New Morehead State Coach Sean Woods promotes high-octane offense

mmaloney@herald-leader.comNovember 8, 2012 

  • Scouting report

    Coach: Sean Woods (first season; 50-80 in four seasons overall)

    Last season: 18-15, 10-6 Ohio Valley Conference (third)

    What to watch: Size, length and athleticism stand out on this team, Woods says.

    In the post, he will choose from Jason Holmes, a 6-foot-9, 225-pound senior, and Chad Posthumus, a 6-11, 270 junior-college transfer. Holmes sat out last season as a medical redshirt, and averaged 5.7 points and 3.0 rebounds in 2010-11.

    The four spot will see 6-7 returnees in redshirt junior Drew Kelly (10.2 ppt, 4.8 rpg) and senior Kahlil Owens (4.4 ppg, 4.8 ppg). Mo Lewis-Briggs can play the three or four spot, and Milt Chavis (7.9 ppg, 4.2 rpg) also plays the three.

    Shooting guards are Angelo Warner and Jarrett Stokes. When Woods goes to a four-guard look, Stokes, Devon Atkinson and Taariq Muhammad are all possibilities at the point.

    Warner, who started 16 games and averaged 6.0 points last season, prepared for a fast-paced style over the summer by running 60 miles a week, lifting weights and playing pickup games.

    "Coach is looking for me to step up in a bigger role than what I did last year," Warner said. "It's really getting fun because, as individuals, everybody has a different mind-set from last year. ... Basically (the style) is a lot more fun than what it was last year."

    Let the fun begin.

    Mark Maloney

  • Morehead State

    Mascot: Eagles Coach: Sean Woods

    Conference: Ohio Valley

    Last season: 18-15 (10-6 OVC)


    No.Name Pos. Ht. Yr. Hometown

    00 Drew Kelly F 6-7 Jr. Franklin, Tenn.

    1 Kahlil Owens F/C 6-7 Sr. Pensacola, Fla.

    2 Devon Atkinson G 6-1 Sr. Farmville, N.C.

    3Maurice Lewis-BriggsF 6-8 Jr. Norristown, Pa.

    4 Jarrett Stokes G 6-1 Jr. Smyrna, Ga.

    11Taariq MuhammadG 6-2 Jr. Norcross, Ga.

    12 Bakari Turner G 6-4 Jr. Plano, Texas

    14Jared RavenscraftG 6-2 So. Morehead

    15 Jordan Percell F 6-7 So. Campbellsville

    20Chad PosthumusC6-11Jr.Winnipeg, Manitoba

    21 Bruce Reed F 6-7 Jr. Olathe, Kan.

    22 Angelo Warner G/F 6-3 So. Orlando, Fla.

    24 Milton Chavis F 6-6 Sr. Raleigh, N.C.

    25 Karam Mashour F 6-6 Jr. Nazareth, Israel

    30 Jourdan Stickler G 6-4 Fr. Annapolis, Md.

    32Brent ArringtonG 6-2 So.Halethorpe, Md.

    33Sawyer WilliamsF 6-8 Fr. Owenton

    40 Cordell James G 6-1 Fr. Chattanooga

    42 Jason Holmes F 6-9 Sr. Elk Grove, Ill.


    Nov. 3—ST. CATHARINE; 9—a-Long Island-Brooklyn, 5:45; 12—at Maryland, 8; 15—ALICE LLOYD, 7; 18—LAFAYETTE (PA.), 2; 21—at Kentucky, 7; 26—NORFOLK ST., 7; 28—at Marshall, 7

    Dec. 1—at Wright St., 2; 5—NORTH DAKOTA ST., 7; 8—INDIANA ST., 2; 19—at South Dakota, 8; 21—at North Dakota St., 8; 28—SOUTHERN MISS., 7:30; 30—UNION, 2

    Jan. 3—SOUTHERN ILL.-EDWARDSVILLE, 7; 5—EASTERN ILL., 7:30; 9—at Austin Peay, 8; 12—at Eastern Ky., 7; 17—at Southeast Mo., 8; 19—at Tenn.-Martin, 7; 24—BELMONT, 7; 26—TENNESSEE ST., 7:30; 31—at Belmont, 8

    Feb. 2—at Jacksonville St., 5:30; 9—EASTERN KY., 7:30; 14—JACKSONVILLE ST., 7; 16—TENN. TECH, 7:30; 20—MURRAY ST., 7; 23—b-TBA; 28—at Tennessee St., 8:30

    March 2—at Tenn. Tech, 8:30; 6-9—OVC Tournament at Nashville

    a-at Brooklyn, N.Y. (Barclays Center); b-ESPN BracketBusters

There will be a whole new style of basketball at Morehead State this season.

Yet, there is something familiar to these Eagles.

Unforgettable, actually.

Sean Woods, point guard on the 1992 Kentucky team dubbed "The Unforgettables," is the first-year coach at MSU.

Transforming Morehead from the deliberate offense and zone defense successfully employed by Donnie Tyndall — now at Southern Mississippi — Woods plans to have his Eagles flying full speed.

Woods will make his Morehead debut Friday night against Long Island, a game that is part of the Barclays Center Classic in Brooklyn.

After serving on staffs at High Point, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi and Texas Christian, Woods was head coach the last four seasons at Mississippi Valley State. He led the Delta Devils to a conference title and NCAA Tournament berth last season.

As a player at UK, his mentors included Rick Pitino, Tubby Smith and Billy Donovan, all of whom have won NCAA titles as head coaches.

NCAA talk is nothing new to Morehead. Tyndall guided the Eagles to appearances in 2009 and 2011.

Drew Kelly, a redshirt junior, says the combination of those recent NCAA trips and Woods' more recent experience have the Eagles believing that they can make the field next March.

"Oh, yeah, definitely," Kelly said. "I believe there's a fine line between believing it and being confident enough that we can go out and do it, and believing it and thinking everything's going to be easy. And that's a mind-set that we can't have.

"Right now, we don't have that mind-set. We have the mind-set of we have the tools to be able to win this conference and get to the NCAA Tournament, and that's what we're working for everyday. He's done a really good job of instilling that into our minds and how we practice and how we perform and help each other get better every day."

Woods' methods are much different than Tyndall's, though, so the learning curve is significant.

"We've got a long way to go," Woods said. "Changing the culture in the way — how fast we play — compared to what they did last year. I'm a high-octane, play real fast and man-to-man, while they played all zone. So it's a work in progress."

The common thread he wants is toughness, Woods said. Mental toughness. Able to play fast or slow without turning the ball over. Ability to guard man-to-man.

"Everybody wants to play fast, but they don't know what it takes to play fast," Woods said. "So they're learning, but we're getting better every day."

Morehead returns three starters and has 13 newcomers (10 transfers, three freshmen), including Mississippi Valley State transfers Jason Holmes and Brent Arrington.

Mark Maloney: (859) 231-3229. Blog:

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