NCAA Basketball

Analysis: Kentucky's Recruitment of Tony Woods

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There has been a lot of talk recently about Kentucky’s recruitment of Tony Woods. A little background information on Woods for those of you who do not know much about him. Tony Woods was the No. 20 overall prospect in the country in 2008 and the No. 3 center according to rivals.com. He signed with Wake Forest and was a part of the same recruiting class as Al-Farouq Aminu.

Woods proved to be nothing but problems for Wake Forest, the largest problem coming when he physically abused his girlfriend in front of his one-year-old child. In October of last year he was granted his release from the Wake Forest basketball program. Thus, opening up his recruitment for this coming season.

Tony Woods is a big man standing at 6’10” and about 230-lbs. with a big frame. He obviously HAD the potential to be a top NBA prospect with his size and untapped potential. He never proved to be worth it while he played his first and only season at Wake Forest.

There are many reasons why it may be a bad idea and a costly idea to bring Woods to Kentucky. The kid obviously has character flaws and is prone to making bad decisions. I am just as likely as the next person to give someone a second chance but it seems as though Woods has had a couple chances in his life. Woods is no older than twenty-one and already has a child.

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I’m not here to tell someone when is the appropriate time to have a child but if you have a child when you are in high school or even your freshmen year of college your life becomes immediately more difficult.

He then had the major problem of assaulting his girlfriend. Maybe the largest character flaw he has and the worst decision he has made in his life. His attitude could be the one thing that red flags John Calipari’s decision to offer him a scholarship.

Calipari has had a track record of transforming player’s attitudes and getting the best product he can out of them. This could be another brainchild for Calipari to develop.

Tony Woods has tremendous upside and could be a huge help with the likes of Terrence Jones and Anthony Davis in the paint. On the court, if his mind is right, Woods would make Kentucky’s inside game nearly unbeatable. The question is will his mind be in every game?

This is a huge gamble for Kentucky. If they do take him and he messes up and is anything less then an upstanding student on Kentucky’s campus then it will bring a ton of negative publicity to Kentucky’s program. If he is that upstanding student and performs up to his potential on the basketball court then it could end up being one of the best moves Kentucky made during the offseason.

We will find out in time because Woods is looking at more then just one program and still needs to be offered by the Wildcats. In the end Calipari is going to do what he thinks is best for the program and his track record so far at Kentucky is unquestionable.