Out of the Woods: Three-Year Backup Seventh Woods Has Left UNC

Tar Heel fans know all about Seventh Woods, the hyper-athletic South Carolinian who shot to fame in 2013 because of his Hoop Mixtape on YouTube. He had game, too. Woods was a 4-star prospect, ranked by ESPN as the 58th best player in his class nationally. He was named South Carolina’s Mr. Basketball in 2016, before committing to play his college ball at UNC.

Three years after enrolling at UNC though, Woods has decided to bid farewell to the program. The 6-foot-2 point guard announced his decision via an Instagram post, stating that he was extremely grateful for his time in Chapel Hill. “My three years here at UNC has been nothing short of amazing. Two regular season championships, a National Championship and group of brothers that I would cherish for life,” Woods began. He continued, “I wouldn’t go back and change any decision I’ve made but I do feel like it’s time for a change, with that being said I plan on finishing my academic and basketball career elsewhere.” Woods finished his post with a heartfelt thank you to his coaches and teammates.

Woods was a promising recruit in 2016, but things didn’t pan out in Chapel Hill. He began his career playing backup to then-junior Joel Berry II, who was sensational in leading the Tar Heels to the NCAA championship the same season. Woods played only limited minutes – almost certainly fewer than he’d planned on, even as a freshman. The 2017–2018 season wasn’t much different, as Berry remained in Chapel Hill for his senior season. Woods again played only a backup role, and also missed 17 games due to a stress fracture in his left foot. Still, he did show flashes as a backup guard who could potentially orchestrate the Tar Heels’ offense.

When Berry graduated after the 2017–2018 season, Woods looked poised to assume a bigger role, only to be beat out by Goldsboro’s own Coby White. The 6’5” combo guard arrived in Chapel Hill as a heralded recruit but proved to be even better than advertised – particularly playing the point. This translated to another season comprised primarily of bench duties for Woods. Woods remained the consummate teammate by all accounts, and acquitted himself well enough when he made it onto the court. But it still wasn’t the season he had undoubtedly hoped for.

Following this past season, Woods had slim hopes of finally capturing a lead guard role for the Tar Heels, until Roy Williams landed a commitment from 5-star point guard Cole Anthony – a genuine difference maker. Before Anthony’s commitment, UNC was largely being counted out of early looks at 2019-20 contenders. Anthony is enough to change this on his own, however, such that we’d now expect college basketball’s oddsmakers to include the Tar Heels among the 2020 NCAA title favorites. Needless to say, a player who’s viewed as that big a deal coming in would have been all but sure to seize starting point guards over Woods, despite the rising senior’s superiority.

Throw in recent commitments from four-star incoming freshman Anthony Harris and 6’1” shooting guard Christian Keeling, a graduate transfer, and it’s hard to imagine there would have been much space for Woods in the guard rotation. Things look very much as if they would have gone the same way they’d been going, with Woods ending up on the bench, cheering on talented teammates but playing only limited minutes himself.

Looking at the whole picture, Woods’s decision to transfer – though undoubtedly somewhat sad for Tar Heel fans – appears to make perfect sense. When he was still in high school, Woods received additional scholarship offers from programs like Georgetown and South Carolina. It’s unclear now whether teams of this caliber will still have interest. The hope, however, will be that wherever he lands Woods will rediscover some of that mixtape magic that made his name famous before he ever set foot on campus in Chapel Hill.