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. Knee surgery to sideline Louisville forward/center 4-6 weeks

    Jun 3, 2015, 7:40 PM EDT

    Anas Mahmoud, Chris Jones, Jamel Artis Anas Mahmoud, Chris Jones, Jamel Artis

    The rising sophomore is expected to be ready for the team’s summer trip to Puerto Rico in August.

  2. Ohio State announces completed non-conference schedule

    Jun 3, 2015, 6:37 PM EDT

    Thad Matta AP

    Ohio State will play neutral site games against Memphis and Kentucky, host Virginia and visit UConn.

  3. Rawle Alkins, Mustapha Heron among players headed to adidas Eurocamp

    Jun 3, 2015, 5:05 PM EDT

    Adidas Nations Atlanta Getty Images

    Arizona pledge T.J. Leaf is the only member of the adidas U-18 USA Select Team that has committed to a school already.

  4. What are the elite jobs in college basketball?

    Jun 3, 2015, 3:21 PM EDT

    (Getty Images) Getty Images

    Because it’s June and you don’t have anything else to argue about.

  5. Tennessee self-reported secondary violation committed by Donnie Tyndall

    Jun 3, 2015, 1:51 PM EDT

    AP Photo AP

    The violation reportedly stems from the recruitment of a transfer.

  6. Former Western Kentucky forward will play college football next season

    Jun 2, 2015, 11:00 PM EDT

    NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 27: George Fant #44 of the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers celebrates after a basket over Javon Baumann #34 of the Saint Joseph's Hawks in the second half at Madison Square Garden on November 27, 2014 in New York City.  (Photo by Alex Goodlett/Getty Images) Getty Images

    George Fant will try his hand at football after a productive four-year career at Western Kentucky.

  7. Arizona State lands transfer guard Torian Graham

    Jun 2, 2015, 10:00 PM EDT

    AP AP

    Well-traveled guard Torian Graham will follow head coach Bobby Hurley to Arizona State.

  8. Report: Rutgers releases Class of 2015 commitment from Letter of Intent

    Jun 2, 2015, 9:15 PM EDT

    AP AP

    Rutgers released a member of its 2015 recruiting haul.

  9. Virginia loses commitment from top-100 big man in Class of 2016

    Jun 2, 2015, 8:20 PM EDT

    Tony Bennett

    Virginia lost a member of its four-man 2016 class.

  10. Indiana lands Michigan transfer Max Bielfeldt

    Jun 2, 2015, 7:15 PM EDT

    (Getty Images) Getty Images

    Indiana picked up another big man for the 2015-16 season.

  11. USA Basketball releases 24-man roster for U19 training camp

    Jun 2, 2015, 6:45 PM EDT

    Harry Giles

    A lot of talented college basketball players and high school basketball prospects pepper this list.

  12. Five observations from the Pangos All-American Camp

    Jun 2, 2015, 5:30 PM EDT

    Scott Phillips/NBC Sports Scott Phillips/NBC Sports

    The Pangos All-American Camp had a lot of talented performers this year.

  13. Kansas four-star guard commit reclassifies to 2015 class

    Jun 2, 2015, 4:30 PM EDT

    Kelly Kline/Under Armour Kelly Kline/Under Armour

    Kansas gets a boost to its 2015-16 roster as a four-star guard reclassifies.

  14. USA Basketball U16 team announced

    Jun 2, 2015, 1:56 PM EDT


    The team will be coached by Don Showalter, Miles Simon and Sharman White.

  15. Northwestern adds veteran big man to their 2015-16 roster

    Jun 2, 2015, 12:26 PM EDT

    AP Photo AP Photo

    Joey van Zegeren is a castoff from Virginia Tech.