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Memphis Freshman Forward Shaq Goodwin Adjusting to College Level

Steve Mitchell-US PRESSWIRE

It has been a busy few months for Memphis Tigers freshman Shaq Goodwin.

During the summer, he was a member of the Team USA U18 squad that won the FIBA Americas championship in Brazil. In April, Goodwin played in the All-American Championship in New Orleans (LA). In March, he participated in the McDonald’s All-American game in Chicago (IL). Prior to the McDonald’s game, Goodwin was leading his high school team, Southwest DeKalb (GA), to its second state title game in back-to-back years.

Goodwin, a 6’9, 255-pound forward, averaged 21.2 points, 12.3 rebounds, and 3.3 blocks per game while shooting 74 percent from the field and posting 26 double-doubles last season for his high school.

There is a learning curve for most athletes entering college. Goodwin is no exception even with his basketball experience.

Coach Josh Pastner is not wasting any time “motivating” Goodwin to pick up his pace. Pastner is demanding more energy out of him and telling him how he won’t be able to take a play off on the college level like he could in high school.

“You’ve got to pick him up and get him going at the speed that I want — not the speed that he wants,” Pastner told the Commercial Appeal. “But he’s got a lot of ability and talent.

“We need Shaq. He can be a very good player for us. He’s got to be a consistent effort guy every time. He can’t be a sometimes guy. It’s just going to take pushing and constant repetition for him to understand that at this level every possession matters.”

Patosha Jeffery is the Memphis Tigers Featured Columnist at Rant Sports. Be sure to follow her on Twitter: @patoshajeffery