Woods, who played college ball at Kentucky, was so harsh on Devon Atkinson for fouling out of the game, that the senior point guard nearly began crying.
Atkinson fouled out with his team down 69-61 and just under six minutes left in the game. Woods could be seen yelling, “Are you kidding me?” at Atkinson. He then shoved the senior in the back, and got in his face and began yelling.
After being separated from Atkinson by an assistant, Woods stalked the guard to the bench and continued to berate him before finally letting up.
“We’re still learning how to be basketball players,” said Woods after the game.
Woods told the media that his message to Atkinson was “calm down and figure out a way to cheer your teammates on.”
I’m not sure who’s buying that. Woods’ display was reminiscent of a no-nonsense coach like Bobby Knight, who used to berate his players and once slapped one. That sort of behavior is excessive, unprofessional, and completely unnecessary.
“It doesn’t bother us,” said forward Milton Chavis of Woods’ sideline demeanor, per KansasCity.com. “It’s coaching. You have to accept coaching as a player.”
“It doesn’t make us uncomfortable,” Drew Kelly said. “We can handle it and it makes us better.”
Who knows if the players actually believe that. It’s quite possible they’re just speaking out of fear because they believe they don’t have a choice.
Woods is a first-year coach and putting his mark on the program. We’ll see how well he does in recruiting after that display. I know that’s not the kind of style that would attract me as a player.