Adam Woodbury comes back to haunt Tar Heels

Rick Brown

Iowa Hawkeyes center Adam Woodbury (34) with the ball as North Carolina Tar Heels forward Jackson Simmons (21) and guard Marcus Paige (5) and forward J.P. Tokoto (13) defend in the second half. The Iowa Hawkeyes defeated the North Carolina Tar Heels 60-55 at Dean E. Smith Center.

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – Adam Woodbury is known as the one who got away. The one recruit who decided to say no to Roy Williams and stay home.

Williams has made a killing in recruiting raids on Iowa, successfully luring Raef LaFrentz, Nick Collison and Kirk Hinrich to Kansas and Harrison Barnes and Marcus Paige to North Carolina.

Williams recruited Woodbury out of Sioux City East, too. But the 7-foot-1 junior said no to Williams' scholarship offer and elected to stay home and play for Iowa.

Wednesday night they crossed paths at the Smith Center. And Woodbury had the bigger smile on his face after Iowa knocked off the 12th-ranked Tar Heels, 60-55.

Williams sold Woodbury on North Carolina's tradition, the all-American jerseys of greats like Michael Jordan and James Worthy hanging from the rafters, the five NCAA titles. On Wednesday, Woodbury went out for a little of his own history.

"Coach Williams is a helluva coach, no question," Woodbury said after scoring 11 points and adding seven rebounds in the victory. "I have a lot of respect for him. To come here and get a big-time win, with all the people that said I shouldn't have come (to Iowa) … I think this win shows why I did come here, and why we play this game so hard."

Woodbury had a frustrating first half, picking up two fouls and playing just 8 minutes. He had no points and two rebounds at halftime.

"That first half was really tough on me," Woodbury said. "Coach (Andrew) Francis told me to stay with it because we still had the whole second half left."

Woodbury got his first field goal of the game on a tip-in with just over 17 minutes remaining.

"That tip-in got me going," Woodbury said.

Woodbury added three more field goals in the final 7:30 of the game.

"We've got a four-point lead, I think, 47-43," Williams said. "Then Adam Woodbury makes three baskets in a row."

OLASENI DELAYS PLANS: Iowa center Gabe Olaseni, who was expected to fly to London, England, today for his father's services, returned to Iowa City with the team. Benson Olaseni passed away Nov. 26. His services will now be later in December.

Olaseni played well off the bench for a third straight time since his father's passing, scoring seven points and adding five rebounds.

"Gabe was real emotional," Woodbury said of Iowa's postgame celebration in the locker room. "I think we got this one for his dad. That was big. The way he played in that first half was pretty impressive. He's shown his character the last three times we've played."