UK Basketball: Freshman Goodwin learning Kentucky basketball 'isn't for funsies'
Kentucky freshman guard Archie Goodwin, left, infuriated Kentucky coach John Calipari when he did not pass to an open teammate in Wednesday¿s Blue-White Game. Goodwin says he knows he made a mistake and still has a lot to learn to do what Calipari expects. (Clay Jackson / October 26, 2012)
“He passed up Julius Mays,” Calipari said. “That’s unacceptable here and I let him know that. I wasn’t real happy. After the game I said, ‘You just took 22 shots, more than anybody on the team. You understand, you don’t ever pass anyone up if you’re going to get shots. The reason is because I’m making people throw it to you when you’re ahead, so you better throw it to them when they’re ahead.'
“He understood. It’s not fun when you’re being told in an aggressive way but we don’t have time here. This isn’t for funsies.”
Goodwin, who came in as a high-profile recruit who had the ability to create on the floor, has had to learn that his individual ability might sometimes be overshadowed by the abilities of his teammates. It’s what got last year’s Kentucky team a national championship trophy — their chemistry and capability to come together as one team rather than a group of highly talented players.
And that is something that Goodwin is coming to understand, both because of his time with the team so far and Calipari’s willingness to tell him when he has done something wrong.
“He (Calipari) always tells us how back at our old schools or AAU teams, we were always the main option and we were only playing for ourselves,” Goodwin said. “But now that we’re here with a lot of guys that can play just as good as us, we’re going to have to share the ball more. That’s not something that I’m dwelling on or that’s going to affect my game because I know that that’s going to make me a better player and it’s going to make every game easy for me as well as others.”
Asked if he has gotten used to Calipari’s occasional verbal aggression, Goodwin just smiled and said he was.
“Coach Cal’s been doing that a lot lately,” he said. “I know what he expects from us and he’s not going to let up on us any so that doesn’t bother me.”
Even after the Blue-White game Wednesday night, Calipari was not letting up on his players. The team already knew they were going to have a 6:30 a.m. practice Thursday, but after the game, Cal decided that it needed to be specifically a defensive practice.
Is a practice focusing completely on defense something the players look forward to?
“No,” Goodwin said with a smile. “I don’t have a choice though, so I guess I am looking forward to it.”
It is just another example of Calipari knowing the balance between being hard on his players and being the kind of coach they still want to play for. Although he may have been yelled at last night for his passing-up of Mays, Goodwin knows that his coach has his (and the team’s) best interests at heart.
“We all have our moments where we do something that gets to him, and he lets us know about it,” Goodwin said. “But I know he does it all for the right reasons, so I never get down on myself or another player. I know he’s doing it to make us better.”