Jordan Goodwin’s arrival at Saint Louis University has been marked as a cornerstone moment in the history of the Billikens Men’s Basketball Program. In tandem with Travis Ford’s taking over of the program, Goodwin has captained his team to a 75-42 record whereas the Billikens were a disappointing 34-63 in the three years prior to his arrival on campus.
One could easily make the case for Jordan Goodwin as being one of the all-time great Billikens. A St. Louis area kid staying home and rebuilding the city’s program not only through strong play but contributing to a cultural overhaul that is looking to take the program to new heights. When the Point Guard first got to SLU, the program was on life support, now it is one with perhaps the brightest future of any mid-major in the country. Thanks in no small part to the Althoff High kid.
But it’s hard to exactly place J-Good amongst his peers in the annals of Billiken history. Goodwin has endured a career in midtown that is far from typical and has truly only had one full season of college basketball played. With two Covid shortened season and one year where he was suspended due to a title XI investigation that he was ultimately deemed innocent in; Goodwin may go down as one of the greatest four-year Billikens players to play as few games as he di
And yet still, Goodwin ranks statistically as one of the most complete players in school history. With an extended conference tournament or NCAA tournament run, Jordan Goodwin, aka Mr. Double-Double, could end up being a top 10 scorer in school history, fourth in rebounding, top 5 in assists, the career leader in steals, and top 10 in minutes played, all while not coming close to cracking the top 10 in terms of games played.
The other side of the coin is that in his time with the Billikens his resume lacks the postseason accolades and appearances that would solidify his case to be immortalized in the rafters of Chaifetz Arena, partially because of his extended absences as well as limited opportunities due to the Coronavirus pandemic. In his one full season he helped the Billikens to an A-10 championship and an NCAA bid. While it certainly is outside of his control to a certain extent, it will ultimately be easy to look back at the Goodwin era and wonder what could have been. Especially when comparing it to the Jett/Evans era of the early 2010’s.
As it stands right now, only five names stand immortalized in the rafters of Chaifetz Arena. Coach Rick Majerus, Anthony Bonner, Dick Boushka, Bob Ferry, and Ed Macauley. All All-Americans, or legendary figures in basketball. The bar is extremely high but there is a case for beginning to recognize more and more figures in the history of the Men’s and Women’s basketball programs inside Chaifetz Arena.
Given all Jordan Goodwin has done for the program: the stats, the leadership, sticking by it when things got tough, there is an argument for saying he belongs in those ranks as an All-Time great Billiken. A Billiken of this generation. Especially when you consider the stats, he could have racked up given the opportunity. With his averages, had Jordan played an equal number of games to historical program anchor Anthony Bonner, he would be top 5 in points scored, 2nd in total rebounds, would run away with the steals record, and would be first all-time in assists.
Jordan Goodwin has been robbed as much as a full season of college basketball due to Covid and other extenuating circumstances. Close to 26 games give or take total. Without being memorialized in a significant way, that fact will be lost to history.
Ultimately though, the prevailing thought, and truly the most sensible one is that Jordan can’t truly be honored until others ahead of him receive their due. Erwin Claggett is long overdue for a curtain call and immortalization in Billiken lore. Kevin Lisch, Scott Highmark, Roland Grey. At the very least all of these players have been inducted into the Hall of Fame already, Kwamain Mitchell, Jordair Jett, and Dwayne Evens have yet to even receive that honor.
The list goes on and on. SLU, as a program, is not excellent at immortalizing its own history. Jordan Goodwin may be deserving of the honor and is undoubtedly in the conversation with all of these historically great Bills, but he’s at the back of a very long deserving list of those who are owed their moment first.
Jordan Goodwin has become the definitive Billiken of the current era. Moving forward all will be judged next to him, and he should be held responsible for successes not only in his tenure, but in changing and reestablishing the winning culture in Midtown.
Legacy is planting seeds in a garden you never get to see. Jordan Goodwin planted the seeds and moving forward Billiken players and fans alike will enjoy the shade it provides.
There may never be another quite like J-Good.