Archie Goodwin Says NIT Appearance Hurt His Draft Stock; Believes Julius Randle Can Be Josh Smith-Type | Zagsblog
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Saturday / May 21.
  • Archie Goodwin Says NIT Appearance Hurt His Draft Stock; Believes Julius Randle Can Be Josh Smith-Type

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    NEW YORK — It is almost axiomatic in college basketball that a deep NCAA Tournament run can help fuel a player’s NBA Draft stock.

    And so Archie Goodwin understandably believes that his stock was hurt last year when Kentucky failed to make the NCAA Tournament — and then lost in the first round of the NIT to Robert Morris.

    “If we would’ve won more, then I would’ve been a top pick,” Goodwin, who went No. 29 in last year’s draft, told SNY.tv prior to the Knicks’ 98-96 OT victory over the Phoenix Suns Monday at Madison Square Garden.

    “It was just a matter of us losing a lot of games that we should’ve won. I mean, we went to the NIT, so us losing there and then just a lot of games we should’ve won during the year, if we win those games then I feel like I’m easily one of those top picks. But losing has a big thing to do with it.”

    The 6-foot-5 Goodwin is now averaging 3.2 points as a reserve with the Suns (21-16). He played just 1 minute and went scoreless against the Knicks.

    He says he doesn’t regret coming out after one season at Kentucky despite going late in the first round.

    “At the end of the day, I’m still here and I’m getting a lot of opportunities that a lot of guys don’t get,” Goodwin said.

    “I’m just going to continue to work and get better and by the end of my career, you’ll easily be able to tell that I was one one of the better draft picks in my draft class.”

    As for the current Kentucky team, Goodwin believes a deep run during March Madness will obviously help the draft stock of guys like Julius Randle, Willie Cauley-Stein and the Harrison twins.

    Goodwin believes Randle could ultimately become similar to Josh Smith of the Atlanta Hawks, who is averaging 15.6 points and 7.0 rebounds.

    “He’s definitely a mismatch on the offensive end at the 4 because nobody can stay in front of him because he moves like a guard,” Goodwin said of Randle.

    “At the 3 position you got big 3’s in this league. It might be a little harder for him at the 3, but I can see him growing into a really good 3. I┬ácan see him being a better version of Josh Smith because he has the body. He’s 6-9, athletic. He has a strong mindset, he has killer mentality.”

    Goodwin said Randle, Andrew Wiggins and Jabari Parker will all have to go through the inevitable adjustment to the NBA, but that they all have an opportunity to be “special.”

    “Once they get a year or so under their belt, they’ll get adjusted to the league quicker than a lot of guys because their talent level is so high,” he said. “They’re so athletic and they can do a lot of things that most guys can’t do. A lot of things that Jabari does, and Julius do, you just can’t teach. So it will be a lot easier for them to adjust as opposed to other players.”

    Goodwin played with the 7-footer Cauley-Stein last season, and Cauley-Stein opted to come back to campus. He’s now projected as a lottery pick.

    “When Willie gets here it’s just a matter of his mentality,” Goodwin said. “He’s so athletic and he’s 7-foot long. The way that he moves a lot of 7-footers can’t move. When he gets here it’s just a matter of him really focusing and concentrating on what he’s doing.”

    As for the Harrison twins, DraftExpress.com recently pushed them back to the 2015 Mock Draft from 2014.

    Asked if he thinks they should come out this year, Goodwin said it’s up to them.

    “I think it just depends on what they feel is best for them,” he said. “If they feel like they need to stay then they should stay. If they feel like they have a good chance of going then I say go for it. But once you make that decision to go for it you can ‘t look back at things because that’s when you start second-guessing yourself and saying, ‘What if?'”

    While NBA personnel like tall guards like the Harrisons, Goodwin isn’t convinced their height will necessarily be a huge advantage in the NBA.

    “I don’t really think it’s much of an advantage,” he said. “I feel like shorter guards, guards that are like 6-2, 6-1, guards like Eric Bledsoe, Chris Paul, Ty Lawson, those guards are better in the league for the simple fact that they’re quick and can get into the lane fast. And they’re quick and athletic so they can get to you and maneuver around.

    “You have to guard a guy like that and 6-5 guys are not always as quick. The twins are good athletes but they’re not great athletes…They’re good athletes but I’ve seen them move and they don’t move as quick as Eric Bledsoe does. So guards like that, it’s hard to guard when you’re tall.”

    Goodwin believes a deep run in March will help raise the stock of all the Kentucky players.

    “Definitely, because it gives them more opportunity to play and to have a breakout game,” he said.

    “If you think about it, that’s what happened with Derrick Rose. He had a good season but when the tournament came he averaged 26 and 5 and was the No. 1 pick. So I just think that the more games you play, the more opportunity you have to prove that you’re better than what people think.”

    Photo: AP



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    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.