It’s hard to call someone who was just named his state’s Gatorade Player of the Year as a junior a “steal,” but that’s where we might be with 2019 guard Brycen Goodine. The talented combo guard has been something of a sleeper, and still somehow finds himself ranked outside the top 100 on both 247 Sports (114) and Rivals (139).
But based on what I saw of the future Orange guard at EYBL Dallas on Saturday, those rankings are looking way, way too low.
Now, first things first: Goodine’s shooting efficiency was a little low this weekend in Dallas, as he wound up in the 30s on his field goal attempts. You have to factor in that, while he has some good players on his BABC squad, he’s far and away the best scoring option, and wound up taking a lot of tough shots and drawing his opposition’s better perimeter defenders.
That said, Goodine looked every bit of the 6-foot-4 he’s listed at, and the St. Andrew’s (Rhode Island) star showed off athleticism and a strong skillset in the two games I watched of his, first against MEBO Elite and then against the Albany City Rocks.
In the game against MEBO, both Goodine and his team really struggled out of the gate. They were down by double digits early, and couldn’t crack 20 points in the first half. However, things changed in the second half, and much of the team’s comeback and eventual win must be attributed to Goodine’s performance. He finished the game hitting just 3-of-11 shots but this is a game where his percentages don’t come close to telling the whole story.
Goodine was effective getting into the lane and drawing fouls, and also knocked down some clutch perimeter jumpers. Against the City Rocks, he made five threes on his way to 19 points. He’s got a nice stroke from the free throw line, and while he’s not yet a knock-down three point shooter, he is, to use another St. Andrew’s example, much more advanced and has a better looking stroke from outside than Michael Carter-Williams at the same age.
I use MCW as a comparison not just because he, too, is a Massachusetts kid who attended St. Andrew’s, but also because Goodine, while long and lanky and, based on his body-type alone looks like he projects as more of a shooting guard, has been told by the Syracuse staff that they want him to play the point.
And make no mistake, while he had a couple trips where it showed that his handle needs to be tightened maybe a little bit more before he takes on the ACC, he’s certainly a very good ball handler and uses his size and quickness to get where he needs to be on the floor. I saw him pretty much always make good decisions with the ball when he looked to pass, and he didn’t really try to force anything. That goes for his shot selection, as well.
Defensively, he’s got the potential to be a real difference maker at the top of the 2-3 zone. He’s got long arms, good agility, and anticipates well. He was disruptive on defense, particularly against MEBO in the team’s comeback win, though it should be noted he got called for more than one questionable and Charmin-soft foul as he and his teammates started applying more pressure.
All in all, I came away extremely impressed with Goodine. I wasn’t sure what to expect, since I’d only seen some of his clips on YouTube and had never gotten a look his all-around game. Now, however, I’m a firm believer that we’ve got a good one in the class of 2019. Based on the way he performed, I expect him to steadily rise up the rankings, and as his shot continues to improve and he fills out a little more and adds some strength, he’s going to be trouble for Syracuse’s foes in the ACC.