Goodin is a good'n

InsideTennessee is your go-to source for the latest on Vol hoops recruiting. Check out this story on a slick point guard from the Bluegrass State:

When a mere sophomore makes second-team all-state in basketball-crazed Kentucky, you know he can play.

Quentin Goodin, a recent visitor to Tennessee’s campus, can play.

Goodin is a 6-foot-2, 170-pound Class of 2016 point guard from Taylor County High in Campbellsville, Ky. He averaged 20.5 points per game as a sophomore last season and is piling up assists at an amazing rate. He’s on pace to finish his prep career with more than 3,000 points, 1,000 assists and 1,000 rebounds.

For all of Goodin’s skill, however, his high school coach says the first thing you notice is the player’s maturity.

“He’s already college qualified,” Taylor County High coach Richard Gatewood told InsideTennessee. “He’s definitely a different kid compared to most his age. He’s very humble for getting that much attention … very humble and well-spoken for 16 years old. He’s very coachable. He came from a good family that did a great job raising him.”

Goodin excels at breaking down a defense. Sometimes he’ll finish at the rim. Sometimes he’ll pull up for a baby jumper. Sometimes he’ll dish to a teammate. Few 16-year-olds can match him as a ball-handler.

“His handle is very good,” Gatewood said. “That’s where he thrives. In transition he’s very hard to stop. Few people can wall him off. He’s very hard to stop in transition once he gets going. I tell him: Everything’s not going to always be at the bucket. He’s got to get that 10-footer going again.”

Goodin proved he can play at a slow pace as a freshman, directing an unusually deliberate offense. He proved he can play at a fast pace as a sophomore last winter, leading a transition attack that averaged nearly twice as many points as the previous season.

“We only averaged 40 points the year before I got the job,” Gatewood noted. “We went from 40 to 76 in one year. When you have horses you have to run. When you have a guard like Quentin you can’t use him scoring 40 points per game. He’s so quick off the bounce, and when he gets going he’s really hard to stop.”

Goodin’s scoring prowess will be even stronger when he adds a little polish to his 3-point stroke.

“That’s been the knock on him all along,” Gatewood said. “He shoots a little flat but we’re working on that. He still shot 36 percent last year from 3, even taking some bad shots. If not for those he shoots around 40 percent.”

Like Tennessee’s Josh Richardson, Goodin excels in an area of the game that is becoming a lost art – the mid-range jumper. He is deadly from 10 to 17 feet out, a knack his coach believes sets him apart from most high schoolers.

“I tell him the money is made in the mid-range game,” Gatewood said. “Kids get away from working on it. That’s one thing we’ve really been working on. The whole game has changed. There’s no low-post players and no one who plays the mid-range game.”

Like most high schoolers, Goodin’s defense needs a bit of work.

“He’s very good when he wants to guard,” Gatewood said. “He was only a sophomore last season, and 16-year-olds tend to have bad habits and get lazy. He’s 6-2 with a 6-9 wingspan, though, and that helps when you’re guarding a point or a wing.”

Goodin’s game is unusually versatile for his age. He posted a triple-double against Nelson County late in his sophomore season – 22 points, 12 rebounds, 13 assists. Performances like that one helped him achieve all-region, all-district and second-team all-state honors as a sophomore.

In addition to Tennessee, Goodin has scholarship offers from Indiana, Michigan, Purdue, UNLV, Oklahoma State and West Virginia. He’s getting a lot of interest from Kentucky, Louisville, Cincinnati and Vanderbilt. Scout rates him a three-star and the No. 16 point guard in the Class of 2016.

Even with so much attention on him, Goodin hasn’t let fame go to his head.

“He’s a team guy,” Gatewood said. “That’s something where I’ve tried to change the culture. It’s always been about a player or two. My thing is, if you don’t play hard you’re not going to play. Are you guarding? Are you rebounding? Are you coachable? Michigan recently offered, and one thing that stuck out in their minds was how good of a kid he is.”

Goodin was offered a Tennessee scholarship when Cuonzo Martin was the Vols’ head coach. He was unsure whether Donnie Tyndall & Company would honor that offer or not.

“He wanted to meet the new staff,” Gatewood said. “He already had an offer from Cuonzo but he wanted to meet the new staff, see if the offer still stands. Yes, the offer still stands. They’re going to make him a priority for the 2016 class.”

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