Is Archie Goodwin taking too much of the blame?

When Kentucky loses a basketball game, any basketball game, then someone has to take the blame. In this day and time, such is the apparent purpose of twitter and after UK’s 59-55 loss to Alabama in Tuscaloosa, #BBN formed a quick consensus on which player should shoulder the most fault.

Poor Archie Goodwin.

The freshman guard was two-of-12 from the floor and most of the missed shots appeared to be out-of-control drives to the basket in which the Arkansas native mistakenly thought he could either (a) draw a foul or (b) make the highly-contested shot.

“If they are not going to call those (fouls), then Archie needed to pull up or shoot around them,” UK coach John Calipari said after the game. “I just kept telling him and he just kept going.”

Unfortunately, Goodwin’s penchant for unsuccessful drives on Tuesday fit in with his growing reputation of being a guard who shoots first and passes only when he has no other option. That reputation seemed to intensify in the Tennessee game at Rupp last week, especially when Goodwin attempted and missed a posterize dunk when he had teammate Ryan Harrow wide open on the wing.

Goodwin played much smarter in the Cats’ win at Auburn on Saturday, earning praise from Calipari for a “less-is-more” approach to his shot selection. That turned out to be a one-game thing, however.

I took up for Goodwin on twitter after the game, only because I didn’t think the freshman was totally to blame for the loss. Kentucky had no offensive rhythm in the second half. And looking back it, a cold start to the second half was the real killer. After building a 33-24 halftime lead, the Cats gave it right away by failing to score a field goal in the first 7:58 of the second half. Alabama went on an 11-1 un to take the lead.

My defense of Goodwin received quite a bit of twitter blowback, of course. Kentucky fans don’t like to lose, especially a game in which the #BBN believed it should have won.

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