Shaq Goodwin’s four-year career as a Tiger came to an end last month, and will graduate from the University of Memphis next month. The Daily Helmsman asked its sports editor Omer Yusuf and sports reporters Austin Reynolds and J.T. Mullen their thoughts on Goodwin’s legacy and his potential in the professional game.
What is your favorite Shaq Goodwin memory?
OY: I would say the technical foul he earned against Tulane. Though it obviously wasn’t the correct thing to do in-game, Goodwin had an incredible dunk and showed what he was capable of athletically. It’s a shame Memphis lost that game or it would probably be looked at in a much better light.
AR: It resulted in a technical foul, and a lot of people were angry about it, but my favorite memory of Shaq Goodwin is without a doubt the elbow-in-the-rim dunk in the loss at Tulane this year. Was it a dumb move that hurt the Tigers' chances of winning? Yes, but I watch sports to be entertained, and if an in-game elbow dunk isn't entertaining to you then I don't know what to say.
JM: My favorite Shaq Goodwin memory is when he knocked down the fade away game winner at UConn during the 2014-15 season. Trahson Burrell was having arguably the best game of his career, but when it came down to the final shot Goodwin made sure he had the ball in his hands leading to the victory.
Did he fulfill his potential for the Blue and Gray?
OY: After his strong senior season, I would say yes. Goodwin had his ups and downs, but I respected how he came back from his down moments and got better. He made the American All-Conference team twice in his final three seasons, you can’t argue with that.
AR: Probably. Goodwin was a McDonald's All-American, so expectations were high and there were a multitude of bumps in the road, but at the end of the day he was consistently one of the team's best players and really blossomed in his senior year.
JM: Throughout his first three seasons, Goodwin lacked consistency, causing him to struggle to live up to the McDonald's All-American hype he came in with. Finally in 2015-16, Goodwin put together the best season of his career. He finished his career in the top 15 in scoring and top 10 in rebounding in school history. I don't think he lived up to his full potential, but he definitely had a strong career as a Tiger.
Goodwin is one of just four players to play four seasons under Pastner, does that help or hurt his legacy?
OY: It definitely helps. Goodwin could have left, and few would have blamed him. But the fact he stuck through it, and became a surefire success as a Tiger is a legacy Goodwin has proven to be worthy of.
AR: Help. I think fans probably appreciate how he stayed when times are tough when so many other players transferred.
JM: I think that definitely adds to his legacy. Through the thick and thin he stuck with the program. He remained a Tiger, even after seeing multiple teammates transfer. I think fans will remember that for sure.
In an ideal world, Shaq Goodwin accomplishes what as a professional basketball player?
OY: I could see Goodwin having a long career overseas in Europe or China, and I wouldn’t rule out an NBA future somewhere down the line.
AR: In an ideal world? After spending some time overseas or in the D-League he could maybe break into the NBA as a high-energy Kenneth Faried type player.
JM: In an ideal world, he lives up to the name Shaq and has a dominant NBA career, but in all likelihood I think he has a very strong and lengthy career in the D-League or overseas.
Former University of Memphis men’s basketball coach Josh Pastner and former forward Shaq Goodwin talking during a game. Goodwin was one of four players to play four seasons under Pastner.