July 7, 2005

Oden vs. Love highlights afternoon session

Kevin Love, one of the surprise attendees at the 2005 Reebok ABCD Camp, got the matchup he wanted on day one, but with, perhaps, different results than he imagined. Rivals.com has the scoop on this confrontation as well as other happenings from the 1st session at ABCD.

7-foot 260 pound senior center Greg Oden, like O.J. Mayo, has a big target on his back as the consensus number one player in his class. Big men coming up and looking to make a name for themselves, or enhance their reputations often look to do it against Oden. However, the reason that Oden still the top dog is his ability to answer those challenges with big time efforts.

Yesterday was another one of those days at the office for Mr. Oden.

In the afternoon game, Oden was challenged by 6-foot-9 junior big man Kevin Love from Oregon. Getting Love, an elite prospect whose home is within spitting distance of the Nike corporate campus, to camp was a bit of a coup for Reebok head man Sonny Vaccaro, and one of the reasons Love chose to come east was for the opportunity to match skills against Oden.

However, Oden brought his A game on Wednesday, and he wasn't giving Love much room to get his offense going. Love was pushed out to the perimeter where he launched a few contested threes, none of which went down in the first half. By the end of the game Love was visibly frustrated trying to maneuver around the agile big man finishing with a pedestrian 7 points on 3-11 shooting including 1-5 from beyond the arc, 3 rebounds, and 3 turnovers.

Oden had 12 points on 6-7 shooting and 9 rebounds in his team's 12 point victory, but his presence on the court had much more to do with the outcome of the game than his stats. His quickness on defense and length consistently change shots and decisions on offense for the opposing team, and he regularly draws a double team on offense.

Stokes stepping out
With AAU teammates Wayne Ellington and Gerald Henderson at the adidas Superstar Camp in Georgia this week, junior G/F Corey Stokes has taken over the spotlight here at ABCD. In the first game on Wednesday Stokes did it all, as he scored 23 points on 9-15 shooting and 3-5 from deep. Stokes' ability to create his own offense is an area that he's improved upon immensely in the past year. There aren't many players in the east with his offensive arsenal.

Pope dominant
6-foot-9 junior C/F Herb Pope, an early Pittsburgh commitment, dominated his afternoon matchup with 17 points and 8 rebounds, but his defensive effort was perhaps the best part of his game. He chased down plays from behind, played great position defense, and displayed his explosive athletic ability. Pope is a major talent who's still just scratching the surface.



 

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