2016 Intro: Seventh Woods

Visits from big-name coaches like Roy Williams are going to be the norm at the Hammond School for the next few years.

Hammond, a private prep-school in Columbia, S.C., is home to one of the most talked about class of 2016 players in the country – Seventh Woods. Williams, who has been out on the road recruiting over the last week, watched Woods workout for about an hour this past Wednesday. The workout consisted of various ball-handling and shooting drills.

The Tar Heels' head coach liked what he saw.

"Coach (Williams) was encouraged because he likes his point guards to be able to score," said Hammond head coach Mark McClam. "He also asked me about Seventh as an individual character wise, his family background and all that.

"Obviously when you get to the high level of a program like Carolina or Duke, they get their pick of the litter," he continued. "They get to check off the boxes of chemistry, character and those things. Seventh is the youngest of six children, his parents are happily married and they're just a really good family."

In addition, Williams, who couldn't speak with Woods during his visit because of NCAA rules, asked McClam what the standout 6-foot-1, 175-pound point guard's greatest attributes were.

"I think he's a phenomenal athlete," McClam said. "He has great explosion, great acceleration and great vertical-leaping ability. He's so quick when he jumps and he has phenomenally quick hands. His off-the-dribble explosion is something else too."

McClam said Woods could play either the ‘1' or the ‘2' but that he's exclusively a point guard at Hammond. That's just the way Woods likes it.

In his first season playing varsity, Woods averaged 19.3 points, 4.3 assists, 3.5 rebounds and 2.7 steals per game.

"I'm a scorer and a playmaker," Woods explained. "I try to put my teammates in the best position to score. (At Hammond) we play a mixture of one-in, four-out, and then high-ball screens. I like that style, up-tempo, fast-break offense that's pushing the ball. I get to the basket pretty well and I can take the outside shot contested or uncontested, and I'm a pretty good passer."

Woods is already somewhat of a phenomenon thanks to his performances at AAU camps around the southeast. He was the youngest member of the USA Developmental Camp last October and was the youngest of 23 players named to USA Basketball's 16U Men's Developmental National Team. Woods says he's ready for the attention and scrutiny that come with being one of the best players in the country.

"My personality in general is just pretty quiet," he said. "(The attention) isn't going to bother me because I still know I need to work hard to live up to the hype. I can't let the phone calls and visits get to my head."

Don't mistake Woods's quietness as a lack of competitive fire, drive or spirit. On the contrary, McClam loves the maturity and assertiveness of Woods's game.

"He's beyond his years," McClam explained. "He can slam dunk on you and you'll never know it from looking at his face. You can slam dunk on him and you'll never know it from looking at his face. But most importantly, he has the work ethic to succeed."

"This cat doesn't take plays off; he plays hard on both ends. Sometimes you get gifted offensive players who fake their way on defense. He's not one of them. We've had several games where his defense, not his scoring and passing, made the difference for us."

McClam said he also told Williams about Woods's ability to close out games.

"He can just take over and he really wants the ball in key situations," McClam said. "He's not afraid to take the last-second shot. He wants the ball in his hands at the end of games so he can create for himself or make something happen for his teammates."

Woods is still nearly three-and-a-half years from playing his first collegiate game. However, he already has a list of things his needs to work on to make an immediate impact. Surprisingly, they don't have much to do with his on-the-court play.

"Chris Paul is probably my favorite player," said Woods. "I just love the way he plays, his competitive nature on the court and how he leads his team. I'm not the most talkative person on the court so I need to develop that as a point guard and as a leader."

Woods has already made visits to several colleges, including in-state schools Clemson and South Carolina, as well as North Carolina and Duke.

He attended UNC's game against Florida State last month, along with his parents, and McClam, and took in UNC's senior-day win over Maryland during the 2011-12 season.

"It was pretty wild both times," Woods said. "The student section is pretty impressive and I got to meet Coach Roy and his assistants. I love the way they play and the way he approaches the game."

McClam believes Woods has the potential to be one of the best players in South Carolina history.

"He's so young… he's only 14," he said. "You look at some of the guys in 2015 and he's almost two years younger them, so when people start talking about size and maturity you have to realize he should really be in the eighth grade. Athletically, he'll continue to make leaps and bounds as he gets stronger."

"He has an innate inner-confidence, calmness and work ethic that you just can't teach," McClam continued. "He works every day, lifting weights, increasing his endurance, getting shots up. He does it willingly and not begrudgingly because his parents or coaches tell him too. He has ownership of it already."

NOTES: Seventh is the youngest of five boys… He holds the Hammond record for points in a game with 49… He was born and raised in Columbia, S.C. … South Carolina, North Carolina, Clemson, Duke, Maryland and Virginia have all inquired about him…Full name is Seventh Day'Vonte Woods… He was named after the representations of the No. 7 in the bible, which mean completeness…Woods will play with the Carolina Wolves 16U AAU team this season… Hammond coach Mark McClam played for John Kresse at the College of Charleston from 1979-82. He set the school record for most assists in a game (14).

Seventh Woods Profile

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