John Calipari's aware of the criticism surrounding Archie Goodwin.
The freshman guard has drawn negative reviews for his drives -- specifically, the perceived inability to make good decisions in traffic.
Calipari addressed the issue in a post on his website, saying that he's trying to get Goodwin to keep his head up as he attacks the basket -- even going so far as forbidding him to shoot layups in practice:
You may watch him and say that he doesn’t pass the ball or he just puts his head down and goes. Well, do you remember DeAndre Liggins? He played that way when I first got him.
Archie is an inconsistent shooter, so what he’s always relied on is putting his head down, being more athletic than the other guy and being a little longer, which allowed him to get layups. That’s what he reverts to when the game gets hairy.
What we’re doing in to help him with that is he’s not allowed to shoot layups in practice. He must pull up in the lane and either shoot pull-up jumpers around the free-throw line or shoot runners. If he shoots a layup, it’s a turnover.
Calipari noted that Goodwin has exhibited a strong work ethic. He goes to extra workouts before practice, he listens to his coaches and he tries to make changes:
It’s hard for me to get upset with a player who absolutely wanted to play for me and Kentucky, and who has a focus to get better. Does he get overwhelmed sometimes by being a player here? Yeah, he’s a freshman at the University of Kentucky. Wouldn’t you be?
At the end of the day, he cares about his teammates and he’s frustrated he’s not picking things up quicker. Old habits are hard to break, but he’s doing everything he can to break them, so let’s get behind him.
I am totally with him and you should be too. Our fans should be there to help encourage him knowing how hard he works, how invested he is and how much he’s there for his teammates.
To read Goodwin's own thoughts on his game, check out our story on him following UK's win over LSU.