Seventh Woods was a nationally ranked point guard in high school. He spent the first part of his North Carolina career behind All-American conductor Joel Berry and the last year with eventual lottery pick Coby White.
He’s excelled at the position. He’s been around greatness at the position.
Woods, a Columbia native and former Hammond star, can’t play this season after transferring to South Carolina from UNC. But he gets to go against the Gamecocks in practice. At this stage of 2019-20, that means he’s acquiring a feel for the four main options Frank Martin might try at point guard over the next five months.
“There’s so many,” said Woods, who will be eligible to join the mix in 2020-21. “And each one brings something different to the court. So there’s so many different weapons we have at the point guard position.”
According to Woods, a great point guard is “being a great leader. You’re like the quarterback of the team, so getting guys to follow your lead is probably the biggest thing for a point guard. Being able to control the team, being able to control the game. I feel like that’s the biggest thing, just being able to control your guys.”
South Carolina opens the season Nov. 6 at home against North Alabama. Expect any and all of Jair Bolden, A.J. Lawson, T.J. Moss and Trae Hannibal to run some point at various stages. What makes each one unique? Find Woods’ scouting report below:
Background: Bolden sat out last season after transferring from George Washington. The 6-foot-3, 215-pound junior ran GW’s offense in 2017-18, averaging more than 11 points and three assists per game.
Woods on Bolden: “Jair’s a little shifty. He’s a bigger guard. He can get to his spot a little easier than most. Great shooter. He uses his strength to try to get where he wants to go. He’s probably the best as far as the point guards of doing that.”
Background: The 6-foot-6, 178-pound Lawson is trending toward becoming South Carolina’s first first-round pick in 14 years. He was USC’s point guard last season in the sense that if he got the rebound, coaches felt comfortable in him running it up and initiating offense. Whether he takes on more PG responsibility in the half-court is yet to be seen.
Woods on Lawson: “A.J. is a longer point guard, taller point guard. Can shoot over a lot of people. He’s shifty also. He’s probably off the ball than he is on the ball. So he’s like a two-way player.”
Background: Moss started at point guard for three games last season before foot and ankle injuries led to a medical redshirt. The 6-foot-4, 195-pounder from Memphis, who averaged 6 points and 2 assists as a true freshman, is back at 100%.
Woods on Moss: “T.J., he’s more of an old school point guard. He’s a slower point guard that can still get to his spots. He’s probably the best passer out of the ones I just mentioned. He can really facilitate the ball.”
Background: Hartsville’s Hannibal was one of the top high school point guards in the state over the last couple years. The top-150 national recruit is a physical force at 6-foot-2, 217 pounds.
Woods on Hannibal: “Aggressive. Kind of like Jair, he can get to the rim at any point and finish through contact because he’s bigger than most, even though he’s a freshman. He’s been great.”