Comparing Archie Goodwin to other Arkansans in McDonald’s All-America game

UPDATE: Goodwin had 14 points, 7-of-13 FGs, 0-of-2 from three, 3 rebounds, 1 TO, 3 steals in 18 minutes, according to Rivals.com. He started shakily, with a turnover off an errant pass while driving to the hoop, and soon afterward a missed dunk while losing a shoe – but he settled in nicely after that with consecutive dunks while flashing ability to cut to the hoop that stood out even in this hyper-talented crowd. Goodwin, Shabazz Muhammad and Rasheed Sulaimon led the West to a 106-102 victory. 

BTW, he finished second in the event’s dunk contest, serving up a behind-the-back special I’ve never seen before (at 34 seconds):

Tonight, Archie Goodwin becomes the sixth male Arkansan to play in the nation’s most prestigious prep basketball game for high school seniors.

Here are his predecessors since the game’s 1977 debut:

  • 1980 Rickey Norton (Okolona, Arkadelphia)
  • 1982 Willie Cutts (Bryant)
  • 1984 Andrew Lang (Pine Bluff)
  • 1992 Corliss Williamson (Russellville) Tallied 14 points and 10 rebounds in a 100-85 win for the West team.
  • 2007 James Anderson (Junction City) Had 5 points and 3 rebounds in 11 minutes for the West, which beat the East team 114-112.

Will Goodwin, who has thrived in these kind of national all-star settings, notch the best McDonald’s game ever by an Arkie?

The stats for the three Arkansans who played in the 1980s aren’t readily available. But, based on the game’s record book, it is likely Williamson has the best-ever designation heading until now. Goodwin could become the first Arkansan to score more than 21 points, dish more than seven assists, snare more than four steals, grab more than 11 rebounds, or block more than four shots in a McDonald’s all-star game.

Another interesting fact: before Anderson, every McD’s Arkie eventually played for the Razorbacks. Indeed,  overall 13 such All-Americans had at one time played for Arkansas including:

  • 1981 Joe Kleine
  • 1986 Ron Huery
  • 1988 Todd Day
  • 1988 Lee Mayberry
  • 1993 Darnell Robinson
  • 1994 Kareem Reid
  • 1995 Derek Hood
  • 1996 Glendon Alexander
  • 2003 Olu Famutimi

Goodwin is one of two Kentucky signees playing in this McD’s All-America game. The program had signed 40 before them.

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Archie’s choice: Good win for Kentucky. How bad a loss for Arkansas?

Archie's still holding onto Kentucky after dropping Arkansas, Memphis, UConn and Kansas. photo credit: Sync magazine

Tuesday night, Archie Goodwin became the first commitment of Kentucky‘s class of 2012.

With the single single tap of a “Tweet” button, the prep basketball star elated thousands of Wildcats fans while crushing the hopes of those wanting him to commit to Memphis or Arkansas.  He told ESPN’s Dave Telep the choice was a “business decision,” a phrase reflecting his desire to prepare himself for the NBA and a belief Kentucky provides the best, and most efficient, platform for that.

Even before he begins his senior year of high school, though, the decision appears to have paid off in terms of boosting Goodwin’s personal brand. In the 16 hours following the 11 p.m. tweet,  Goodwin picked up about 2,000 Twitter followers.

Meanwhile, Arkansas Razorback fans lamented. Many hoped Goodwin would team with Rashad Madden and B.J. Young next year to form what would likely become one of the best back courts in program history. Some fans believe it’s still a possibility. Oral commitments are nonbinding, which allows a last-second change of mind before a recruit signs a letter of intent.

Austin Rivers, last year’s top prep recruit, took advantage of this to back out of a commitment to Florida and become a Blue Devil.

Still, the sheer amount of blue-blooded love flowing between Goodwin and Kentucky followers on Twitter makes his reneging seem doubtful.

If Goodwin does end up signing with Kentucky, he’ll go down as one of the biggest “what-ifs” in Arkansas basketball program history. It’s likely fans haven’t been this disappointed since Al Jefferson, the immensely talented big man from Mississippi, decided to declare for the 2004 NBA Draft rather than play for the Hogs.

Goodwin “is the biggest recruit Arkansas has ever lost on,” says Tim Cooper, prep basketball editor of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.

Which opens up a question of Goodwin’ competition for this designation.

So, who are the best in-state Arkansas  recruits to sign with other programs?

1. Keith Lee (West Memphis High School) Lee, a spindly 6-10, 190-pound power forward, helped West Memphis win a state-record 60 consecutive games and averaged 22.9 points and 17.6 rebounds his senior year (1980-1981). He was ranked as one of the nation’s best 15 players by Street and Smith’s magazine and pursued by schools such as UCLA, Louisville and Memphis State. Arkansas coach

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