Memphis lands good one in Goodwin

Landing Shaq Goodwin was huge for the Memphis Tigers, and now the question is, could it just be the beginning of big things for Josh Pastner and company.

The Memphis Tigers have been working hard to secure one or two big time pledges in the 2012 class, and with National Signing Day on the horizon they accomplished their goal when William Goodwin picked the Tigers over heavy interest from UCLA.

At 6-foot-8 and 250 pounds, Goodwin is one of the most imposing interior players in the country. He has the size and athleticism to be an impact defender, and then also on the offensive end knows how to score, and gets things done around the rim.

On the football field Goodwin is an excellent tight end and defensive end which illustrates how well he can run the floor for a big guy, and now he will bring that unique skill set to Memphis where Goodwin could be an impact player from day one for the Tigers.

Ironically much of the focus for Memphis post recruiting had been centered on Jarnell Stokes. The Memphis native is considering Memphis, Kentucky, Arkansas, Florida, and a few others, but Stokes isn't planning to make an early choice.

With Stokes waiting, Goodwin decided Memphis was the perfect place for him. Coach Josh Pastner made him a priority when Goodwin was with the Memphis YOMCA travel team as well as the Atlanta Celtics at different points of the year, and that paid off in a big way.

What is so big about this commitment is Memphis likely will need Goodwin to start from day one. The Tigers are likely to have Tarik Black up front, but they needed something next to him. JUCO transfer Stan Simpson is likely just a role player and forward Hippolyte Tsafack is far from a proven commodity.

Usually Memphis likes to play one of the tougher non-conference schedules in the country, and to do that you need horses down low. A combination of Goodwin and Black can do that, and it allows the Memphis frontcourt to match up with nearly any in terms of size, athleticism, and strength.

Also Goodwin could just be the beginning. Stokes obviously still likes the Tigers, and has a relationship with Goodwin from their time on the AAU circuit together, and then there is another prospect about ready to decide in Alex Poythress.

If Memphis can land Poythress along with Goodwin and current pledge Damien Wilson, the Tigers will once again be rolling, and Pastner's team will have a chance to compete for a national title the way John Calipari's did at the end of his tenure at the school.

Time will tell exactly how this class will play out, but landing Goodwin is a great way to sure up the frontcourt and it gives Tiger fans good reason for optimism going into the 2012-13 season.

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