MBB: Wake Forest grad transfer PG Keyshawn Woods commits to OSU

Submitted by Bambi on April 25th, 2018 at 12:29 AM

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Woods will be eligible immediately after starting his career at Charlotte and playing the last two years at Wake Forest. His best year was in 2016-2017 when he started 22 games and averaged 12.5 PPG, 4.2 RPG and 3.5 APG with a 117.7 ORTG on a 50/44/76 shooting split.

This past year he started only 5 games on an 11-20 Wake team and played less minutes than he did his freshman year at Charlotte. He dropped to 11.5 PPG, 2.5 RPG and 1.9 APG on a 44/37/85 shooting split. His ORTG dropped to 106.9 (97.5 against top 100 teams and 93.4 against top 50) on 22.7 USG. According to Torvik he's a below average rebounder, has a below average steal and block rate and doesn't get to the line. He will likely be competing for a starting guard spot, potentially as the PG, at OSU.

As has been discussed many times before, OSU is losing a lot from last years basketball team that over achieved in its first year under Holtmann. They're losing 3 starters including B1G POY Keita Bates-Diop as well as Andrew Dakich. While Woods is a better pickup than Dakich as a grad transfer, this doesn't really move the needle much for me. He didn't start on a crappy Wake Forest team, isn't a great scorer or distributor, and is going to be asked to be a major ball handler for OSU. While you can definitely do worse than him, I expect Woods to be a thoroughly average player at best for OSU.

OSU returns only 6 scholarship players and brings in 6 more as of now between Woods, FSU transfer PG CJ Walker (not elgibile this year) and 4 incoming freshman. Look for OSU to try and bring in one more transfer, probably another grad guard/wing guy, this offseason.


Gentleman Squirrels

April 25th, 2018 at 1:07 AM ^

I can see OSU relying on their freshman heavily this year. They're probably going to struggle initially but Holtmann's a good coach and he made a lot out of nothing this year. I can see them finish strong even if they have an average record. They're also starting to recruit better so OSU will probably be back as a constant in the upper echelon of big ten teams. But I have faith in Beilein to have our team be ready for them.


April 25th, 2018 at 2:22 AM ^

seems like last year we had frequent posts like this that were all LOL they took Dakich, and LOL they lost this guy or that guy and then look what they did.

CJ Jackson was their starting PG and he returns.  This guy is going to replace Dakich's minutes as the backup and be a likely upgrade.  The Wesson bros are decent players and they have some workable pieces in Potter, Young and Jallow, plus some good incoming freshmen.

I'm not writing off a Holtmann team until I see it.  I think you're spot on that they'll probably struggle early but I would not be surprised if they make a run towards a winning conference record and potentially making the tournament by the end of the year.

Leaders And Best

April 25th, 2018 at 1:02 PM ^

Holtmann worked some magic this year, but no one could forecast Keita Bates-Diop because he was out for almost all of 2016-17. If you take Bates-Diop off of this year's OSU team, I think they still look a lot like last year's team. The cupboard wasn't completely bare: Bates-Diop and Jaesean Tate were both highly recruited seniors that were prioritized by Beilein & Michigan during their recruitment.

I think Woods is going to start for them BTW unless one of their freshmen kill it in the fall. He replaces Kam Williams more than Dakich. I still think their team will take a small step back unless one of their freshmen can become a high usage player. They will benefit by the fact that it should be another down year in the B1G.


April 25th, 2018 at 7:15 PM ^

deserves at least a little bit of credit for KBD's season.  You have to be doing something right from a coaching standpoint to turn a good player into the B1G player of the year, especially when you have to coach around having Andrew Dakich on the floor for nearly half the team's minutes.

Also, they wouldn't look like last year's team without him because last years team was 99th in the country on defense.  This year's was 15th.  That wasn't all KBD.  That was coaching and the defensive improvement was the primary reason for the team's improvement.

No way a backup PG from a bad team comes in and plays a lot of minutes at the 2.  They have two freshmen coming in at SG who don't have to "kill" it to play over him.  Between those two, Musa Jallow and Andre Wesson they'll figure out an acceptable 2 guard.  Those are better options than Woods.  Not ideal options but neither was playing Andrew Dakich last year.


April 25th, 2018 at 7:56 AM ^

Holtmann is a very good coach. Turning last year's OSU team into a 5 seed and B1G title contender was incredible.

That being said he doesn't have a guy like Bates-Diop who missed the entire previous year to injury coming back. I don't see another B1G POY on that roster. I think they should definitely find their way into the tourney, but even in a weak B1G I don't see them as title contenders.

uncle leo

April 25th, 2018 at 9:22 AM ^

I hear everyone saying that all the time, and I just don't think there is enough evidence to support the sentiment. He took over a program that Brad Stevens turned into a giant and basically kept them at the same relative level. 

He had Gardner Webb playing well in his 3rd year, but that's really not saying a whole lot. They lost in the semis of a pretty crappy league.

He did very well with OSU, but they were pretty damn talented with Bates Diop and Tate. Those seniors could have carried a lot of the team with a lot of other coaches on the sideline.

IMO, jury is still out on Holtmann. People tend to jump the gun about things. If in five years he has OSU playing at an elite level, fine. 



April 25th, 2018 at 10:44 AM ^

Yeah, I think OSU wasn't as devoid of talent last year as many make them out to be. It's just that Motta had them playing so far below their potential that people weren't realizing what was actually possible or what the actual talent level was.


April 25th, 2018 at 10:51 AM ^

You're wildly underselling what Holtmann did at Butler. Sure Stevens put them on the map, but you're acting like maintaining a program like Holtmann did is easy. Most of the time when a program like Butler has their head coach leave, the program collapses.

Look at VCU - Shaka Smart puts them on the map and leaves for Texas. Will Wade maintains that for two years, goes to LSU and looks to be in position to turn that program around. Then this past year, in their third year after Smart, they go 18-15, 9-9 in conference and miss the tournament.

Look at George Mason - Jim Larranaga is there for over a decade. He puts that program on the map, brings them to the Final Four, stays another 5 years and leaves after a year where they go to the second round of the NCAA Tournament. 7 years later and George Mason has yet to go back to the tournament.

When you go to a school like Butler maintaining what previous, short-term success is incredibly hard to do. Stevens was only there 6 years. That's not enough time to turn a school like Butler into a perennial tournament team. To continue that success you need another very good coach, or else you'll fall back to irrelevance.

This is all also ignoring the fact that Butler jumped to the Big East right after Stevens left. So not only did Holtmann maintain this success, he did it in a power conference. Also the year after Stevens, Butler's first in the Big East left Butler had a different coach who went 14-17, 4-14 in conference and obviously missed the tournament. Enter Holtmann and in his first year Butler is in the top 25 and the tournament.

And on top of all this you're downplaying his success this past year at OSU. He took a team coming off 2 straight years missing the tournament, with Andrew Dakich playing 47% of minutes, to the tournament as a 5 seed and was 2 games away from winning the B1G. We struggled when Dakich was playing 6% of available minutes. Holtmann succeeded with Dakich playing almost half the game every time out.

Yes he had two good seniors in Tate and Bates-Diop. Like I said, his success was slightly over stated this past year because Bates-Diop missed last year which made Matta's team look worse and decreased expectations for the team this year. That being said, Bates-Diop was not the same player under Matta that he was under Holtmann. He went from a 12 PPG player to almost 20 while improving his 3P%, rebounding and defense. Part of that is him being healthy/older than before, part of that goes to Holtmann.

And once again, OSU was a shit show last year. He had 10 rotation players of which 3 were freshman and one was Dakich. 3 of the 4 best players from an already bad 2016-2017 team left when Holtmann got to OSU, the entire recruiting class from 2015 for OSU (which was top 5/10 nationally) was gone, and he had a short offseason at OSU since he was hired in June.

Is Holtmann guaranteed to succeed? No, he might very well underwhelm at OSU. But I wouldn't bet on it. He's proven already he is a very good coach.

uncle leo

April 25th, 2018 at 11:02 AM ^

I'm really not underselling what he did at Butler.

From 2005 till 2014 when he took over:









14-17 (Brandon Miller)

Butler was established as a fantastic, mid-major program for the entire last decade. And he kept them at that decent level for three years. He was 23-11, 22-11, and 25-9. That was about the average established for the program. You need to go back and look at Larranaga's years with GM. They had ONE great run. Other than that, they were never any type of threat or established power.

I'm sorry man, you can sell me as much as you want on Holtmann. He doesn't have enough meat on his resume yet before we call him the next coming. I need more evidence.

As I said, we have this tendency to just overreact and flip out with short sample sizes. I want to see how he does it, for a long period, against top competition.


April 25th, 2018 at 11:32 AM ^

Holtmann kept Butler at basically the same level as Brad Stevens, record-wise, while competing in a much tougher league. (Yes, in Stevens's last season, Butler jumped to the A10 before the new Big East was created.)

Also, I think you are inflating what people are saying about Holtmann. Bambi called him "very good" and I think most declarations of his coaching ability around here have fallen somewhere between "good" and "very good." The coaching job he did this past season has been described with more superlatives but I think his overall ability has been described pretty accurately.


April 25th, 2018 at 11:51 AM ^

Agreed entirely with what MH20 said. What he did was the "average" for Butler, but that was when Butler was in the Horizon. Doing that same "average" but in a Power conference is a completely different story. 

I'm also confused as to how you're ignoring the Miller year, which was the previous year in the Big East, when framing Holtmann's achievements yet are arguing that what Todd Lickliter did in the early/mid 2000s matters. If it's as easy to continue success as you're saying, why did Miller immediately flop while Holtmann immediately succeeded? That has to do with the quality coach you are. Holtmann has coached 4 years at a power conference, and had success in all 4 years while generally coaching at a talent defeciency. How long is enough evidence?

And once again, as MH20 said, I'm not saying Holtmann is a very good coach. This past season was an incredible job by him. I'm not saying he's the best coach in the conference or Michigan needs to run and hide or something like that, just that he's a very good coach. Similarly I'm not trying to convince you or sell you on his ability. You're saying you need more evidence, which is fine, and I'm saying we only have 4 years to judge his coaching ability on. And in those 4 years he's been a very good coach. So I see him as a very good coach.

uncle leo

April 25th, 2018 at 12:12 PM ^

You are confusing the hell out of me. In your first post you said:

"Holtmann is a very good coach."

And in this post you said:

"I'm not saying Holtmann is a very good coach."

And then in your last sentence:

"I see him as a very good coach.:"


He did a good job with OSU. I wouldn't call it an incredible job. That was a senior laden team that had some ready-made guys who could step up and carry the torch. Dakich didn't even average a full 20 minutes a game. He just needed to go out there and pass the ball around to the other guys who could make the plays.

He did fine with Butler. He carried a torch that was pretty well established. Miller coached one damn season in his life.

Whether or not he does that at OSU remains to be seen. I understand it's hard for me for anyone to predict out that far. But there's plenty of talk about what a wonderful coach is (not just in this post), and I think people need to pump the brakes and let things play out a bit. 



April 25th, 2018 at 12:25 PM ^

Yeah that was a typo on my end. First sentence should read I am saying, not I'm not saying. Tripped myself up there. To clarify, I do think he is a very good coach.

Yes, that team had 3 seniors starting (counting 4th year KBD) on it. But being a senior laden team doesn't magically make you better. Tate was about the same player this year he was last year on a very bad OSU team. Williams was about the same player he was on the 2015-2016 OSU team that also missed the tournament. KBD was the only guy who was significantly different as a senior, and once again Holtmann should get credit for that. Saying they had 3 seniors so Holtmann's job isn't impressive, while the same seniors were the core of mediocre to bad teams without Holtmann, seems like lazy analysis and a cop out.

Your analysis of the Dakich situation is also dismissive. We know first hand what a liability the guy is. You even said, all he could do is go out there and pass the ball to other players who could make plays. They were essentially playing 4 on 5 offensively for half the game! How is it not insanely impressive to almost win the B1G doing that? "Dakich didn't even average a full 20 minutes a game" You're acting like barely averaging under 20 MPG isn't a ton in college basketball. He averaged more minutes than Jordan Poole did for Michigan. We saw how much Michigan struggled when Dakich was on the court for 5 minutes a game, now imagine doing that for half the game. It makes no sense.

Saying you want to see more of him is fine. I just think after 4 good to very good years of coaching at power conferences, it's pretty clear what Holtmann is. I don't see how 4 years isn't enough for a coach but when you have a team "full of seniors" (4th year guys) that means the players are automatically great and we know exactly who those players are.


April 25th, 2018 at 11:03 AM ^

I heard similar talk about Mark Few just riding Dan Monson's coattails at Gonzaga.  After a few years (no pun intended), that talk died down and folks realized he was a good coach.  He almost won a conference title with Dakich playing major minutes. 

He's a good coach that I hope loses every recruiting battle and has to mine for grad transfers every year.


April 25th, 2018 at 7:20 AM ^

They need guard depth in a bad way. Heard they were trying to court CJ Baird as a transfer too. That’s a joke. But Woods should step into minutes right away and at the least provide some shooting.


April 25th, 2018 at 7:32 AM ^

As someone who lives in Winston-Salem and been to a couple dozen Wake games in the last two years here’s a brief rundown of his game.

He’s really struggled with injuries for the past couple seasons, especially this past year. Woods is not a PG. He’s a 2. His ball skills aren’t great. He’s more of a “just a shooter” 2 than someone who’s going to take you off the bounce to the hoop. When healthy, he’s a solid catch-and-shoot guy. Certainly someone to close out on. He’s a solid passer but not really someone you’re going to run the offense through. Defensively he’s a liability (as was everyone on Wake sans Doral Moore tbh). He doesn’t have great lateral quickness and is susceptible to a blow by.

Overall, this is a solid pickup for OSU. He’s going to provide quality depth at a position of need. He’s a quality shooter who can score in bunches if left open, but he’s not a guy who can take over a game, or score multiple ways. He’s too jump shot reliant.