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1.
A 7 foot 240 pound center from Lawrence North High School in Indiana. He has been the consensus number one player in the class of 2006 at any position for a little over two years. As a senior he averaged 19.9 points, over 10 rebounds, and slightly less than 10 blocks per game. He played AAU ball for a dominant Spiece Indy Heat time that included his good friend and high school teammate Mike Conley, the top senior from Ohio Daequan Cook, and a number of other top prospects from the Midwest. After Cook committed to Ohio State University his junior year he recruited Conley and Oden to the school to join him with new head coach Thad Matta. Oden and Conley ultimately chose to join their friend Cook at Ohio State along with fellow recruits David Lighty from Cleveland and junior college standout Othello Hunter from North Carolina to form one of the great recruiting classes in basketball history. Matta, who most recently coached at Xavier used his ties from his tenure as Butler head coach to cultivate a relationship with the Indiana big man and eventually got his commitment.
Greg Oden is widely regarded as a one year player who will bolt to the NBA after one collegiate season, however, if you asked him he would tell you that he was focusing on his education. What makes Greg Oden so impressive is that he really does genuinely want to learn as his teachers and coaches attest. He is very family oriented and his mother is a major figure in his life. Matta's clean approach to recruiting really fit with Oden's values.
Oden is a once in a generation center prospect due to his athleticism, length, and desire to improve. His feel for the game, timing, and the fact that he dunks whenever he can makes him extremely effective around the rim. He has led his high school and AAU squads to numerous championships and has garnered a number of honors including being named to the McDonald's All-American game and the EA Sport Roundball Classic.
Oden would have been the first overall pick in the 2006 draft had the NBA not instituted an age limit. Many people compare his success to that of Kareem Abdul-Jabaar, but this isn't fair to either due to the differences in their respective playing styles. If Oden developed an offensive repertoire that included Kareem's hook he could go down as one of the best players of all time, but for now he'll need to hone his offensive skills before making a run at super stardom. Has a chance to be special.
His little brother also plays for Lawrence North but is not really held in the same regard on the court. He is the first piece in Matta's OSU basketball dynasty and his commitment has clearly influenced the programs success with prospects in the 2007 and 2008 classes.
If the Knicks win the 2007 NBA draft lottery then the Bulls get Greg Oden all because of Isiah trading for Eddy Curry.

Greg Oden has the great attitude to match his nearly unparalleled potential.

Greg Oden has next, but OJ Mayo has been calling shotgun since LeBron's senior year.
by Matt ZK June 06, 2006
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