After doing what he needed to do from a fitness standpoint to earn a spot in Donnie Tyndall’s rotation, Tennessee sophomore center Dominic Woodson took a step back in recent weeks. Woodson, who played at Memphis last year before transferring to Tennessee, sat out the team’s 65-64 win over Kansas State due to a need to focus on his academics and wasn’t expected to play against No. 15 Butler on Sunday.
According to an announcement from the school Woodson has played his final game at Tennessee, as he’s decided to transfer.
“Dominic has informed me that he wants to transfer to a school where he can have a larger role on the basketball court,” Tyndall said in the release announcing the move. “We appreciate Dom’s contributions and wish him well in his future endeavors.”
Woodson averaged 3.5 points and 2.0 rebounds in 12 minutes of action per game this season. Tennessee was short on interior depth with Woodson in the fold, and that’s something Tyndall and his staff have worked to account for. Armani Moore (6.7 rpg) and Jabari McGhee (4.3) are two of the team’s top three rebounders, with versatile senior guard second with an average of 4.5 rebounds per game, and Willie Carmichael has also factored into the front court rotation.
Where Woodson’s lands next remains to be seen, but his young college career has been an eventful one even with the limited production. Woodson originally committed to Baylor before winding up at Memphis, and his next school will be the third he’s played for.
Tennessee will be without big man Dominic Woodson for another week as the 6-foot-10, 280-pound center will focus on academics some more after missing the previous week.
Head coach Donnie Tyndall spoke to Ben Fredricksen of Knox News and the coach spoke about Woodson’s status.
“He finishes up finals I believe on Thursday,” Tyndall said. “And then we will have a better feel for where everything stands at that time.”
Tyndall did not comment on whether Woodson would be able to play on Saturday when the Volunteers host No. 15 Butler. It’s nice to see that the sophomore has to focus on academics, but we’ll see if he ends up sitting out the Butler game like he did in Tennessee’s close win over Kansas State.
Woodson has been excused from team activities and averages 3.5 points and 2 rebounds per game in 12 minutes per game so far this season. The Memphis transfer hasn’t been as big of an impact as anticipated, but he remains talented with great natural size.
Dominic Woodson’s path into Donnie Tyndall’s rotation was one that didn’t lack for challenges upon his joining the Tennessee program. Not only did Woodson have to receive a waiver from the NCAA that would allow him to play immediately, but he also had to lose enough weight to get into the physical condition Tyndall demanded of him.
Woodson was able to reach the benchmarks set in front of him, playing 20 minutes in the Volunteers’ season-opening loss to VCU Friday night. Unfortunately Woodson suffered a left hand injury during practice on Sunday, and according to Ben Frederickson of the Knoxville News-Sentinel the 6-foot-10 forward will miss the team’s home opener against Texas Southern Thursday night.
Against VCU, Woodson accounted for four points, five rebounds, two steals and a blocked shot. Armani Moore and Derek Reese started in the front court for Tennessee Friday night, producing a combined 12 points and 13 rebounds. Jabari McGee played 12 minutes off the bench, accounting for seven points and six rebounds before fouling out.
With Woodson sidelined, one would expect some more playing time for McGee (provided he stays out of foul trouble) against Texas Southern. That could also be the case for Willie Carmichael, who played just four minutes against VCU.