When he was a senior at Norcross High School in Georgia, Brandon Goodwin was one of FGCU's most coveted players. Recruited by Michael Fly, the Eagles longest tenured coach on the current staff, Goodwin instead opted to go to the University of Central Florida, a school that competes in the talented American Athletic Conference.
When Goodwin announced he was transferring after his sophomore season, it was Fly who convinced him to make the move to Dunk City.
"Right off the bat I knew that I could trust him. Fly recruited me out of high school, and I talk to him a lot before in high school, so I knew that he was someone who I could trust because he was genuine and he kept it real with me all the time," Goodwin said.
Goodwin is a combo guard who started all 30 games last season for the Knights. He led the team with 4.2 assists per game, and scored a solid 10.2 points per game, which checks in at 22nd in the American Conference. Due to NCAA transfer rules, it's almost certain that he will have to sit out for this entire season.
"I told my mom that whether I'm able to play or not, I'm going to give it my all every practice," he said. "I'm going to push these younger guys to get better. They're really good players, and all they need now is a leader. Someone that has been there and can show them the way."
Due to his experience and success playing in a highly competitive conference, Goodwin believes he can be that leader despite not being on the court.
During his years at UCF, he had to play against schools like Connecticut, Cincinnati, Memphis, and Southern Methodist (SMU), on a weekly basis. He's been battled tested against some of the better programs in the country, and has shown that he can make plays against them. Now, as a part of a rising FGCU basketball program, he's ready to turn that experience into championships at the mid-major level.
"I wanted to go somewhere where we can win some conference championships, and possibly go to the tournament. FGCU has been known for that in the past couple years," he said.
Considering the aforementioned schools, the chances of UCF winning the conference tournament are slim. In the Atlantic Sun, with schools like North Florida and New Jersey Institute of Technology on the rise, FGCU faces a tough task, but it's much more managable than knocking off a national power such as UCONN.
Another reason that prompted Goodwin to take his talents to Dunk City was that his game fits in so well with what coach Joe Dooley wants to do. Goodwin is another ridiculously athletic guard who can get to the rim and relishes the opportunities to get out and run. The same can be said for nearly every guard on Florida Gulf Coast's roster, and adding Goodwin gives the Eagles another high-caliber athlete, only this time one with some high-major experience.
Because of his versatility running the point and playing shooting guard, he demands the attention of the defense, and will be able to score from all angles of the court. As a guy who can play the one, Goodwin has experience throwing up lobs. However, despite being only 6-foot-2, he says that he loves to be on the receiving end of the alley-oop.
"I'm best at catching oops," he said.
Yep, this guy is going to fit in just fine.