KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Oklahoma’s Jordan Goldwire spent the past four seasons playing at one of college basketball’s cathedrals.
After playing 116 games at Duke, the 6-foot-2 point guard was looking for a new home for his graduate transfer year. More than 30 schools reached out to Goldwire, and he considered five or six spots. One felt like a perfect fit.
“I developed a good relationship with Coach (Porter) Moser and the rest of the staff,” Goldwire said during a Big 12 Media Day event on Wednesday. “I felt like Oklahoma was the place for me.”
Goldwire will be depended upon to help navigate the program under a new coach. Moser likes the leadership qualities of a veteran player who has plenty of ACC experience under his belt.
“Jordan is a guy that, when he’s playing, his intensity is really something that becomes contagious,” Moser said. “I think the guys respect where he’s been. They’re looking to him for leadership for where we’re going. I think that’s going to be a big thing for him.”
Goldwire protected the ball on offense (he led the ACC in assist/turnover ratio) and was pesky on the other end of the court (2021 All-ACC Defensive Team member).
Goldwire now wants to not only set up the offense, but contribute with points. His career high is 14 points, and he’s scored in double-digits only 10 times.
“Obviously I want to add more scoring,” Goldwire said. “But really, we are just trying to win games and show people my overall game and do whatever it takes to win.”
Goldwire’s forte is on defense. He smiled when telling a story about his father encouraging him to get stops while growing up. Handcuffing opponents has always been his goal.
Last season, he ranked third nationally among major conference players by averaging 2.2 steals per game. That resume also fits his new coach’s style — last year at Loyola, opponents scored just 56.1 points per game against Moser’s team, which was the lowest opponent scoring average in the country.
“I take a lot of pride on the defensive end. That’s just something I’ve done my whole life,” Goldwire said. “It’s not something that a lot of people like to do. I like to be different. Playing hard defensively could help the whole team play hard defensively. It creates a spark.”
It helped him be a contributor at Duke.
“I had to do something different to get on the floor, and that was a way for me to get on the floor,” Goldwire said. “Playing defense hard, creating a spark, and then my last two years I got the opportunity to start. It was a great experience.”
When Goldwire decided to enter the transfer portal, there were no ill feelings. Legendary coach Mike Krzyzewski released a statement thanking the player for his time in Durham.
“Duke fans owe Jordan a tremendous amount of respect for being such a first-class player, leader and teammate during his four years in our program,” Krzyzewski said. “Jordan always embraced his role, and his improvement over the course of his career is a testament to his mentality and competitive spirit. He was outstanding to coach and we wish him all of the best. It was an honor to have Jordan and his family as a part of Duke Basketball and we will miss them.”