A couple weeks after it was announced that Dominic Woodson, who played sparingly last season at Memphis, joined the Tennessee program head coach Donnie Tyndall made it known that the 6-foot-10 center needed to lose weight if he wanted to see the court. In early September Woodson weighed 295 pounds according to Ben Frederickson of the Knoxville News-Sentinel, with Tyndall wanting his new addition to play at 270.
Reach that weight, and if the NCAA grants Woodson’s request for a run-off waiver that would allow him to play immediately, and the former five-star prospect would figure prominently in the Volunteers’ plans in 2014-15. Fail to do so and Woodson wouldn’t get to play regardless of the outcome of his waiver request, with Tyndall vowing to redshirt him if that were the case.
“The decision won’t be made for about a month,” Tyndall said before the Donnie Tyndall Classic at Williams Creek golf course. “If he doesn’t lose the weight and get in shape, we will redshirt him. If he can somehow get himself in shape, and that’s part of our job, but I’m not a miracle worker. He has to do his part. If he does his part and gets to where he needs to be, then we will plan to play him. Otherwise, it would be a waste of a year if his conditioning doesn’t improve.”
Friday afternoon Tennessee strength and conditioning coach Todd Moyer sent out a tweet of Woodson working hard in the weight room, also stating that Woodson has lost 20 pounds in five weeks.
The Volunteers don’t have much experience in the front court this season, with the burly tandem of Jarnell Stokes and Jeronne Maymon both having moved on after helping lead Tennessee to the Sweet 16 in 2013-14. Their most experienced returnee amongst the forwards is junior small forward Armani Moore, who started 16 games and averaged 2.4 points per contest last season.
With that being the case the Volunteers can certainly use Woodson, and despite the issues that plagued him during his lone season at Memphis he’s a talented player who can be productive when focused. And while the program waits for an answer regarding his request for the run-off waiver, Woodson’s apparently worked to be prepared to help Tennessee should the request be granted.