Adam Woodbury involved in another eye-poking incident
IOWA CITY, Ia. – Iowa center Adam Woodbury drew more undesired attention for eye-poking Sunday, and this time the incident resulted in a flagrant foul.
Woodbury was retroactively called for a flagrant-1 personal foul for what he said was an accidental poking of Maryland leading scorer Melo Trimble in the eye during Iowa's 71-55 win.
"It's part of the game, man," Woodbury said. "Sappy (Anthony Clemmons) got hit in the mouth, nobody said anything. Whitey (Aaron White) got hit in the face, nobody said anything. I get hit in the mouth and hit in the face all the time. It's just part of the game.
"Game's going a little fast, those guys are real quick. If anybody thinks I'm doing that intentional in front of that many people on that big of stage, I don't know what to say to that."
Trimble said Woodbury apologized after the game.
"I think it was just an accident," said Trimble, who played a team-high 30 minutes and scored 20 points. "He was trying to make a play on the ball and accidentally hit me in the eye."
Television replays showed Woodbury raising his left hand to Trimble's face just before the freshman tumbled to the ground and lost the basketball. Referees initially let the play go, and Iowa raced downcourt with a 5-on-4 advantage. Jarrod Uthoff buried a 3-pointer to give Iowa a 28-12 lead before officials went to the monitors.
They ruled that Woodbury's act was intentional – the definition of a flagrant-1. Uthoff's 3 stood, but Dez Wells got two free throws after the review.
"Wrong place, wrong time," Woodbury said. "Bad luck."
Woodbury drew heated criticism from ESPN analyst Dan Dakich on Jan. 20 after poking the eyes of Wisconsin players Frank Kaminsky and Nigel Hayes during the Hawkeyes' 82-50 loss in Madison, Wis. Woodbury was not called for a violation during that game, but Dakich called for Woodbury to be suspended and called the 7-foot-1 junior's actions "cowardly."
Woodbury figured Dakich might weigh in on this incident, too.
"He might say something about this one," Woodbury said. "I'm going to let that be, let it rest. See what he has to say about it."
No action came from the Big Ten Conference office from the Wisconsin incidents. Woodbury repeatedly said in following interviews that he did not intentionally use his fingers to poke the players' eyes.
Iowa coach Fran McCaffery gave little response when asked about the spurt of Woodbury eye pokes.
"Next question," McCaffery said. "Ask an intelligent question."
Asked why that wasn't an intelligent question, McCaffery responded, "Because I said so."
White had a cut over his right eye afterward. He was hit in the face by Wells while trying to make what he called a "Euro" move toward the basket late in Sunday's first half. Officials reviewed that play, too, and ruled it was a regular foul.
White said stuff like that happens all the time in college basketball.
"It's just basketball. There's no bad blood. They don't even know each other. It's no story," White said of the Woodbury incident, then chuckled. "It's just a coincidence. I can't believe Woody hit another dude in the eye. It's just a coincidence."