UNC Signee Seventh Woods Focused and Thriving

Seventh Woods was named Most Valuable Player and Most Outstanding Player at the Chick Fil-A Classic.

For the first time in his young basketball career, UNC signee Seventh Woods is without worry.

Gone are nagging ankle and wrist injuries that hindered his 2014-15 season. No longer is he asked, daily, what college he's going to choose - his hometown school or his dream school. Despite tens of millions of hits on YouTube, his ninth grade mixtape is now more legend than expectation engine.

For the first time in his young basketball career, Woods is free.

And it's showing.

"I do think the weight of the world is off his shoulders with that (decision being made)," said Hammond coach Mark McClam. "He’s had video hype and pressure on him forever to be successful and now he’s just trying to be a high school kid and not worry about that or AAU. He’s got one focus: to enjoy his high school senior year and that’s what he’s doing."

On Tuesday, Woods was named Most Valuable Player and Most Outstanding Player of the American Division at the 2015 Chick-fil-A Classic after leading Columbia (S.C.) Hammond to the tournament title in front of UNC head coach Roy Williams and assistant C.B. McGrath.

It was Hammond's 26th straight win.

"Last night: 26 points, eight rebounds, five assists, four steals - just an incredible stat line across the board," McClam said. "So he did it all. And he had to do everything for us. I put it up there as a David versus Goliath story, our little school going up against big, bad, nationally ranked Greenforest and he pretty much took it to them."

For the tournament Woods averaged 24.0 points, 5.0 assists, 6.3 rebounds, and 3.3 steals. He hit 56.4 percent of his shots, including 60.0% on three-pointers.

"He’s taking the keys to the car," McClam said. "And he’s working pretty hard on his game right now. I think he’s just having a lot of fun. He’s a competitor."

Williams took in his second game viewing of Woods's season and, according to McClam, he liked what he saw.

"He was off the charts excited about how Seventh played, his leadership, his ability to drive when he needed to, hit shots when he needed to, hit other open players when he needed to," explained McClam. "I talked to him (yesterday) in the morning and he said he had heard how great Seventh had played the night before and how well he’d shot the ball and that he was thrilled to death."

"What you can't measure Seventh on is his unselfishness, his desire to win, his taking over games. Those things, Coach Williams saw those early on and he sees things that aren’t measurable by the scouting reports or how you’re ranked - he sees how he’s going to fit into his scheme, his offense, his high octane fast break, and he sees the chaos he creates.

"People want to knock his shot, but the other night he shot the ball pretty well. Every time you put a knock on the kid, he proves you wrong. As far as the rankings, he’s a Top 5 point guard - period."

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