Potential Hoya: Seventh Woods
Georgetown's recruiting has been excellent in the past couple of years, and their hard work resulted in a strong contribution from last season's freshman class. This year's freshmen appear to be off to a strong start as well, and John Thompson III and his staff are looking to continue that momentum with a strong Class of 2016. The latest recruit on Georgetown's list of targets is an important one: South Carolina superstar Seventh Woods.
Weight: 175 pounds
Year: Rising high school senior
School: Hammond School (South Carolina)
Recruiting Profile: Class of 2016
ESPN: 4-star recruit, #31 prospect
Rivals: 5-star recruit, #25 prospect
247Sports: 4-star recruit, #49 prospect
I'm not going to mince words here: Seventh Woods is an elite athlete. Jagan Mosely is a good athlete, but Woods is on another level.
Woods has been well known throughout the basketball world for several years now, as his spectacular dunk-filled remixes have been consistently making waves. A few months ago, Grantland posted an article asking if he is the next Russell Westbrook. As a sophomore, one of his dunks was the No. 1 play on SportsCenter's Top Ten, beating out a dunk by LeBron James.
He isn't just a dunker, either. Woods uses his athleticism to make an impact all over the floor. He disrupts passing lanes on defense, and when he gets the ball in transition, his speed, quickness, and leaping ability make him a terror, creating highlight dunk after highlight dunk.
At 6-foot-1, Woods is listed as a shooting guard or combo guard on most of the major recruiting sites. Some believe that his court vision and passing ability will allow him to be a full-time point guard in the future, but he is not elite in those areas as of now. Woods is a solid ball-handler and can use his athleticism to get to the rim, but he will need to continue to refine his point guard skills in order to establish himself at the position.
Woods is a fearless scorer who can be effective from all three levels of the court, but like most high school guards, he needs to improve the consistency and range on his jumper. Despite these nitpicks, though, make no mistake: Woods is a potential superstar, and could make a huge difference at Georgetown or any other school.
Georgetown was not consistently named as one of Woods's top schools early in his recruitment. However, in a somewhat surprising and certainly encouraging twist, he released his top four schools on Friday: South Carolina, North Carolina, Florida, and Georgetown.
Woods has kept his recruitment mostly under wraps, and thus it is difficult to forecast his destination with any sort of conviction. From the perspective of an extremely biased Georgetown fan, it would seem that there is a chance that he becomes a Hoya. North Carolina's program has been under extreme scrutiny in recent years, and sanctions could be on the way. Florida just lost one a top-notch Head Coach in Billy Donovan, and South Carolina is not a winning program.
In addition, Woods has said that he prioritizes academics. According to the aforementioned Grantland article, "Seventh told me his decision to come to Hammond ‘had nothing to do with basketball.' Hammond ‘is one of the best academic schools in South Carolina,' he said. ‘So that was our main focus.'"
Still, it's important to take all of this with a grain of salt for several reasons. First of all, Woods hails from South Carolina, and the example of L.J. Peak notwithstanding, it will be difficult to pry him away from the Carolina schools. South Carolina has had success in recruiting recently, earning a commitment from 2015 guard and Georgetown target Perry Dozier. And of course, Roy Williams and North Carolina can never be counted out.
Finally, and most importantly, this is college basketball recruiting. The one thing we know about recruiting is that it rarely, if ever, makes sense.
Woods is the type of player who would fit in at any program. Georgetown is no different. Woods would presumably take over many of the minutes vacated by graduated star D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera, and could potentially form one of the fastest backcourts in the country alongside Tre Campbell.
Barring early entries into the NBA Draft (which are very possible), Woods could join an extremely scary 2016-17 Hoyas team. Woods, Campbell, and L.J. Peak would play the majority of the minutes at the guard positions, with Isaac Copeland, Paul White, Jessie Govan, and Marcus Derrickson among others in the frontcourt.
Even if a player or two were to leave for the NBA, Woods would have a chance to make an immediate impact for a strong Georgetown team. On a larger level, if he develops as many pundits hope, he could become Georgetown's first guard to make an impact in the NBA since Allen Iverson, which could change how recruits view the program in the future. There is no doubt that landing Woods would be an enormous coup for John Thompson III and his staff.
As you can probably tell, I am very excited about the possibility that Seventh Woods becomes a Hoya. He would probably be one of the most athletic and impactful guard recruits the school has had since Iverson, and he would bring increased national attention to the team.
Still, there is a long way to go before he can make any of that impact on the Hilltop. It is probably more likely that Woods ends up at one of the Carolina schools than at Georgetown, and in my brief time following college basketball I have learned that it is usually a bad idea to get excited about a recruit before he signs his letter of intent.
However, it's hard not to get excited about this kid. Here's hoping the staff does everything they can to make Seventh Woods a Hoya.