If the goal of Xavier's coaches was to improve their backcourt's size and athleticism, Quentin Goodin made it clear during Saturday night's Ohio-Kentucky All-Star Game that recruiting him was the right choice.
Goodin stood out as the most physically impressive guard on the court, and also delivered a handful of the game's top highlights while showing off his skills as a passer and scorer. He finished with 10 points, five assists, and five rebounds.
"It was fun being around some of the best players in Kentucky," Goodin said. "I just wanted to have a really good experience with them and develop a nice relationship. You never know who you're going to meet down the road, so I just wanted to have a good relationship with them."
The 6-foot-4, 190-pound guard opened the game with a flurry of production over the first five minutes. He scored on a floater and a sweet behind-the-back left-handed layup in transition. He also dished out an alley-oop and a behind-the-back assist. On the defensive end, he had a deflection that led to a steal and pulled down a pair of rebounds.
With 15 players per team rotating in as five-man shifts every five minutes, everyone's playing time and production were limited to an extent. However, Goodin still had some saved up material for the highlight reel in the second half.
While being defended by Michigan commit Xavier Simpson, he blew past him with a spin move before ducking under the help defense of Cincinnati commit Jarron Cumberland in mid-air and finishing with a smooth scoop off the glass. Then, he caught 6-foot-11 Michigan commit Jon Teske defending him in transition, so he stunned the big man for an instant with a fake behind-the-back pass, and then finished over the top of him with a high-arching runner.
In addition to his dazzling athleticism, Goodin's decision-making and feel as a point guard really stood out. He registered five assists, but could have had a handful more on good passes where teammates didn't finish. While he's used to taking lots of shots and leading his Taylor County High School team in scoring at 22.9 points per game, he looked natural Saturday night in the role of distributor alongside other big-time talents. He flourished in a similar role last June at the NBA Players' Association Top 100 Camp.
"I just came in with the attitude that I was going to play hard and get everybody involved," Goodin said. "I never really want to be the person that takes all the shots. I want to play my role and be that point guard that everyone can count on."
That versatility as a scorer and distributor with size and athleticism could allow him to contribute immediately in a loaded and experienced backcourt next season. He, personally, feels he's a perfect fit with the Musketeers' personnel after watching them play all season, and he's particularly excited about the opportunity to learn under Edmond Sumner.
"I feel like Edmond and I are the same type of player," Goodin said. "Watching him and watching some of his mannerisms, I feel like we're similar with some of the stuff we do. He's unselfish, he's athletic, he gets everybody involved, he's a tall guard and physical, so just watching him and how he plays I kind of want to model my game after him because it seemed like it was working for him at Xavier."
His high school coach at Taylor County, Rich Gatewood, who also coached the Kentucky All-Star Team Saturday night, said the best part about adding Goodin to the roster for Xavier is the way he'll contribute to the chemistry and culture inside the locker room.
"He was raised the right way," Gatewood said. "He's loyal. He could have went to any prep school in the country. They were on him constantly, but he decided to stay at home. Not only is Xavier getting a phenomenal basketball player, but he's a phenomenal student and an even better kid."
When Xavier was recruiting Goodin, Mack and his staff were battling against the likes of Florida, Michigan, Louisville, Marquette, and Western Kentucky. Billy Donovan leaving for the Oklahoma City Thunder job helped the Musketeers, but Goodin said the deciding factor was the XU coaches winning over his mom.
"The relationship we developed was just special - it was different from any other coaching staff," Goodin said. "My mom, she didn't really trust anybody during the recruiting process, but when she told me trusted Xavier, I felt like that meant a lot."
Goodin's best opportunity to earn immediate playing time at Xavier will be to prove himself as a standout on the defensive end after the Musketeers' lost their top perimeter stopper from last year in Remy Abell. His coach said he'll have to go through the same adjustment period most top high school scorers do when they reach college where they have to learn how to play hard on every single defensive possession. However, he expects him to make that adjustment quickly.
"He has length and great anticipation," Gatewood said. "He's going to do extremely well in their Pack Line system. I also think he'll be really good when they go to that "three" (1-3-1) defense. They can put him up top or on the wing like Remy Abell. It's a great fit in all aspects. Even offensively, with the way they spread the floor and all the shooters they have, he'll be able to help them get the ball into the paint and get everybody involved."