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College Basketball Analysis: Kentucky's Tony Woods Situation

There has been a lot of discussion by UofL fans over the past several weeks regarding the status of former Wake Forest center Tony Woods. For those who don’t know, Woods left Wake after a domestic incident in which he pushed down his girlfriend while holding their young child. Woods then moved to Louisville, largely because of assistant Tim Fuller, where he’s been working at UPS and taking classes at JCC with the hope of enrolling at UofL and eventually, suit up for the Cardinals this upcoming season.

Then Tim Fuller left and since that day, Woods had been re-thinking his decision. After several weeks of whispers, rumors, and chatter, it appears Tony will not be coming to Louisville and could very well end up down the road at Kentucky. Because of this, many Cardinal fans have engaged in heated discussions over the Tony Woods situation.

Here are my thoughts.

First, I need to point out I was hesitant about taking Woods from the start. When news first broke that Woods was considering coming to Louisville, I wrote on that I was not thrilled about the prospect of taking a person who would assault his girlfriend while carrying a child and even though I believe in second chances, I did not think that chance needed to be here. However, my opinion was irrelevant and Tony Woods was all set to come in.

Personally, I am not bothered by Woods heading to Kentucky and I don’t think my fellow Cardinal fans should be either. This is not a Marquis Teague situation where UofL recruits a kid for years, then loses him to the in-state rival. This is an under-performing (to steal a line from Lee Todd) transfer with a checkered past looking to start over. Even if he does well at Kentucky, this is not a guy who you will spend years looking back wishing you had him.

Does it hurt Louisville from the standpoint of depth at the center position? Yes it does. With Terrence Jennings electing to stay in the NBA Draft, the Cards now have Gorgui Dieng and incoming freshman Zach Price at the five spot. Adding Woods at 6-10 and 250 lbs with collegiate experience definitely improves your situation there, but let’s also not forget he averaged only 4.6 points and 3.2 rebounds per game at Wake Forest.

The bottom line is this, the only reason this situation is a big deal is because of where Woods is likely going. If news came out that Woods was heading to Texas, LSU, or UCLA, what would the reaction be by Louisville fans?

At the end of the day, Tony Woods is not a program changing player. I hope Woods get his life together and everything works out for him. As I said, people deserve second chances, but that chance does not need to be at Louisville and from the looks of things, it won’t be.


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