Former University of Kentucky standout Archie Goodwin, now with the Phoenix Suns, was named MVP of the inaugural NBA D-League Showcase Cup.
Playing for the Bakersfield Jam, Goodwin scored 22 points, grabbed nine rebounds and had three steals in the finals, a 105-99 victory Monday against Grand Rapids. He scored 13 of his points in the fourth quarter.
He was 7-for-18 from the field and 8-for-12 at the free-throw line.
Goodwin, who has averaged 3.9 points and 1.3 rebounds in limited playing time for Phoenix this season, was making his second D-League stint of the season.
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He averaged 23.3 points, 5.7 rebounds, 1.3 assists and 1.3 steals in three games during the tournament.
The highlight of Goodwin's NBA season was when he scored 12 points against the Toronto Raptors on Jan. 4. That included an emphatic slam on 7-footer Jonas Valanciunas that was named NBA.com's Dunk of the Week.
Goodwin, a second-year pro, told the Sporting News that waiting for his turn with the Suns hasn't been easy.
"Of course it is going to be frustrating for me, because I am a competitor," Goodwin told Sporting News. "I have enough confidence in myself to believe I can play right now. A lot of guys, once they get here, they sort of feel like, 'Well, it's OK, I will get my opportunity eventually.' That's not me. I feel like I could be playing right now. In that sense, it is very frustrating."
Phoenix's roster is loaded with guards — including fellow ex-Cat Eric Bledsoe, brothers Goran and Zoran Dragic, Isaiah Thomas and Gerald Green — so minutes have been hard to come by for Goodwin.
"We have a great team in Phoenix and we're making a playoff push with those guys," Goodwin told the Sporting News. "With that being said, I am not going to dwell on it, I am going to be a positive guy. I don't want those guys thinking I don't want them to succeed — I do, with all my heart."
When asked what he could do to earn more playing time, Goodwin answered: "I've got to get better defensively. That is what it comes down to for me, because we have so many great scorers on our team."