Kentucky Basketball 2012-13: Archie Goodwin Needs to Do More Than Score

Bobby ReaganFeatured ColumnistDecember 10, 2012

UK freshman guard Archie Goodwin.
UK freshman guard Archie Goodwin.Andy Lyons/Getty Images

It's tough to say someone needs to do more when they currently lead the University of Kentucky men's basketball team in scoring as a freshman as Archie Goodwin is doing. However, there's more to the sport than points per game.

The biggest knock on Goodwin so far this season is he is playing out of position at the point guard spot and forcing too many bad plays. With the return of Ryan Harrow to play point and pushing Goodwin back to his natural two-guard spot this should be on the decline.

However, it is part of Goodwin's nature to drive to the rim as he is a slasher, not a shooter. More importantly he's a scorer. That means he will take bad shots as he has proven to do so far this young season.

Despite his team-leading 16.4 points per game he is averaging just 49 percent shooting from the field, fifth best on UK for players averaging over 15 minutes a game this season.

More alarming than his shooting percentage is he is averaging over three turnovers a game. That has been charted due to him playing point guard, but watching Goodwin through nine games he is often out of control driving through the lane or forcing a fast break.

While still looking for his shot and being the main scoring threat for the Cats, Goodwin will have to learn how to play under control. Too often times he misses an open teammate during a fast break or when there is an advantage for UK. With his style of play—slashing into the lane, looking to score at the rim —other defenders will start helping off their man more. That means Goodwin will have to pick his time to attack the rim as opposed to learning how to use a pull up jumper from the middle of lane or more importantly learning when and who to pass the ball too.

With a wide array of talent around him it will be tough to guess which defender will help but expect open looks from the outside for fellow freshman Alex Poythress or senior Julius Mays.

Living in the YouTube generation it seems that often defense is forgotten about. But, that's where I think Goodwin can improve the most, especially in John Calipari's system. With the uptempo, in your face type defense Calipari expects Goodwin needs to do a better job at defending his man, who is usually the best offensive guard for the other team.

During the Baylor game, Goodwin was often matched up against Pierre Jackson, who scored 17 points and dished out five assists. For the Cats to advance in this year's NCAA Tournament Goodwin is going to have to start defending better than that.

Too often on the defensive side of the ball he is lost by trying to go for too many steals or getting broken down off the dribble. Goodwin should be able to guard three positions and needs to learn the steals will come by wearing down who he is guarding.

Kentucky's run to a ninth NCAA Championship resides in Goodwin. It's just a matter of how much he continues to grow as a player under Calipari's system.