Tuesday, June 5, 2007
Reluctanly, Greg Oden Doesn't Suck... That Bad
As the season winds down and the draft approaches, focus changes from whining NBA superstars to future whining NBA superstars. Enter, Greg Oden. I, for one, never really liked this kid. Is it his Neanderthal-like facial structure? The fact that he has the same disease as Robin Williams in "Jack" allowing him to play college ball as a 40-year-old man? No, actually it was just all the hype, from endless high school scout chatter to his glorified performance with the Buckeyes. For instance, despite getting more fouls than points until the last few minutes, Oden was anointed Ohio State’s savior when they beat Tennessee because of a last minute block. Admittedly, he was a pretty decent freshman, but I find it hard to believe he deserved all the recognition he got.
But all this said, inevitably Greg Oden will find success in the NBA. He’ll most likely be selected first, maybe second, and he’ll be bullied by Shaq for a few years but eventually find a place amongst the elite big men. What changed my mind about Greg Oden? Well, it was partially his dope beard, but it was mostly the following:
According to http://myespn.go.com/nba/truehoop, Oden out preformed most guards in pre-draft camp. He’s 257 pounds, 7 feet tall and he’s got a reach of 9’4”, with a 32 inch vertical to boot. But on top of his big man stature, he managed to run the 3/4 court sprint in 3.27 seconds, and the lane agility drill in 11.67 seconds. These times don’t really say anything about his speed or agility until you know that his 3/4 court time was only 7/100ths of a second slower than Ducks’ guard Aaron Brooks and that he beat Durant in both the agility drill and sprint. He’s also got a 7.8 body-fat percentage, while you’ll find that most big men are north of 12 percent.
Don’t get me wrong, Oden is still overrated, but at least he’s not the one-dimensional big guy I thought he was. His footwork, speed, 257 pounds of straight muscle and his unbelievable height make him an actually interesting prospect. Hopefully, Oden will have a right wrist come his NBA debut.