UNC Basketball: Guard Seventh Woods departs program as a transfer

UNC Basketball guard Seventh Woods announced that he will transfer from the university via his Instagram on Thursday.

Well, that wasn’t expected.

In a truly surprising move, rising senior point guard Seventh Woods, a three-year reserve at UNC, announced via his personal Instagram account that he will be transferring from the university.

https://www.instagram.com/p/Bwr6oJClp5r/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link

After entering the NCAA to much fanfare due to an assortment of viral highlight reels and mixtapes on YouTube, the South Carolina native’s collegiate career didn’t go according to plan.

Although he enrolled at UNC as one of the most athletic guards in the entire country, nagging injuries and inconsistent playing time, as well as a steep learning curve that comes with running a Roy Williams offense, ultimately contributed to a career that didn’t live up to the hype — to no true fault of his own, really.

The 6-2 guard averaged 1.8 points, 1.1 rebounds, 1.5 assists and 0.6 steals in a meager 8.7 minutes per game. He appeared in 94 total contests, recording one start (filling in for an injured Coby White earlier this past season).

Woods couldn’t crack the starting lineup with regularity, but as a reserve he offered tenacious on-ball defense, swarming opposing ball-handlers whenever the team needed a stop or two. Despite not having a prominent role on the offensive end, he routinely proved himself to be one of Williams’ better players when it came to hitting Carolina’s forwards in the post, establishing a chemistry with the likes of Luke Maye and Garrison Brooks.

Whenever he wasn’t on the hardwood, he was serving as one of the team’s leaders — by all accounts, he was highly-regarded by players and coaches as a positive presence in the locker room, an intangible impact that can’t be measured by stats and figures.

The story is developing, of course, so Woods’ intentions aren’t yet clear, nor is it clear whether or not he’ll be able to immediately play this upcoming season — be it by waiver or by graduating early. It’s simply too early to tell, as the news is still fresh.

Regardless, this move will give Woods a fresh start elsewhere, and with a lack of point guards on the transfer market, a high- or mid-major team would benefit from scooping him up.

For UNC, this presents a new challenge to a team that had just found it’s starting point guard for next year with Tuesday’s announcement from No. 1 2019 point guard Cole Anthony. With Woods leaving the university, two openings have been made — one, at the backup point guard spot, which may remain vacant until incoming three-star Jeremiah Francis returns to full health, and two, an open scholarship slot.

Over the past few weeks, Roy Williams and the coaching staff have been furiously recruiting, recruiting, and recruiting some more, working the phones to connect with both prospective high school recruits and graduate transfers.

Tuesday saw the Tar Heels snag both five-star point guard Cole Anthony and four-star combo guard Anthony Harris, two talented freshmen who will help fill out the backcourt.

In addition to the two 2019 recruits, Charleston Southern grad transfer Christian Keeling has had his eyes on UNC, visiting the university during the week and scheduling an announcement date of April 12. It’s believed that the 6-4 guard/wing is down to UNC and Clemson. He averaged 18.7 points, 6.9 rebounds and 2.8 assists per game for the Buccaneers last season and would be a big pickup for the Tar Heels, especially with Woods’ exit from the program opening up backcourt minutes.

Next: Top 10 sit-out transfers heading into 2019-20

The coming weeks will certainly be interesting for UNC and Seventh Woods, as the two parties will be looking to move on. For the Tar Heels, they’re searching for another guard/wing. For Seventh Woods, he’ll be searching for a new home.

Transfer season — gotta love it.