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UNC Basketball: Seventh Woods will be a great player for North Carolina

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Woods was a phenom at a young age, but is he more than just a dunker?

High School Basketball: McDonald's All-American Jamfest Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Seventh Woods has been in the national spotlight since he was 14 years old. That happens when you can do stuff like this:

After that dunk, he was dubbed the greatest high school Freshman in the world. Those are massive shoes to fill. His famous dunk was No. 1 on SportsCenter Top 10, and has garnered over 14 million views on YouTube. What is a bit perplexing, given all of these accolades at such a young age, is that Woods was not even North Carolina’s top recruit. That honor belongs to five-star big man Tony Bradley. In fact, Woods was rated as only the 58th best recruit in the country by ESPN. That is quite a fall from “greatest high school freshman.”

The easiest way to explain such a fall in the rankings would be to say that he got cocky. Such honors and recognitions at that young of an age would be hard for any high school freshman to handle. However, that is not the case with Woods. By all accounts he is a quiet kid who lets his play do the talking—and boy does it do a lot of talking.

Woods’ game can be described in one word: explosive. It has been used to define him by every scout, teammate, and coach. He can go up and get a rebound in traffic, push the ball up the court, and rise up above the rim and dunk on a defender before the blink of an eye. Roy Williams has not had the luxury of an athlete that explosive since Ty Lawson donned the Carolina blue. Woods is different, however. He wants to play above the rim, not below it.

There could not be a better suited guard for Roy Williams’ high octane offense. Just because Woods is ranked No. 58 in his class does not mean he should be underestimated. Rankings do not take into account how well he fits into the Carolina program, and you’d be hard-pressed to find a better player for a program. Woods is a one-man fast break that will undoubtedly provide some Vince Carter-esque highlights before his time at UNC is over. Whenever player’s explosiveness can be compared to that of Carter, he certainly is a special talent.

As gifted of an athlete as he is, Seventh Woods also has incredible basketball skills. During his Sophomore year in high school, at the nationally recognized HighSchoolOT.com tournament, Woods scored 25 points in the fourth quarter of a game against consensus top-5 recruit Dennis Smith Jr. That included a mind-boggling 7 consecutive three pointers. That incredible offensive display should get Tar Heel fans more excited than any dunk woods can throw down. He may be a streaky shooter, but learning from one of the best shooters in NBA history in Hubert Davis should only help his consistency.

The interesting question surrounding Woods is where he will play during his time at Chapel Hill. He is only 6’1”, but his ability to play above the rim and score in bunches makes him better suited for the off-ball guard position. Putting Seventh at point guard could seemingly put a cap on his explosiveness as he would have to pay more attention to facilitating the offense.

At this point, however, Roy Williams has Woods running a good bit of point guard in practice. It is no secret that Williams loves his guards to have a great understanding of the offense and have the ability to orchestrate the Tar Heels’ potent attack.

This year, it is unlikely that Woods plays much point guard. Joel Berry is an All-ACC candidate, and Nate Britt is as good a sixth man as there is in college basketball. This could be extremely beneficial for Woods as he can focus on making plays in his rookie campaign rather than running the Tar Heels offense. Nothing will change for him going forward either, as Joel Berry could return for his senior season, and then Jalek Felton will arrive on campus as the heir apparent to the point guard throne.

Seventh Woods is going to be one of the best and most entertaining players to put on the Tar Heels uniform in recent memory. He is the perfect player for Roy Williams’ system, and will provide countless memories and amazing plays at North Carolina. He will be a true pleasure to watch for all Tar Heel fans.