CFA Takeout: Seventh Woods

COLUMBIA, S.C. — The sophomore class features more than its fair share of big-time talent, and Woods proved his status among the frontrunners this weekend.

If you were tuned in at all to the sports world on Friday night, you inevitably encountered Seventh Woods' highlight slam. But if you missed it, here's the dunk in all its ferocious glory: Woods explosion

And that was only the latest Woods sensation, as his mix tape from last season is now approaching 10 million page views. Clearly, this sophomore guard brings something electric to the court.

Woods became such an attraction at the Chick-Fil-A Classic that fans filed in more than an hour before gametime in order to watch Woods in the flesh. They stood on walls, behind the baskets and, until building personnel shooed them, blocked all entrances into and exiting the gym.

So that brings me to the player himself. Truth is, Woods presently is more athlete than he is a basketball player. Having said that, given his athleticism and his age, how could that not be the case?

He's most comfortable jumping off one foot at full speed, but he elevates to the extreme off two feet as well. Early on Saturday, he chased down an opponent in the open court for an absurd block off the backboard, then retrieved the ball, went the other way and drilled a pull-up three. That's the Seventh Woods people believe can become a superstar.

Yet he still has far to travel in terms of skills. He's a natural combo guard who projects as a future point guard (at least for the NBA) based on the fact that he's 6-2. At this moment, he doesn't run the offense, make decisions or handle quite as well as one would prefer for a floor general, but then again he's still less than halfway through his prep career.

His jump shot also requires tinkering. Woods doesn't shoot with poor form, but he's not at all consistent. He hit that first three on Saturday but finished just 2-7 from long-range on the night. He also must develop an in-between game and upgrade his passing.

But then you see him finish spectacularly in traffic, think about the fact that he's a sophomore and beat back the urge to nitpick. He'll be one of the country's marquee attractions for the next two-plus years, and the immense exposure very well could lead to over-analysis and excessive criticism.

Chances are, virtually no one will fail to spot Woods' extraordinary defensive potential. He's already a constant threat to get steals, but he also moves feet very quickly and has a solid body type that will enable him to become a power/speed defender. He could become one of the best in the nation on that end of the court, and sooner than later.

This weekend, Woods showed both what he can do now and the skills he must cultivate in order to achieve his potential. In the meantime, we'll join everyone else in admiration of his athletic exploits.

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