Apr 3, 2019


Shooting The 3 is an exclusive SportsbyBrooks.com feature in which a sports media figure fields three questions posed by SbB.

Today’s sports media figure is Stadium Basketball Insider and Twitter powerhouse Jeff Goodman.

Prior to his all-encompassing coverage of basketball for Stadium and at WatchStadium.com, Goodman worked his magic at CBS Sports, Fox Sports and most recently ESPN – where he was a multi-platform basketball insider for five years.

Onto the questions for the top newsbreaker in the college basketball biz …

SbB Question #1:

As the pre-eminent college basketball newsbreaker, how do you develop and persuade sources to provide you scoops?

Jeff Goodman: 

It’s all about relationships.

I came up in this business and was fortunate. I learned from some great old-school guys at the Associated Press in New York and eventually stumbled into reporting on basketball recruiting.

That’s when I met a ton of assistant coaches – on the recruiting trail.

I had key information about recruits and those coaches were aware of it, so they called me incessantly. Because of that situation, I had already built relationships with many of them when I began covering college basketball in 2006.

The coaches also respected the way I came up in the business. 

Despite the fact that this is, in large part, a relationship business, I still try and tell it like it is.

I do a Hot Seat list each year – even though I wind up putting a bunch of coaches on it that I have good relationships with.

I haven’t had a great relationship with John Calipari over the years, but I try and be honest. The guy has been to seven Elite Eight’s over his 10 years in Lexington. That’s an incredible run.

The Big Blue fans that are disenchanted with Cal should have to watch old game tapes of when Billy Gillispie was in Lexington. 

I’ve always been taught to be real.

Sure, it costs me a lot of scoops. But I’m OK with that. I’m not going to kiss anyone’s ass, or text coaches “good luck today” on each and every game day in order to get information.

I believe in journalistic integrity. It matters. 

SbB Question #2:

Where do you think the FBI investigation of college basketball will impact the sport the most – and why? 

Jeff Goodman:

It depends what comes out of this next trial later this month, the one where Christian Dawkins promised me that there would be audio tapes and fireworks.

It could certainly cost some coaches their jobs – and Sean Miller and Will Wade have to be concerned since they will be subpoenaed.

But this will also fall ultimately into the hands of the NCAA, and who the hell knows what the NCAA will do.

My gut feeling is that a lot of these coaches will get lengthy suspensions – the Miller’s, the Andy Enfield’s, the Wade’s, the Bruce Pearl‘s and even the Bill Self’s – and that’s if they survive the upcoming trial. 

SbB Question #3:

Assess Duke Coach Mike Krzyzewski’s coaching job this season.

Jeff Goodman:

Krzyzewski knew what he had early with both Zion Williamson and R.J. Barrett, those guys were men – dominant players.

But the key for me was the rest of the team.

Cam Reddish never truly developed – and this is a kid who has a ton of natural ability.

I think if Krzyzewski had found a way to get Reddish more involved, and get him to be more consistent – that would have really helped them in the NCAA tournament because teams knew all they had to really concern themselves with was stopping Zion and R.J.

But ultimately, this team was flawed in that they just didn’t have enough perimeter shooting to go along with Zion and R.J..

The first game of the season was a fluke to some extent; Duke shot the hell out of it from deep, but they ended up one of the worst perimeter-shooting teams in the country.

I would have personally gone more with Alex O’Connell, and taken a hit on the defensive end – in order to get better spacing and add a shooter on the court.

Maybe even remove Joey Baker earlier because of his size and ability to shoot it. (Baker played a total of 18 minutes after burning his redshirt on February 23.)

Duke could have outscored just about anyone with all its talent. They just needed a shooter on the floor to help space the court. 

BONUS SbB Question:

What is your #1 pro tip for frequent travelers like yourself.  

Jeff Goodman:

The easy one is to make sure you have TSA Pre-check.

But that’s too generic.

I try to never check a bag. I can’t remember the last time I checked anything.

I want to be able to just land and go.

I’ve had airlines lose my suitcase and don’t have the time to go shopping for an entire wardrobe.