Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
Kentucky signee Archie Goodwin says the Wildcats could challenge for a second straight NCAA championship if Shabazz Muhammad and Nerlens Noel come to Bluegrass country.
“I think we’ll be a really good team and be another national championship contender because those guys have great talent and we’ll be looking forward to having another great year,” Goodwin, a 6-foot-5 shooting guard from Little Rock, Ark., told SNY.tv Thursday from the Nike Hoop Summit in Portland, Ore.
Both Muhammad and Noel are undecided and are expected to announce April 11 on ESPNU.
Muhammad told SNY.tv Thursday he plans to formulate a decision in the days following Saturday’s Hoop Summit game, and Noel also remains undecided.
If they both were to pick Kentucky, John Calipari might arguably have his best recruiting class ever — and that is saying something.
But what if, in a worst-case scenario for Kentucky fans, the Wildcats don’t land either Muhammad or Noel?
“I think how we have it now we’ll still be able to contend for a national championship as long as we continue to get better each and every day and figure out our strengths and weaknesses and work as a team,” Goodwin said.
As for getting in Muhammad’s and Noel’s ears, Goodwin said “he might say something every now and then about it, but ultimately it’s their decision so I just let them and their families decide if they want it instead of me just trying to badger them about it all day.”
Goodwin is part of a three-man recruiting class at Kentucky that includes forward Alex Poythress and big man Willie Cauley. Kentucky will also add N.C. State transfer Ryan Harrow, a point guard. Freshman forward Kyle Wiltjer is also expected to return.
Goodwin was named MVP of the 2012 Arkansas 5A state championship game after scoring 27 points to lead Sylvan Hills High School to a 59-54 win over Little Rock Mills.
He watched Monday night’s NCAA championship game and said he’s happy for Calipari and the players.
“I watched the whole game,” he said. “I was very excited to see those guys finally get a championship, for Coach Cal to get one, for the freshmen players and one senior. I was just happy to see those guys finally pull together and win one.”
Looking ahead to next year, Goodwin said he could play a variety of roles at Kentucky.
“It’s just whatever coach needs me to do,” he said. “Whether it’s being big on offense or defense, or running the team point guard-wise, whatever he needs me to do, I’m looking forward to doing it.”
As for his goals this week at the Hoop Summit, Goodwin said, “I just want to make sure I do whatever Coach [Kevin Boyle] wants me to do for us to win and for us to play as a team.”
Photo: Kelly Kline
Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.