Blue and Gold Illustrated

March 2022

Blue & Gold Illustrated: America's Foremost Authority on Notre Dame Football

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88 MARCH 2022 BLUE & GOLD ILLUSTRATED MEN'S BASKETBALL BY PATRICK ENGEL D ane Goodwin put forth his best Dikembe Mutombo impression during Notre Dame head coach Mike Brey's first viewing of him. Several years ago, at an AAU tourna- ment in Virginia, Brey sat down to watch a game and witnessed Goodwin swat away several shot attempts. The then- Ohio State commitment was a guard by designation, but he spent much of his time playing the four or the five. "The first time I saw him play, he blocked like five shots," Brey recalled. Goodwin was a high-major wing pros- pect, but his high school and AAU teams often used his 6-foot-4 frame in the in- terior. His game reflected it, even when he arrived at Notre Dame in the summer of 2018. He could shoot, undoubtedly. Rebound, too. His handle was fine for his size and position. Still, Brey has issued him one challenge over the years. "When are you going to be a college guard and not a high school four-man?" Brey said. "That was the running joke." Really, it was a half-joke. If his se- nior season is any indication, he took it seriously. Goodwin may still play the four at times in Notre Dame's offense, but as a senior he's a guard in skill set as much as he is one by label. He was Notre Dame's leading scorer through Feb. 6, at 14.5 points per game. He was shooting 50.4 percent from the field, 47.2 percent on three-pointers and 88.6 percent from the free throw line. His previous respective career highs were 43.4, 37.7 and 86.2. A rare 50-40-90 season is within reach. Only three men's Division I players have averaged at least 15 points per game with those shooting percentages since 1996-97. "How he's playing, it's machine-like," Brey said. REFINING WITH TIME Goodwin "becoming a guard" didn't mean developing the ability to play rope- a-dope with the ball in his hands or be- coming hiccup quick. Rather, it has more to do with consistency in getting to his most comfortable spots, a better under- standing of moving without the ball, see- ing the entire floor when he drives and making the extra pass. "I don't think it's anything he has dras- tically changed," said Goodwin's father, Damon, the head coach at Division III Capital University in Columbus. "He's just bigger, stronger, smarter and more confident as a basketball player. It's just coming together." Now, Goodwin displays the deci- sion-making skills of a guard and has put bouts of tunnel vision behind him. Developing feel for the game isn't like developing as a shooter. It's not a craft honed with long hours in practice. It takes trial and error in games — and the opportunity to put lessons learned into action. Goodwin has had the leash since he stepped on campus, averaging at least 24 minutes per game every season. The payoff is clear now. Goodwin's 8.7 percent turnover rate is a career best and 44th nationally, per KenPom. His 10.4 percent assist rate in ACC games also is a Through Feb. 6, Goodwin was averaging a team-best 14.5 points per game while shooting 50.4 percent from the field, 47.2 percent on three-pointers and 88.6 percent from the free throw line. PHOTO COURTESY NOTRE DAME ATHLETICS SENIOR BREAKTHROUGH Dane Goodwin's All-ACC caliber season is the result of 'being a guard'

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