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College Basketball Recruiting

Greg Oden vs Derrick Caracter

By Mike Zink

July 14th




The fans attending the Reebok ABCD Camp in Hackensack NJ. last week had to wait until Saturday night in order to get their monies worth when 6’9 forward Derrick Caracter from St. Patrick’s High (N.J.) squared off against 7’0 center Greg Oden from Lawrence North High (Ind.). It was a  match up of arguably  the top two players of 2006. Even the hype of Oden being possibly the best of the best couldn’t keep Character from bringing it to the big man and slightly tarnishing the Superman cape that has been put on Odem since his performance at last years Nike camp vaulted him as the top prospect and according to some recruiters the No. 1 pick in the 2006 NBA draft.


But Oden sees things differently regarding his possible emergence from high school straight to the NBA. “A lot of high school players didn’t go to college and develop their skills,” says Odem. “I have no offensive game, and if I go to college I can develop that. Without an offensive game, you’re really nothing in the NBA.”


With the combination of his outside game raining 3-pointers from beyond the arc and inside play, Character seemingly scored at will against the bigger Oden. Character’s patented spin move from the baseline frustrated Oden, who at times looked awkward trying to defend against him. “I just wanted to play my hardest and do my best,” said Character. “I didn’t have anything to prove. I knew he was tall and tough. I just wanted to go out there and make him work.”


Even with his lackluster performance Oden still managed to swat away almost anything that came his way on the defensive end and even energized the crowd with his thunderous dunks and ball handling skills on offense.


Oden still cemented his fate as the top prospect of 2006 averaging 11.5 points, 6 rebounds and 2 blocks per game and shooting lights out with an impressive 70% form the field throughout the week.  Oden was rewarded for his impressive performance by being selected to the all-star game for underclassmen but was forced to sit out with an ankle injury from earlier in the day.


Both Caracter and Oden were named MVP’s of the camp, but most importantly left Hackensack, N.J. as the top two prospects in the Class of 2006.




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