Whether it’s at point guard, shooting guard or a combination of both, University of Kentucky guard Archie Goodwin has proven his scoring ability this season. He has averaged 19 points through five games.
Even further than that, Goodwin has proven his ability as an all-around basketball player. Most recently, against Long Island University-Brooklyn, Goodwin flirted with a triple-double. There has only been one triple-double in UK basketball history, but Goodwin was one rebound and one assist away from the feat Friday night.
The stat sheet-stuffing night came as Goodwin continued to fill in for point guard Ryan Harrow, who has yet to play in a non-exhibition game this season, due to illness and a “family issue,” according to coach John Calipari. Goodwin admitted it was hard at first to transition to point guard, but has gotten better for him as the season has progressed.
Even with Harrow back in the lineup, would Goodwin still play some point guard in the future?
“I wouldn’t mind playing point,” he said. “I love playing it right now. Things are going well for me at this position but whatever happens in the future happens. I can’t predict it. But if it’s me playing point, then I’ll be able to do it.”
Even if Goodwin does not play the “1” position, his plan of attack remains the same: to, well, attack. His style of play has landed Goodwin on his back after a play countless times this season. But he says his rough attitude on the basketball court is all just a part of his upbringing.
“That just came from growing up in the rough part of Little Rock,” he said. “When you play street ball, there really are no fouls called so if you don’t make it, you really just don’t make it…It’s helped me a lot because those guys out there, they’re just playing to win and whatever you do to win, you have to do it. If it’s throwing somebody on the ground, they’ll do it. If you call the wrong fouls, you’re going to argue all night and there may be a couple fights. With that, I learned to play through bumps.”
With that mentality, Goodwin plans to lead the Cats this week as they take on Notre Dame Thursday in the SEC-Big East Challenge. Notre Dame, ranked in the top-20 to begin the season, stands at 5-1 after an overtime loss to Saint Joseph’s a week ago.
Harrow will start at the “bottom of the totem pole,” according to Calipari. Harrow will be looking at an uphill climb in regards to regaining his strength and conditioning; he lost seven pounds during his illness.
Harrow returned to the team Sunday and expects to be back in the lineup this week.
“I would like to thank my teammates, the UK coaching staff and administration along with the Big Blue Nation for their support over the last couple of weeks while I was out,” Harrow said in a statement released by the university Sunday. “I'm feeling much better and it felt really good to get back on the practice court with the guys today. Unfortunately, when I started feeling better, I had an issue to tend to with my family over the holiday break. Everything is good with that now and I'm excited about playing with my brothers again.”
With the continued point guard uncertainty looming as Notre Dame draws nearer on Thursday, Goodwin is prepared to play whatever position he needs to provide a win.
Whatever that position may be, with Goodwin, the threat of a triple-double remains.
UK Basketball: Goodwin a triple threat for Wildcats
Archie Goodwin talks to Kentucky coach John Calipari during the Wildcats' win LIU last week at Rupp Arena.