Barclays Center Classic - Morehead State v LIU Brooklyn

Morehead State coach Sean Woods pushes player to tears with bench outburst


I don’t know the story behind the relationship that Morehead State head coach Sean Woods has with anyone on his team.

And frankly, I don’t care about it.

For all I know, Devon Atkinson could be the biggest pain in the you know what that Woods has ever coached. He could talk back. He could curse out his coach. He might kick puppies. He could even use the last of the milk in his morning cereal and put the empty carton back into the fridge.

I don’t know. And neither do you.

Which is why Woods’ reaction on the bench during Morehead State’s 81-70 loss to is so problematic.

FOR VIDEO: Click here.

If you haven’t seen it yet, Woods nearly reduced Atkinson to tears on Wednesday night. During a timeout at the 5:51 mark, Woods shoved Atkinson towards the team huddle and then twice went nose-to-nose with the player, screaming at him.

Personally, I don’t have a huge issue with this. Did Woods go too far here? Probably, yes. Is Woods a guy that I would want to play for? No. Would it be the style that I coached in? Probably not. But this Morehead State team is one that thrives on hustle and energy, and it’s not crazy to think that they thrive on their fiery head coach for that. Every athlete has, at some point in their life, played for a ‘screamer’. You deal with it.

The bigger issue is that this is going to be the topic of conversation coming out of this game. Case in point: this post. I’m 250 words into the post, and I’m just now mentioning the fact that for 30 minutes on Wednesday night, Morehead State took it to Kentucky in Rupp. It was a sensational performance that included a 16-0 run in the first half. The Eagles weren’t able to hold on to complete the upset, but that’s expected.

They’re Morehead State.

And they were playing Kentucky.

But their performance was admirable, to say the least.

And it’s going to get buried by the mountain of criticism that Woods will receive because he pushed a player to the brink of tears on the bench.

Rob Dauster is the editor of the college basketball website Ballin’ is a Habit. You can find him on twitter @robdauster.

Marcus Paige, Joel Berry lead No. 9 North Carolina past No. 2 Maryland

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CHAPEL HILL, N.C. — He’s back.

For the first time this season — and for the first time in more than a year that he hasn’t been hampered with some kind of foot or ankle injury — Marcus Paige donned a North Carolina jersey, and it didn’t take him long to find the form that made him the Preseason National Player of the Year.

On the first Tar Heel possession, Paige came off of a ball-screen, drove the lane and found Kennedy Meeks at the rim for a layup. Not 30 seconds later, he came off of a down screen and buried a three. Paige would finish with 20 points and five assists as No. 9 North Carolina put together a fairly resounding win over No. 2 Maryland in the Dean Dome on Tuesday night, winning 89-81.

Paige finished 7-for-12 from the floor and 4-for-5 from beyond the arc, hitting a number of threes in the second half that helped hold off a Maryland push sparked by their own all-american point guard, Melo Trimble.

Trimble was erratic early on, committing three turnovers in the first six minutes and eight on the night, but it was his play at the end of the first half and early second half that kept North Carolina from blowing their doors. At one point, Maryland was down 32-19 and in danger of getting run out of Tobacco Road.

In total, Trimble finished with 23 points and 12 assists, hitting four big threes during that stretch. He either scored or assisted on 11 of Maryland’s first 12 second half field goals.

As good as Paige was, the bigger story may actually be Joel Berry II. He took two dumb threes in the first half — which played a role in Maryland being able to make this a game — and he missed a few free throws late, but overall he was terrific. He finished with 14 points and five assists, making 3-of-5 threes and turning the ball over just twice. He’s clearly beat Nate Britt out at the point guard spot, and his ability to take pressure off of Paige as a secondary ball-handler and playmaker is huge.

(More to come from Chapel Hill…)

VIDEO: Melo Trimble drops Nate Britt with a crossover

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North Carolina is hosting No. 2 Maryland in a heated contest in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge. Terps sophomore guard Melo Trimble is playing very well and part of his performance was dropping North Carolina’s Nate Britt with a crossover in the second half.

(H/T: The Cauldron)