UK Basketball: Morehead State coach Sean Woods criticizes 'vibe' of current UK players
Former Kentucky player Sean Woods brought his Mississippi Valley State team to Rupp Arena two seasons ago. Woods, who now coaches at Morehead State and brings the Eagles to Rupp Arena on Wednesday, was critical of the ¿vibe¿ of current UK players, saying they had no sense of history around the program. (Victoria Graff / November 20, 2012)
But during a teleconference Monday leading into Morehead State’s game at Kentucky on Wednesday night, the first-year Morehead made some comments that he might wish were a bit more forgettable.
He was asked about UK¿freshman Willie Cauley-Stein of Kansas saying before the UK-Duke game that he did not know Laettner.
“You know what, that doesn’t surprise me because kids nowadays are different. When I was growing up I never once saw Wilt Chamberlin play, but I could tell you everything about him. Earl Monroe was way before my time, but I could tell you a lot about him,” said Woods, an Indiana native. “Kids nowadays play too many video games. I’m just being honest with you. They don’t get it. They play basketball, but they don’t know what basketball is.
“They are very fortunate. We live in a microwave society now, and it’s a shame that kids don’t know the history. I walked into a deal the other day, with that telethon at WKYT (to raise money for Hurricane Sandy victims) — I didn’t like the vibe. I’m just going to be honest with you. With those guys — it’s just totally different now. And it’s not anyone’s fault, it just the way society is now.
“I bet you any type of money, beside the kids that are from the Kentucky that are on UK’s team, couldn’t tell you anything about one player in the history of Kentucky basketball. When I walked through that door, I knew about every player, almost everything history-wise about Kentucky basketball, but these kids don’t. It’s a shame, but that’s just how society is.”
Bad vibe from the UK¿players helping answer telephones to take calls to donate to charity from an event that ended up raising about $1 million? What did he not like to get such a bad vibe?
“They didn’t seem like Kentucky basketball players to me … and I’ll leave it at that,” Woods said.
Then he didn’t leave it at that.
“I’m a Kentucky basketball player through and through, and there is just a certain aura about you. Like I told you before, these kids these days are just so different. When I was coming up, we were humble. I think because of the success Cal has created, which is not a bad thing — it is a great thing. It just let’s you know where Kentucky basketball is right now,” Woods, who led Mississippi Valley State to last year’s NCAA Tournament, said.
“I am just one of those kids that is a blue-blooded Kentucky guy at heart. There’s just a certain way and a certain look that Kentucky basketball players have, and not have such a sense of entitlement. I think today it is still an honor to wear that uniform. Even though they are coming in one-and-done, what Cal’s created — it’s the only university that it’s happened on a consistent basis. North Carolina’s not doing that all the time, Kansas isn’t doing that all the time and Kentucky is. That’s what sets Kentucky apart from everyone else in the United States.
“I think these kids should be more appreciative coming through here wearing that uniform, knowing that six months that you are going to be an instant millionaire. But still, you went through there and it helped you become who you are during those six, seven or eight months.”
About two hours after the teleconference, Woods posted several messages on Twitter about his comments saying he did not mean to “offend or insult” players or coach John Calipari.
“Simply an observation of today’s youth everywhere. I greatly admire Coach Cal and what he has done for the University of Kentucky and college basketball,” Woods said in his tweets. “I will always be proud to have worn a Kentucky Wildcat uniform and to be the head coach at Morehead State University.”