Former Ohio State commitment Dane Goodwin ready for his shot at Buckeyes with Notre Dame

Adam Jardy
Buckeye Xtra
Notre Dame guard Dane Goodwin, here defending Michigan State guard Joshua Langford, is averaging 13.5 points and 9.0 rebounds per game for the Fighting Irish in his junior season.

There was a long period of time when Dane Goodwin thought he would be on the other side of Tuesday night’s men's basketball game between Ohio State and Notre Dame. For nearly three years, in fact.

From the start of his freshman season at Upper Arlington in 2014 until the summer before his senior year in 2017, Goodwin was planning to play for Ohio State after Thad Matta offered him a scholarship before Goodwin had played a single high school game.

Then, Matta was fired in June 2017, Goodwin reopened his recruitment and wound up signing with Notre Dame’s 2018 recruiting class.

So when the Buckeyes and Fighting Irish were paired for this year’s ACC-Big Ten Challenge, the junior guard summed up his reaction with just one word: shock.

“I’ve always kind of wanted to play this game,” Goodwin told The Dispatch. “I wish it was senior year in Columbus. That would’ve been pretty cool. Just being able to play against the team I was going to for a while will be really cool and definitely a little weird, but I’m really looking forward to it.”

After de-committing from Ohio State, Goodwin said he was hoping to find a place that felt like home. The Buckeyes remained a possible destination under newly hired coach Chris Holtmann, and they were one of three official visits he took during a two-week period that summer.

Once Goodwin had checked out Ohio State, Villanova and Notre Dame, he committed to the Fighting Irish.

“I think Notre Dame’s been great for me, not just from the basketball standpoint but also academics and my social life,” he said. “I think I fit in well here. I kind of grew up a Notre Dame fan, as well, so being around campus and everything, you can tell it’s a special place, and I’ve really gotten to experience that these past 2½ years.”

Goodwin has played in every game since his arrival on campus. Although his minutes remained relatively the same, Goodwin improved in every offensive statistical category as a sophomore and was named the team’s most improved player after averaging 10.8 points, 3.8 rebounds and 1.3 assists while primarily coming off the bench.

This year, he has started both of Notre Dame’s games and is averaging 13.5 points, 9.0 rebounds and 3.0 assists. During the preseason, coach Mike Brey said he’d been impressed with Goodwin’s increased level of communication on defense.

Goodwin also credited his steady production increase to his father, Damon, who played for Dayton and is Capital University’s all-time winningest coach.

“He’s really helped me along the way, being able to talk to him about his experiences and what he’s learned and compare it to what I’ve learned,” Dane Goodwin said. “I think having a year under my belt really helped me in that way. It wasn’t so much that I got better in one area, it was just more having that experience of another year under my belt.”

During his first two years, Goodwin said he’s appreciated the opportunity to play at venues such as Duke’s Cameron Indoor Stadium, North Carolina’s Dean Smith Center and Syracuse’s Carrier Dome. This season, Notre Dame took a season-opening loss at Michigan State’s Breslin Center, and the Irish are scheduled to play at Kentucky’s Rupp Arena on Saturday.

Those experiences have been meaningful, Goodwin said. So, too, has been the opportunity to attend Notre Dame’s Mendoza College of Business. It’s all added up to an opportunity to step out of his hometown and blaze a different path.

There are no hard feelings. Goodwin said he’s still friendly with members of the Ohio State program and that he has enjoyed watching their success during his time in college.

“I know coach Holtmann’s been a great coach there,” he said. “He really has his guys playing well and he’s had a great system. It’s been really cool for me taking a step back and looking at both programs and seeing how I fit in, but it’s been great for them and great for me, as well.”

ajardy@dispatch.com

@AdamJardy