The favorite for Mr. Basketball in Illinois next season made his decision on Friday as Belleville Althoff star Jordan Goodwin committed to Saint Louis.
After a tremendous junior season in which he led the Crusaders to a Class 3A state title in basketball, Goodwin became a national recruit, as he picked the local Billikens over his top seven of Alabama, Butler, Creighton, llinois, Missouri and Northwestern.
Regarded as the No. 53 overall recruit in the Class of 2017 by Rivals, Goodwin is a dynamic wing guard who can play multiple positions. A physical player who likes to bully smaller guards, Goodwin averaged 18.8 points, 9.5 rebounds and 3.2 assists per game while shooting 55.1 percent from the field as a junior.
This spring and summer in the Nike EYBL with the St. Louis Eagles, Goodwin fared well against the best competition in the country as he averaged 17.8 points, 9.9 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 1.8 steals per game. The rebounding numbers in the EYBL are particularly impressive given how many talented big men were in that league this season while Goodwin is only 6-foot-4.
Goodwin's commitment to Saint Louis is significant for a few reasons.
For Saint Louis and new head coach Travis Ford, it establishes that Ford can continue to recruit top-100 caliber talent to his new school and the Atlantic 10. Keeping a local player like Goodwin -- who is from the St. Louis metro area but resides in Illinois -- home is crucial if Ford is going to string together NCAA tournament appearances like he did at Oklahoma State.
Goodwin has also been compared favorably to Boston Celtics guard Marcus Smart, a player who thrived in two years under Ford at Oklahoma State. By staying local and playing for a coach who has consistently been in the NCAA tournament, you can understand Goodwin's logic in his decision as a competitive player who wants to win titles.
By going to Saint Louis, Goodwin is also turning down an opportunity to join a great in-state class at Illinois, one that includes five-star center Jeremiah Tilmon, four-star guard DaMonte Williams and Belleville East guard Javon Pickett. The Illini have a lot to offer when it comes to talented players joining the Class of 2017 recruiting class, but head coach John Groce and the program are on a three-year tournament drought and Groce's job security has been publicly questioned a few times.
While the other schools on Goodwin's lists are also good programs with a lot to offer, many are going to view this as Saint Louis beating Illinois for his services in the long run.
Goodwin is the first to commit to the Billikens in the Class of 2017.
During his senior season, Goodwin will be a big favorite to win Mr. Basketball in Illinois and Althoff should once again be a major contender for a state title.https://twitter.com/jGoodwin1123/status/764167966107639808