2006 Focus: Ekpe Udoh

Ekpe Udoh may not have the repuation as his summer teammate, Keith Clark and Obi Muonelo, but he's hoping to change that in the next few months.

The names of Keith Clark and Obi Muonelo have made their way around the country as legitimate high-major players from the state of Oklahoma. Ekpe Udoh is hoping to join his summer teammates in making a name for himself.

The 6-8 ½, 210-pound Udoh, who has been playing with a shoulder injury for much of the season, is a thin and athletic junior from the same school, Edmund Sante Fe, that Muonelo attends.

Edmund Sante Fe is 20-3 and Udoh scored 20 points in a victory on Friday night against Putnam City.

Udoh's offense isn't as advanced as his defense, but that's partially because he's been wearing a brace since he dislocated his shoulder prior to the start of the season. Udoh has also been dealing with vision problems and wore goggles in a game last week after losing his new contacts.

``I've been playing decent, but I haven't gotten back to where I used to be," Udoh said. "My arm isn't free, so it tightens up."

Still, Udoh has managed to block and alter his share of shots, primarily using his left hand.

Udoh is hoping that the rule change that will allow traveling teams from Oklahoma to start playing in April will give him more exposure than a year ago, when teams from the state weren't allowed to compete until school ended.

``We'll start early this year and play in the Boo Williams tournament," Udoh said. "We don't get that much exposure. We're just country boys, I guess."

Udoh said that recruiting hasn't really picked up all that much, but he's gotten some interest from Kansas, Oklahoma and Southwest Missouri State.

``This summer I just want to let everyone know I have game," Udoh added. "I know people say that I'm good, but I'm too skinny. I need to change that this year."

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