So Tony Woods, the would-be Wake Forest transfer, is now in communication with Kentucky, Woods having failed to reach an accord with University of Louisville coach Rick Pitino.

The 6-foot-11 center is seeking to transfer to another program after being asked to leave Wake Forest basketball for an assault charge in a September incident resulting in a spinal injury to his girlfriend and mother of his son.

Interesting that John Calipari would want to get involved with Woods. We’re led to believe by the UK partisans that he can get any player he wants. Why would he take the risk? We suspect it’s more a case of Calipari wanting to irritate his old nemesis Rick Pitino again.

Not satisfied with having pulled Marquis Teague, a heavy lean to UofL before last November, Calipari may see another opportunity to assert dominance in the UofL-UK rivalry. Whether he really wants Woods is probably beside the point.

If Pitino had mixed feelings about Woods, it’s understandable. A highly regarded recruit coming out of high school, an experienced, a talented big man. But there is the troubled past and Woods’ connection with former U of L assistant Tim Fuller, also a former Wake Forest player, who has since moved on to Missouri.

Pitino, of course, isn’t able to discuss recruits or their situations. Woods’ interest in U of L was so high that he actually moved to Louisville to live with family members in recent months. But we suspect Pitino had determined that he didn’t want to take another chance on a high-risk player and was quietly encouraging Woods to go elsewhere.

Calipari, of course, is always eager to take advantage of such ambiguities, especially when it comes to Pitino. The player and his circumstances are secondary in his mind.

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By Charlie Springer

Charlie Springer is a former Louisville editor and sportswriter, a public affairs consultant, a UofL grad and longtime fan.

2 thoughts on “Woods a pawn in U of L-Kentucky rivalry”
  1. You may be (and I hope are) correct about Pitino being the one to call off the engagement but he seems to be resembling a closer who has lost both his control and several miles off his fast ball. I think for whatever reason this is the fourth lost commitment in two years.

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