Had the college basketball coaching carousel not started spinning in early June with the surprise dismissal of Ohio State’s Thad Matta, Upper Arlington (Ohio) High School shooting guard Dane Goodwin never would have had second thoughts.
About staying close to home to go to college. About giving schools outside of the Big Ten a longer look. About his commitment. About everything.
So when Matta was forced out and the head coaching musical chairs started, Goodwin decided long before the music stopped to dive back into his college recruitment.
Late Wednesday afternoon, the 6-foot-4, 170-pound Goodwin offered a verbal commitment to Notre Dame, a school he became seriously interested in only after Matta’s exit in early June.
“This has happened quickly,” Goodwin said. “Things changed pretty fast. It’s a whirlwind, but it happens.”
As of early Wednesday evening, Goodwin still had “The Ohio State University,” under his Twitter profile photo. That would change. Soon. He waited until just after 8 p.m. to make the commitment official, in part because he was waiting to speak with Villanova coach Jay Wright.
Goodwin chose Notre Dame over Ohio State and Villanova. He had committed to Ohio State before playing a high school game as a freshman. He stayed with the Buckeyes for a long, long time.
But the process for him to get to Notre Dame was quick. For both sides.
“Everything kind of came up unexpectedly,” Goodwin said Wednesday evening. “It all kind of hit me hard, but I decided to reopen things and went straight to work.
“I visited Notre Dame and from that point on, I was very serious about them.”
Considered a four-star recruit by ESPN.com and Scout.com and a three-star by Rivals.com, Goodwin joins a guard-heavy Irish recruiting class that includes point guard Prentiss Hubb (Washington) and shooting guard Robby Carmody (Mars, Pa). Also in the class is Connecticut power forward transfer Juwan Durham, who will sit out the 2017-18 season and have three seasons of eligibility remaining.
Goodwin averaged 27 points and 10 rebounds a game as a junior. He shot 54 percent from the field. He was recruited by Irish assistant coach Ryan Ayers, whose father, Randy, spent eight seasons as the head coach of the Buckeyes.
Ranked No. 71 by ESPN, No. 89 by Scout and No. 123 by Rivals, Goodwin took a rather unique journey to Notre Dame.
When Matta left Ohio State, one of his former players, Matt Sylvester, who coaches Goodwin’s All-Ohio Red AAU team, reached out to Notre Dame to gauge interest in his perimeter guy. There was interest. An unofficial visit soon followed.
“After Coach Matta left, I took some time and was looking to see who would be the next coach,” Goodwin said. “When I reopened things, Notre Dame was a school I wanted to look seriously at.”
At the point he decided to reopen his recruitment, the Irish were far down the recruiting road and just about finished with the process for their top shooting guard prospect – Carmody, who made an official visit to Notre Dame only days after Goodwin’s tour.
When Carmody committed to coach Mike Brey, the consensus was that the Irish had closed their recruiting door to any future shooting guards. It was on to bigs and combo forwards.
Goodwin’s name remained on the school’s big-board short list.
Goodwin really wanted to commit to Notre Dame even after Carmody climbed aboard.
When Notre Dame decided that it might take another guard, Carmody was brought into the recruiting equation. If Carmody was cool with adding Goodwin, who had known all along where he stood in the shooting-guard recruiting pecking order, then the Irish coaches were cool.
Once everyone from all sides were good – Carmody with knowing another shooting guard was joining the class, Goodwin with knowing that Carmody was the top recruit at the position and the Irish staff in adding another perimeter player – Goodwin had the green light to commit.
He quickly did.
“Notre Dame’s the place I want to be,” Goodwin said. “That (recruiting situation) wasn’t going to make me not go there.”
Carmody told Goodwin and the Irish staff that all he wants to do is win.
Goodwin is considered more of a shooter; Carmody more of a driver, which means they’d play off one another well enough to play together for four years.
“I think I can do a little bit of everything," Goodwin said. “Whatever Coach Brey needs, I’m there to do it.”
Goodwin’s father, Damon, played collegiately at Dayton and is the head coach at Division III Capital University in Columbus.
Goodwin took an official visit to Ohio State and new coach Chris Holtmann in late June.
Notre Dame still has three scholarships to offer heading into the early signing period in early November. A frontcourt player or two remain likely options.
All three committed prep seniors-to-be– Carmody, Goodwin and Hubb – are ranked among the nation’s Top 76 heading into their senior seasons.