As March Madness is in full swing, every game is a constant reminder of the season that was and was not for our beloved Kentucky Wildcats and as hard as the fans have taken it, Archie Goodwin is still dealing with the sting. It has always been tough to question his heart but he was often lambasted for his questionable decision making. Larry Vaught of Vaughtsviews.com posted some interesting comments from the Cats leading scorer.
Recap of the season:
Kentucky coach John Calipari told him “I cannot coach you” during a 30-point loss at Tennessee, but praised him for his spirited play and often put the ball in his hands when UK had to create a shot.
“I just want to win so bad that sometimes I just feel that I can try to put a team on my back and maybe other guys will follow suit and it will pick up other guys but sometimes it didn’t work out like that. I think at times I tried to do too much,” said Goodwin after Tuesday’s NIT loss at Robert Morris. “I’ve tried to do all I can, but we just didn’t win enough.
“I am a competitor. For us to wear this Kentucky across our chest and play like we did this year, it is an embarrassment. To represent this university like we did is really unacceptable. Totally unacceptable.”
So why did UK lose four of its last five games, miss the NCAA Tournament and not come close to reaching preseason expectations?
“Just got guys who don’t compete. Sometimes a lot of excuses are made. If we take away that and the non-competers, things happen for us,” Goodwin, who said after Tuesday’s loss that he knew he wasn’t prepared for the NBA and UK’s other freshmen were not either, said. “We have some guys on our team that have all the talent but kind of play for themselves and that hurts them as opposed to others on our team who don’t have as much talent or athleticism but work hard and outshine the other ones because they work hard. If we could justs cancel that out, we would not be a bad team but it’s too late now.”
On his development:
“I just didn’t want our season to end. We have had a bumpy road, but this was our chance to show we deserved a spot (in the NCAA Tournament). But we just couldn’t do it with the way we played.”
Even though he proclaimed he was not ready for the NBA despite some draft projections that have him as a mid-first round pick, he says he’s a better player now than he was when the season started.
“I definitely think I am better. I learned a lot from this coaching staff and from playing with these guys,” Goodwin said. “I came in and got stronger. I became a better player all-around. That is from me working hard and working with the coaches each and every day to try and improve on everything I could.”
Now we flip the script and look at, to this point, our highest rated recruit next season, Mr. Julius Randle. And since he doesn’t live under a rock, he knows full well that UK didn’t make the NCAA Tournament and was whipped pretty good by Robert Morris in the First Round of the NIT, so to see the attitude he has coming in to his Freshman season is very refreshing. He knows the proof is in the pudding and he will not be part of a repeat of this most recent season. Rivals, Aaron Smith, had this little nugget from Julius Randle’s blog. To see Julius’ blog, click here.
Next year we’ll come in and do what we need to do.
Now I know that people said the same thing coming into this year, but I think the difference is the situation. We’ll have a chip on our shoulders after this season. Those guys this year had the bull’s-eye and we won’t look at ourselves like that. We’ll feel like we’ve got a lot to prove even if everyone’s saying we’re great and all that.
We’ve got a lot of guys that can really simplify each other’s roles. This is a special group of guys who just have that mentality that you can’t teach. We will get Kentucky back to where it’s supposed to be.
We’re not worried about all the hype with people saying we’re the best class ever and we’re better than the Fab Five. We haven’t proven anything yet. That’s what next season will be about. Proving.
To keep things interesting heading into the 2013-2014 UK Football season, a little UL news oughta get the cheating wagon rolling right along. Charlie Strong announced yesterday that recruiting star, Clint Hurtt, isn’t participating in the spring practices or recruiting to focus on the NCAA case against him while at Miami. Eric Crawford had this to say on the topic. No doubt the Card Community will be all up in arms in defense of the cheater. Who cares. Here are some tweets to corroborate.
Hurtt not at practice for spring drills and not recruiting so he can focus on NCAA case. Strong coaching defensive line.
— Jody Demling (@jdemling) March 22, 2013
Louisville coach Charlie Strong says Clintt Hurtt on administrative leave to “concentrate on his case.”
— Jody Demling (@jdemling) March 22, 2013