Morehead State head coach Sean Woods (US Presswire)
(USA Today) -- Morehead State was on the verge of pulling off the biggest upset of the season on Wednesday night, leading in-state foe Kentucky in the second half before the seventh-ranked Wildcats pulled away in the closing minutes.
Sean Woods, the Eagles' first-year coach, a former Kentucky player, was back in Lexington and could taste a colossal upset victory over his alma mater.
But as it all started to crumble for the mid-major school against John Calipari's highly-touted freshmen squad, Woods lost his cool and took his frustration out on point guard Devon Atkinson, yelling furiously and appearing to shove the senior player.
An exchange between Woods and Atkinson was shown on television and Atkinson then appeared to be fighting back tears, leaving Fox Sports South announcers to pause awkwardly.
Woods now could be facing disciplinary action for the incident. Athletic department spokesman Matt Segal told USA TODAY Sports Thursday afternoon that the situation is being discussed internally but would not comment further on the incident. If any disciplinary action is taken, it is anticipated to be announced on Friday.
Atkinson fouled out with 5:51 remaining in the game, and that's when Woods unleashed on him. Woods told the Lexington Herald Leader after the game he was attempting to "calm him down and figure out a way to cheer your teammates on."
Woods' clearly has an in-your-face coaching style. In a Nov. 12 game against Maryland, Woods was seen yelling at junior center Chad Posthumus on the sideline.
And this isn't the first time Woods was in the news at Morehead State, after evoking headlines when he criticized Kentucky players who didn't know history of the 1992 "shot" by Christian Laettner.
Most Morehead State players have seemed to get used to their new coach's style.
"It doesn't make us uncomfortable," junior forward Drew Kelly said after the Eagles' loss to Kentucky Wednesday. "We can handle it and it makes us better."
Woods, who led Mississippi Valley State to last year's NCAA tournament before arriving at Morehead State, said he wants his team to reflect his intense personality.
"How did they look tonight? They look just like me, right?" Woods said. "They see me every day and that's how we're going to be every day. We're going to fight. ...
"Every day we step out in practice and in games, we have got to have a chip on our shoulders that we have something to prove."