With the Kim English era upon us in Friartown, English has to hit the ground running at turbo speed. The transfer portal is both an amazing asset and a potential death knell to a new coach taking over a program. English not only needs to re-recruit the Friars that were on the roster last year after Ed Cooley departed for Georgetown, but he also needs to fill the gaps from those that departed the Friar team due to graduation and/or transferring. In total, Providence is definitely losing the following players: Ed Croswell, Clifton Moore, Noah Locke, and Jared Bynum. The first three are out of eligibility while Bynum is choosing to transfer.
It is also foolish to think English retains all of Bryce Hopkins, Devin Carter, Corey Floyd Jr., Alyn Breed, Rafael Castro, and Jayden Pierre, the players who have eligibility beyond this past season. That’s the nature of college basketball these days with the rosters fluctuating so frequently due to the transfer portal. The likelihood of a roster turnover further increases after a coaching change.
English is working on re-recruiting the high school commits from the 2023 class in Garwey Dual, Drew Fielder, and Donovan Santoro. As of this writing, he is currently out West meeting with each of these players. For this exercise, let’s assume English doesn’t get any of these three back in the fold (I think he will get some of them back, but I digress).
I lay that groundwork to say that Kim English has a lot of work to do in the transfer portal. I personally believe English will bring in, at a minimum, 3 players from the portal with 4 or 5 transfer portal players likely. English needs to bring in high caliber talent to replenish the roster, along with players that fit the mold of what English is trying to build culturally.
Enter Josh Oduro.
Oduro, a senior with one year of eligibility remaining, hails from the Virginia area. Oduro is a 6’9 forward from Paul VI (a DMV hotbed) who averaged 15.6 points/game, 7.9 rebounds/game, and 2.6 assists/game. Oduro is the best of the best in the A10, as he is two time First Team All-A10 selection. His junior year actually was a bit more impressive statistically, as he averaged 17.7 and 7.5. Oduro has been with George Mason his entire career. Stating the obvious, he has been with Kim English for both of his years coaching George Mason.
Below, we’ll break down Oduro’s game, what he would bring to the team he transfers to, and how he would fit with the current iteration of the PC basketball program.
Analyzing Oduro’s Game
If you love somebody who understands the nuances of low post footwork and setting up his defender, you are going to love Josh Oduro.
Oduro is a unique study. I wouldn’t describe him as an above the rim athlete, but his footwork is incredibly impressive. He has such nimble feet that makes it hard for his defender to get comfortable in the low block. Oduro also has the ability to finish over either shoulder and with either left or right hand. He has a consistent hook shot, but has counters to his primary and secondary moves.
This may be high praise, but I liken his game offensively to Drew Timme. Timme is by no means a high flyer, but is so adept at scoring because his footwork is impeccable. I see shades of Eric Dixon as well. Oduro, like Dixon, is super patient when he gets the ball and doesn’t ever seem to be in a rush. He will methodically get to his spot on the court and not allow the defender to hurry him. He doesn’t have the shooting ability of Dixon, but not many big men do.
Oduro also seems to know who he is as a player, which is vitally important. He hasn’t made the jump to the league despite his conference dominance because he doesn’t have a reliable jump shot. That’s a necessity in The League these days. Almost all of his scoring will come from the foul line in, which is completely fine.
English said he likes to play a four out, one in offense to space the floor. Oduro is ideally your one in with four shooters on the perimeter to allow him to operate in space in the low post.
The issue with Oduro being a five is that the Big East is full of men who resemble mountains. Think of all the 6’11/7 footers in the conference with Kalkbrenner, Clingan, Soriano, Bates, Nunge, etc. Oduro will have his hands full on the defensive end, but English may be willing to sacrifice that if he can expose the opposing team on Providence’s offensive end. Oduro isn’t much of a shot-blocker, so the team he transfers to has to be willing to sacrifice rim protection for his offensive prowess.
PC Roster Fit
Oduro is transferring to be a starter at the high major level. So, if he were to transfer to PC, he’d be either the small ball 5 starter or 4 man starter. Here’s how I see two potential starting line-ups at Providence with Oduro in the mix:
Line-Up 1: Pierre, Floyd Jr., Carter, Hopkins, Oduro
Line-Up 2: Pierre, Carter, Hopkins, Oduro, Transfer 5 Big
I personally think the best offensive set is Line-Up #1 while the best defensive set i Line-Up #2. This is all hypothetical, however, as we are operating under the pretense that all existing Friars return. English has to plan for the worst and hope for the best, which is why you worry about landing Oduro first and where he fits in the frontcourt after.
We should hear some news on Oduro in the near future, and this would be a heck of a start to the Kim English era. Providence desperately needs front court bodies, and Oduro would be an instant starter. Here’s to hoping Oduro follows his coach to Providence.