After longtime NBA player and coach Mike Dunleavy was fired from Tulane in March, four-star combo guard Elijah Wood decommitted from the basketball program.
The next two months was a “stressful and hard process,” Wood tweeted Monday, while adding that everything happens for a reason.
With that, the Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School (Maryland) player announced his commitment to Rhode Island.
“Ever since Coach (David) Cox and staff came to Rhode Island they have had nothing but winning history and March Madness appearances and I want to be apart of that history,” Wood told Stockrisers.
Cox picks up his highest-ranked recruit as a head coach. Wood is ranked by 247Sports as the No. 9 combo guard and No. 104 player in the country.
— N4L (@The301elijah) May 27, 2019
Wood’s attribution to Cox’s winning streak doesn’t mean the coach’s first year at the helm of Rhode Island. Last year, the Rams went 18-15 and missed out on the tournament.
Instead, he’s likely referring to the years prior, since Cox joined the staff in 2014. Over those four seasons, the team made two NCAA Tournaments — winning a game in both — and an NIT appearance.
The 91 wins is the most over a four-year span in team history, according to the university.
Rhode Island had not achieved a record .500 or better in the three years prior to Cox joining the staff.
Wood joining the fray is the most recent step for Cox to get back to the tournament sooner rather than later.