Notre Dame guard Dane Goodwin: ‘I bring a lot more than just knocking down shots’

Dane Goodwin established himself as a knockdown shooter throughout his career at Notre Dame, but the 23-year-old is working to prove that he is more than that.

Goodwin leaves college as the all-time leader in games played at Notre Dame (158) after surpassing Rex Pfleuger on Jan. 7. He played in every game possible in five seasons for the Fighting Irish after arriving on campus in 2018.

He finished by posting career averages of 10.8 points, 4.4 rebounds and 1.5 assists on 39.1% shooting from 3-point range. He finished it off by averaging 11.3 points, 5.1 rebounds and two assists on 38.8% shooting from beyond the arc this past season.

After a successful college career, Goodwin is now looking ahead.

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The 6-foot-5 guard signed with Pensack Sports and is training with other prospects at Impact Basketball in Las Vegas, Nevada. He also participated in the Portsmouth Invitational Tournament last month, averaging 9.3 points and 3.7 rebounds in three games.

He is working on improving all aspects of his game in an attempt to transition to the next level. Impact Basketball has helped send dozens of players to the NBA over the years and Goodwin is looking to be the next in line.

Rookie Wire caught up with Goodwin this week to discuss his pre-draft training, his college career, growing up with his father, who is a Division III coach, and much more.

Please note: This interview was minorly edited in its transcript for clarity


How has everything been going since your season ended?

DG: It has been good. I’m currently out at Impact Basketball in Las Vegas doing pre-draft training and everything and it has been good. I’ve been out here since early April. I went to the Portsmouth Invitational in mid-April and have been out here ever since getting ready for these next couple of months.

With Impact Basketball being one of the top pre-draft training facilities, how beneficial is it for you to be out there training with those other guys?


DG: It really is beneficial. I want to say there are 15-18 pre-draft guys out here. They’re all in similar situations so you’re battling and competing every day. There are a number of NBA guys out here, too. That has been really cool for me working out with them and playing against them just kind of picking up little things here and there. I think it’s been a great experience so far and it’s kind of cool to be able to compete against guys in similar positions and even (the NBA) guys that are above you. We are getting some great workouts and practice out here and I think it’s been a really good experience so far.

Have any of the NBA guys given you any advice or anything?


DG: Josh Green is out here from the Mavericks, Caleb Houstan from the Magic and Keon Johnson from the Trail Blazers. Just working out with them and picking up on a move here or there or seeing how they work. (Founder) Joe Abunassar, who runs Impact Basketball out here, has done a great job of trying to incorporate things that are seen at the NBA level into things we do day daily out here — things you might do in a workout or little tips and tricks here and there. I think it’s all just a learning process. You get to see what works for you and apply it to your game if you can. It has been a great experience to kind of feed off of those guys, I would say, and just practice and play against them and try to learn as much as you can.

What does a normal day look like when you're there training?

DG: You go into the gym at 9-10 a.m. You’re kind of there until 2-3. You may take a little break in the middle of the day to grab some lunch or do whatever. You’re kind of focusing on recovery after the day but you’re working out and lifting and you might play for an hour. So, 3-5 hours a day, you’re really working your tail off and doing everything you can to get ready.

How would you describe your game to someone that hasn't watched you play?

DG: I think I do a little bit of everything. First and foremost, I can knock down shots, space the floor. Throughout my years, I’ve done a lot of different things, but I think the one thing that has really stayed consistent is my ability to knock down shots. I think with that comes a few other things, as well. I can make the right read. I think I’m a little bit better of a rebounder than people may initially think. I just got to stay aggressive on the boards but, I think I do a little bit of everything. I think I can help on the defensive end and make plays when I need to. But, I think what it comes down to is my ability to make shots and ultimately space the floor.


You were a career 39.1% 3-point shooter. How important is that to bring with you to the next level?

DG: I think that’s ultimately the biggest point that I have to stay focused on and stress to teams that I can make those shots. The trend is more and more teams are looking for guys that can shoot it and space the floor and I feel like I’m certainly one of those guys who fits into that mold. I can make shots when I need to and I can make the right play when I need to, as well. Just understanding what teams are looking for and being able to kind of fit that role is kind of where I find myself. I think I fit well with any team that needs a guy that can space and knock down shots.

Where do you feel like you've made the biggest improvement over your five years at Notre Dame?


DG: I think the biggest thing for me was just getting better at ultimately every aspect of the game. I think definitely over the course of the five years that I got better defensively. Not to say I’m a lockdown defender but I certainly think I’ve gotten a lot better in that aspect. I’ve always been able to shoot but certainly developing a mid-range game and off the dribble a little bit.

I think just getting into the lane and making the right play whether that’s an easy kick out, easy dump-down pass or whatever it is, I think I was able to kind of learn from guys before me and coaches and playing against a ton of great players. Just picking up little things whether that’s getting into the lane, jump-stop turnaround fadeaway or just making the right play. I think it was a combination of a lot of different things, but I think I really shored up a few different areas and then added some things that I didn’t have before.

You played with Blake Wesley last year, who was a first-round pick. How beneficial was that for you?

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DG: Blake was a great player and he really did help us. He was a great example. He was the prototypical NBA player — a lot of athleticism. He was really able to get downhill and create plays. I think that really helped me, to be honest. He is one of those guys that can get to the rim. He can shoot, as well, but it was great to kind of see how he worked and see how he played and kind of feed off of it. I think that was really cool. Honestly, that was our best year at Notre Dame so he did a lot for us and you can see why he was a first-round draft pick because he really does have that talent.

What did it mean to you to leave as the all-time leader in games played at Notre Dame?

DG: It means a lot. I think it shows my longevity. I think I’ve kind of been through the ups and downs of what college basketball is and everything that comes with it. They always say the best ability is availability and I think I’ve really shown that. I’ve never missed a game of basketball in my career and I plan to keep it that way. I kind of played through some things but at the end of the day, I want to be on the court and I want to be able to contribute. I think throughout my career at Notre Dame, I really did that. I’m proud to have that at Notre Dame and to be able to represent the university in a great way.

Your father, Damon, is a successful coach at Capital University in Division III. How was it growing up with him as your mentor and coach?

DG: It was funny. I really grew up around the game as early as I can remember. I was on bus trips with him going to games across the state and following him around being the ball boy and whatever. It has been great, especially once I got to Notre Dame. I was kind of able to see what his experience was like. He played with the University of Dayton from 1982 to 1986 and had a lot of success there. He made it to the Elite Eight and had some great teams. It was kind of cool to see his perspective and what my process looked like compared to his.


He has been around the game forever so he was always the first guy after games watching film and letting me know his thoughts: ‘Hey, I think you should work on this or you did this really well.’ I know we always had that kind of working relationship, but at the same time he was also my dad and that was important to me, as well. I think it was really cool to be able to feed off of him a little bit and pick up little things here and there and also have that relationship where he’s able to let me know what I need to work on. It is obviously really cool to be able to have that.

Do you two talk about how different the game was when he played versus now?

DG: A little bit. He was always known as a knock-down shooter, as well, but at that time, he played with no 3-point line. He always likes to tell me he would have had like 1,000 more points if there was a 3-point line or whatever he likes to think (laughs). He is still obviously involved with the game.

He has been a Division III basketball coach for 30 years or whatever it is now and he is around it. It is cool. A couple of times we’ve gone back and watched some of his game film and I’m like, ‘What are those short shorts?’ and stuff like that. But no, it is cool to kind of compare the two and see how it is. He was a great player back in his day, too.


How much feedback are you getting from him as you're getting yourself prepared for the next level?

DG: I think it was in 1986 that he played two summers in summer league with the Phoenix Suns but he never played overseas or in the NBA. But just through that short experience, he has definitely let me know kind of what it takes. These are guys’ jobs and everything depends on it and you’ve got to have that same mindset and I think I have so far and plan on keeping it that way.

It really is do or die and you gotta attack every day with that mentality and have complete focus on what you’re trying to do. He has really stressed that to me and I think I’ve developed that mindset that if this is what you want to do, you gotta go full-go and that’s kind of how I look at it. I’m ready to start the next chapter of my career and, hopefully, make it to the NBA and have a great career.

How beneficial was it to play at the Portsmouth Invitational Tournament?

DG: It was a cool experience. There are a lot of great players there. I think I held my own there and, obviously, I didn’t shoot as well as I could have, but, overall, I think it was a great experience. Just being able to be in that position and get to talk to teams and do some interviews. That kind of stuff I think was also very beneficial and just kind of seeing where I stood and what should expect and everything. I think it was good.

What are you going to be trying to show teams in workouts?

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DG: I think the biggest thing that I’m going to try to show is my ability to knock down shots. That’s kind of where the NBA is now and you have guys that can create and the guys that can knock down shots. I think I fit into that last mold that has the ability to space the floor. But, at the same time, I’m trying to show my other abilities — getting into the lane and making the right play, defend, rebound or whatever it is. I’m ready to get into those workouts and talk to these teams and show all of my abilities.

Who did you watch growing up that you tried to take from their game?

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DG: I think a good example of what I think I bring is Mike Dunleavy from the Chicago Bulls and a few different teams. He was a good-sized wing that could knock down shots, get to the rim, defend and rebound. I think that’s honestly a pretty good example. I think I bring a lot to the table more than just knocking down shots. I think I do a lot of different things and I think that’s a pretty good example of what I think I can bring.

Story originally appeared on Rookie Wire