USC Men's Basketball

Seventh Woods is coming home, will join Gamecocks’ basketball team

Seventh Woods is coming home.

The Columbia native posted a video Friday on Instagram with his South Carolina university ID card. A source close to the team confirmed his enrollment Friday afternoon.

Woods will join Frank Martin’s Gamecocks and must sit out next season because of NCAA transfer rules. He is expected to walk on this year because the Gamecocks are out of scholarships for this season.

”Carolina, it is home. I am very familiar with the faces and coach Frank (Martin) recruited me,” Woods said recently in an interview with The State. “They have different assistants but coach Frank we built a good relationship when he recruited me a few years back.”

South Carolina was one of the three schools Woods considered when he announced that he was leaving North Carolina in April. The other two were Gonzaga and Michigan.

But playing back at South Carolina seemed like the obvious choice after he announced he was leaving UNC. The Gamecocks were one of the three schools he considered coming out of Hammond.

What does the move mean for USC? From a publicity standpoint, this puts four players on the roster who spent at least their senior year of high school in South Carolina — Trae Hannibal (Hartsville), Jalyn McCreary (Greenville Legacy Charter), Mike Green (Myrtle Beach Christian Academy) and Woods. In-state representation could only increase for 2020-21 as USC is still recruiting the likes of PJ Hall and Myles Tate from Dorman.

While Woods must sit for games this upcoming season, he can still practice. A three-year veteran of the ACC can only help the growth and development of young guards such as Hannibal and TJ Moss.

When Woods is eligible for play in 2020-21, he will be in a crowded backcourt that includes Hannibal, Moss, Jermaine Couisnard, Trae Hannibal and A.J. Lawson (if he returns for his junior season instead of turning pro).

Woods’ mother, Monica, said back in 2015 at her son’s announcement that the Gamecocks did a great job recruiting him.

“South Carolina is great. They recruited him well and became like family,” Monica said.

Woods burst on the landscape as an 11-year-old when clips of him hit YouTube. His mixtape as a 14-year-old earned more than 15.6 million hits on YouTube. As a sophomore, one of his dunks earned top play on SportsCenter, beating out a dunk by LeBron James.

The 6-foot-1 guard was a four-star recruit coming out in high school and helped Hammond win the SCISA 3A state championship in 2015.

But Woods’ college career hasn’t lived up to what many had hoped. He won a national title with the Tar Heels in 2017 but his time with the Tar Heels has been marked with injuries.

Woods averaged 2.5 points and 10.8 minutes per contest this season with career-high 14 points coming against Gonzaga. In three seasons, he played in 94 games and averaged 1.8 points.

But now, Woods is looking to finishing his career on a high note.

“Use this year sitting out as a jump start for my confidence and kind of staying under the radar, not having any pressure,” Woods said. “... Go somewhere and be able to play like myself and play for a coach that put their trust in me to run their team. Biggest thing is trust the coach I go to and that he will trust me and go from there.”