Greg Oden Player Profile: Road to the 2007 NBA Draft
The towering giant might fool some with his soft-spoken and humble demeanor off the court, but to those who watched him lead the Ohio State Buckeyes to the NCAA Championship game saw an intense and intimidating force to be reckoned with in the paint.
A center like Oden only comes around once every 10 years or so. He already has an NBA body at only 19 years of age and he's incredibly athletic. He knows how to get post position and is a constant worker on and off the court.
Not the best offensive player, but his post game has already shown vast improvement. He's been regarded as a perfectionist, so barring major injury, it's safe to guess he'll only get much, much better as he continues to develop.
He's an imposing shot blocker and knows how to protect the paint. He also has excellent lateral quickness in order to be a top-flight shot blocker and help defender. Has soft hands and is an excellent rebounder.
He plays with a lot of intelligence on the court and shows great character off the court as well as on.
Oden isn't the best offensive player yet. He lacks a lot of polish and has a limited arsenol of post moves. He needs to develop more of a jump shot, as well. He sometimes shies away from combat from more physical players.
He needs to play more aggressively at a more consistent rate. He defers to teammates too often. He relies too much on athleticism at this point and often gets into foul trouble.
The real thing to remember about Oden is that he's 19 years old. However, compare his freshman statistics at Ohio State with freshman year statistics of other star centers and it's apparent that Oden's right on track.
- Greg Oden's freshman year (Ohio State): 15.7 ppg, 9.6 rbpg, 3.3 bspg
- Tim Duncan's freshman year (Wake Forest): 9.8 ppg, 9.6 rbpg, 3.8 bspg
- Shaquille O'Neal's freshman year (Lousianna State): 13.9 ppg, 12.0ppg, 3.6 bspg
- Patrick Ewing's freshman year (Georgetown): 12.7 ppg, 7.5 rbpg, 3.2 bspg
- Hakeem Olajuwon's freshman year (Houston): 8.3 ppg, 6.9 rbpg, 2.5 bspg
- Alonzo Mourning's freshman year (Georgetown): 13.1 ppg, 7.3 rbpg, 5.0 bspg
Oden is often compared to Patrick Ewing, who was a defensive minded center who developed his offensive game in his early years in the NBA. Oden is a defensive center who's a little rough around the edges on offense, but has an invisible ceiling in terms of potential.
Wherever he ends up in the upcoming NBA Draft, he's going to make an immediate impact and improve that team for many years to come.