On the August 30th episode of the Providence Crier Podcast BOC & The Crier drafted PC’s roster for our player preview series. We take a look at each player and what fans may expect this upcoming season.
Besides Bryce Hopkins, I don’t know if there is a more important player on this Providence roster than George Mason transfer Josh Oduro. As we’ve detailed a multitude of times, the frontcourt is razor thin. It is why Josh Oduro was such a pivotal recruiting win for Kim English.
I believe Oduro’s impact to the Friars this upcoming year is somewhat overlooked (I’ll admit – I’m guilty of this) because we just presumed Oduro would follow English from George Mason to Providence. While this assumption ended up being correct, it overshadows what Providence landed in Josh Oduro – a grad transfer center that was two time First Team All-A10. If Oduro wanted to go elsewhere, the list of suitors for Josh would have been a “who’s who” of college basketball. Any blue blood would welcome a two time all conference player who averaged 16 and 8 the prior year. Thus, it may be time for some Friar fans (*darts hand up immediately*) to reassess just how important Josh Oduro is to this season. The list of A-10 to Big East transfers who have had immediate success is a good sign for Josh Oduro and Providence.
With Croswell and Clif Moore gone, the 5 spot was the most important position that English needed to fill when he became the Providence Friar head coach. English hit a homerun in Oduro. Josh is likely only 6’9 or so and will never be disguised as a rim protecting big man. That’s not why English brought him in though.
Oduro is one of the most polished offensive big men that I’ve seen in some time. His patience when getting to his spot in the post, along with his array of moves and counter moves, have reminded me a bit of Drew Timme. Both Oduro and Timme aren’t jaw-dropping athletes, but produce in an astonishingly efficient manner because they set up their opponent with their advanced footwork.
Oduro’s ability to impose his will in the low block offensively is going to cause help defenders to sag and assist. This is where the rest of the Friars will benefit immensely with open looks off a pass from the double team. With Hopkins, Carter, and Oduro, I’d put that trio up against any other trios offensively in the Big East.
One point of caution I want to make is that Friar fans cannot get frustrated if Oduro gives up buckets in the paint. I never want to concede defeat before the season even starts, but Oduro needs to stay out of foul trouble all season, even if that means playing a bit of matador defense. Anybody who knows me probably is wondering if hell has frozen over with that comment, as I love nothing more than a good defensive player, but Oduro needs to be playing 30 minutes a game.
It is not as if Oduro is an imposing defensive presence as is, and I don’t want him to gather silly fouls trying to contest shot attempts against the tall trees of the Big East. At season end, it wouldn’t surprise me if he leads the entire team in total minutes played. The McNair Jr. transfer caught the Friars a bit flat footed, and they now need to rely on Oduro and Castro to play all the minutes at the 5. It’s a bit of a predicament and has caused me to lower the ceiling on this team, but I still feel that a healthy Oduro was a godsend for this Friar squad who was in dire need for a big man. Oduro is that, and we are going to enjoy his one year at Providence.
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