Even though he's not been able to attend the three all-star games his star player, Archie Goodwin, has participated in recently, coach Kevin Davis has seen the same traits that enabled Goodwin to lead Sylvan Hills (Ark.) to it first state title last season.
"You take all-star games into account for what they are — individuals out there mainly trying to showcase themselves," said Davis. "They are what they are. He has done some really nice things in all-star games."
He had 14 points on 4-for-10 shooting in the Jordan Brand Classic Saturday along with four assists, three turnovers and two steals. He played both two guard, his natural position, and point guard, a spot he likely will play some next season at Kentucky.
During the Nike Hoop Summit, Goodwin was his team's most vocal player during a late-game rally. If he wasn't scoring, he was applauding teammates who did.
"That is Archie. He's a very, very intelligent young man and cares about his team a lot," Davis said. "He competes and buys in. There was a game in the state tournament quarterfinal where he fouled out with over four minutes to go. We had not been in that situation before because he can keep his head and play with fouls. But there he was applauding his teammates after he fouled out. He was all about his teammates in the huddle. His teammates pulled us through and he was right there cheering and supporting them."
Davis said Goodwin is loyal and "stayed true to his roots" by playing elementary, middle school and high school at the same place and leading the school to its first state title.
"You have to go through so many fires to win a state title. He shaved a little off his scoring this year, but we had to get his teammates more involved and he had to find ways to help us be a better club, and he did that," Davis said. "His assists were up. He could have got 40 or 50 points if we wanted, but that's not what we wanted him doing. He was all about that.
"Defensively, he got so much better. It was the difference in day and night from the beginning of the year to the end. He really made tremendous strides defensively."
Davis says the best thing for Kentucky fans, especially with the mass exodus of players from the national championship team, is that Goodwin's upside "is so large" because of his power, speed and athleticism.
"A couple of times I was watching (the Jordan Brand Classic) and just went, ‘Wow,' seeing what he could do against that elite talent," Davis said. "I watched him every day with his high school teammates, but his upside is so high. He's a fierce competitor.?He is a driven, driven young man.
"Kentucky needs to be so excited because he is just going to get so much better, and that's scary. I know from coaching him every day what he can do. He will have so many more resources available on a daily basis at Kentucky. That's what have Kentucky fans really excited."
Davis' description of Goodwin might excite UK?fans even more.
"He's almost a Michael Jordan type of player," Goodwin's coach said. "He can play with littles and play with the bigs. He is going to get stronger, more powerful. My son played for me and we watched the (Jordan Brand) game and he said if you look at clips of former NBA players in these game and see how much better they look, that will be Archie one day.
"He is so unique. He is the prototype you want in a player. He's a 6-6 body that is long. He can handle right or left equally well. He has a 6-9 wing span. And boy, can he ever get to the rim. He dunks and scores easier than anybody I have seen. He just dunks so effortlessly you forget how powerful he is. He can pull out anything at any time. He shoots the long ball just as effortlessly as he dunks. I am going to miss him, but I think when Kentucky gets him and he gets the strength to go with his talent and all he can do, you better just buy your tickets and enjoy."