The Missoulain today is reporting that, Thurman Woods of Dominguez high school in Compton California signed with Montana last November will not be attending the Big Sky school. He was having some problems with the NCAA Clearing House and decided to attend a JC closer to his home town. The NCAA still have not made a final ruling on his case but Woods decided not to risk enrolling at Montana where he could be forced to redshirt if the ruling did not go his way. By going the JC route he will be assured of being able to play this year. Then depending on the result of the final NCAA ruling he maybe eligible for D-1 after only one year at the JC. If the ruling does not go his way worst case is that he would become eligible next year. Tinkle did mention, though, that the Griz may re-recruit Woods.
I saw Woods in some pick up games this summer on the Montana campus, and I really thought he could contribute as a freshman for Montana. He really gave the Griz some aggressiveness and athleticism at the small forward spot. From what I saw he was a strong enough rebounder that I thought he may even give the Griz the options of playing two small forwards with Qvale at the center spot.
I really liked what I saw of Woods this summer and he impressed me more that even the other highly rated prospect Will Cherry. Now granted Wood’s game is more suited to the pick up game environment and Cherry is trying learn the point guard spot, but woods was pretty impressive.
Losing Woods for the 2010 season will take a way some flexibility for the Griz but over all the lose can be adjusted for. Where I really think it will hurt the Griz more is down the line where I thought Woods could have easily have been a 2-3 year starter.
According to the Missoulian article Tinkle will not look to fill Woods roster spot this year but will fill it in the 2010 recruiting class. That will give the Grizzlies, barring any late minute walk-ons, 12 players this year. This may limit redshirting options to maybe one or none.