to the Cavaliers.

  6. Virginia and Cal announce home and home series

    Aug 4, 2015, 3:01 PM EDT

    AP Photo AP

    Both teams will be ranked in the preseason top 15 this season.

  7. Mississippi State wing arrested for driving on suspended license

    Aug 4, 2015, 1:52 PM EDT

    AP AP

    Xavier Stapleton is sitting out this season after transferring from Louisiana Tech.

  8. No. 2 prospect obliterates defender with a tip-dunk (VIDEO)

    Aug 4, 2015, 10:03 AM EDT

    Screen Shot 2015-08-04 at 10.01.12 AM

    This kid isn’t even a sophomore yet.

  9. Fixing his flaws: How Kris Dunn has attacked the two weaknesses in his game

    Aug 3, 2015, 11:59 PM EDT

    AP Photo AP

    There are two glaring weaknesses to Kris Dunn’s game. Here’s how he’s gone about trying to fix them this summer.

  10. Ball is Life offers a unique look at the Under Armour Association, road to Elite 24, in new video

    Aug 3, 2015, 10:00 PM EDT

    Kelly Kline/adidas Kelly Kline/adidas

    A cool documentary-style approach to the Under Armour Association in preparation for the Elite 24.

  11. Nebraska hopes foreign trip can give young players experience

    Aug 3, 2015, 8:30 PM EDT

    AP Photo AP

    Nebraska is hoping a four-game trip in Spain helps with their freshmen.

  12. Report: Baylor forward will leave the program

    Aug 3, 2015, 7:00 PM EDT

    (Getty Images) Getty Images

    Baylor is losing a reserve forward to transfer.

  13. Report: Four-star forward could choose a school soon

    Aug 3, 2015, 4:50 PM EDT

    (Kelly Kline/adidas) (Kelly Kline/adidas)

    Mamadi Diakite, a four-star forward, could decide between three schools soon, per a report.

  14. Penn State lands their most important recruit in a decade in Tony Carr

    Aug 3, 2015, 2:40 PM EDT

    chambers Getty Images

    Tony Carr is a four-star point guard that picked Penn State over Maryland, SMU and Providence.

  15. Investigation funded by Illinois clears Illinois women’s coaches of racism claims

    Aug 3, 2015, 12:29 PM EDT

    Matt Bollant (AP Photo) AP

    The investigation was conducted by an outside law firm and paid for by the university.

  16. Five-star guard Rawle Alkins cuts his list to ten

    Aug 3, 2015, 12:05 PM EDT

    Getty Images Getty Images

    Alkins might be the best player from New York City since Lance Stephenson.