COLUMBIA: it's about recruiting and they're teenagers, so all the information behind the scenes and the crystal ball predictions are not important. All he does is when Prospect signs his name in Letter and faxes it to School of Choice.
Forget everything you heard about what really happened in November 2015 before Seventh Woods took off his North Carolina blue cap and put it on paper, engaging with the Tar Heels. South Carolina, his home school, was very, very close to landing him but he did not, which was the same bottom line where Woods wrote his name as a future resident of Chapel Hill.
All that was then and this is now. Woods is a Gamecock for the next two seasons, promising USC six weeks ago, and that's all that needs to be discussed.
"Every day, someone else tells me: & # 39; I'm happy you're home & # 39;" said Woods. "It definitely feels unreal, but I'm grateful for that."
He wore his new South Carolina shirt and stood against a large Gamecock printed on the wall of the Carolina Coliseum practice facilities. His backpack was sewn with the 2017 Final Four 2017 logo, the one they had in both Carolinas, but only Woods and his UNC teammates won.
There are no sour grapes of his time at UNC, but despite the national championship he won as a freshman, there is no doubt why Woods chose to return home.
Anyone can read Woods' medium statistics and his history of injuries in three years as Tar Heel and decipher it.
"I felt that leaving was the best thing for me at that time. I spent three years there, I don't regret it at all," said Woods. "Now is the time for a different scenario. I want to play basketball after college. I want to build my curriculum as much as possible."
That was not going to happen at the UNC, where it was seen as a backup that never fulfilled its immense promise. On the other hand, when he had 14 years of experience on the internet (his dunk mixtape is still the first success under his name on YouTube), it would be difficult to accomplish that anyway.
"No (see him again) at all. I never look for my name," said Woods. "I wouldn't say it was a pressure, but a lot of people expected so much from me every time I stepped on the court." But I just tried to balance it and get out. to play the best game I could that day. "
That leads us to understand why USC was his best choice when he left UNC. The Gamecocks were honest with him, telling him that they would love to have him, but with only one scholarship available, they had to take the big man that was needed. Woods understood and accepted it, as it fit his plans.
He agreed to stay out this year, get healthy, get stronger, learn Frank Martin's system and then take on the next season. Woods is paying his own way to school this year, and the plan is to get a scholarship next year.
"He has been under a microscope since he was 13 years old. I don't know how he did it and maintained his sanity," Martin said, indicating that Woods needed to rediscover his "booty."
And Woods managed to surprise Martin, telling him his commitment just before he published it (a photo of his new USC student ID card) on Instagram. The confidence gained by Martin de Woods' original recruitment never changed.
He will practice against his teammates, advise them and prepare for their opportunity next season, in addition to accepting the inevitable comparisons of Larry Davis. Outside Denmark-Olar High, Davis landed in North Carolina and won a national championship. But after two seasons of scattered minutes, Davis transferred to the USC, played two years and in his last year, helped the Gamecocks to their only SEC championship.
By the time Woods becomes fashionable, that magical season will have been 23 years ago. Woods used number 23 at Hammond School and is transferring from a school where number 23 is the most exalted of the numbers hung on the rafters.
Woods has tried his entire career with pressure. I would have been there if I had chosen USC in the first place.
None of that matters now. All he does is that he chose to come here.
"Returning to a coach who allowed me to return home," he said. "The family is here, the friends here, get along with the team and the coaches. Everything has been good so far."
Follow David Cloninger on Twitter @DCPandC.