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Season preview: CHD interviews Memphis PF Shaq Goodwin

To prepare for the tip-off of another great year of college basketball, CHD is reaching out to coaches and players around the country to get the inside scoop on what we can expect this time around. Jon Teitel continues our season preview series by chatting with Memphis forward Shaq Goodwin about being a McDonald’s All-American and winning a gold medal.

shaq

You grew up in Atlanta: what made you choose Memphis? My final 2 choices were UCLA or Memphis, and I wanted to choose somewhere where I was more aware of my surroundings. UCLA was much farther away from home, so I felt I would be more comfortable at Memphis.

You scored 8 points for the East in a 4-point loss to the West in the 2012 McDonald’s All-American Game: which of your fellow honorees impressed you the most (Marcus Smart/Anthony Bennett/TJ Warren/Kyle Anderson/other)? There was nobody who stood out during the game, but in the week leading up to the game I would say Archie Goodwin. He was doing some freakish-type dunks that were amazing for a high school player.

In the opening game for team USA at the 2012 FIBA Americas U-18 Championship in Brazil you scored a game-high 30 points in a win over the US Virgin Islands: what did it mean to you to win a gold medal? It was unbelievable to win a gold medal and was an experience that I will never forget.

You play for Coach Josh Pastner: what makes him such a great coach, and what is the most important thing you ever learned from him? The biggest thing I learned is to do the right thing. He tells us to do our job and he emphasizes doing everything right.

In the 2013 C-USA tourney title game you had seven rebounds in a 2-overtime win over Southern Miss: where does that rank among the most exciting games or your career? It meant a lot to win a conference title as a freshman. Another game that comes to mind was during high school when Jordan Adams (now of the Memphis Grizzlies) scored 40 points against my team in a game in Las Vegas.

In the 2014 NCAA tourney you scored seven points in a loss to Virginia: what did you learn from that game that you think can help you this year? It is pretty simple: we have to go into games with a positive mindset and a positive belief, then you will get a positive outcome. If you go into a game with a negative mindset and a negative belief, then you will get a negative outcome.

Last year you led your team in rebounds and blocks: what is your secret for being so effective in the paint? I just try to be active and bring energy to the team.

Your non-conference schedule includes games against Wichita State, Baylor, Oklahoma State, and Gonzaga: which of these games do you feel will present your biggest test? I would go with Wichita because they are the 1st big test on our schedule.

Your top-2 scorers from last year have graduated (Joe Jackson/Michael Dixon): how will you try to replace their combined 26 PPG? You cannot replace either of them in my opinion. As far as offense, I was right behind Mike in scoring and Austin was right behind me so there should not be much of a drop-off. We also have some great guards who can put the ball in the hole.

What are your goals for the upcoming season, and what are your expectations for the upcoming season? I do not set any specific expectations: I just want us all to reach our maximum potential, and if we can do that then we will be as good as possible.

JonTeitel