Rod Odom Hits Vegas

The July evaluation period is in its final week and prospects are hitting tournaments for one last showcase. Versatile forward Rod Odom is out in Las Vegas for the final week, hoping to show the gathered coaches what he can do at the next level. With interest from schools around the country, Odom will be on everyone's must watch list this wee

The tournament circuit is wrapping up this week and BC target Rod Odom is in Las Vegas for a final tournament. Since he missed some time earlier with mono, many coaches will have just this last time to see him play at full strength. Luckily, Rod will be on the court just about non-stop through the week.

"Yeah we play every day. It is a tournament. To start it is one game a day, but I think we start playing multiple games later on, but I'm not sure. It is a tight schedule and I have to get my rest when I can, but I hope to see some of the city while I'm here. For the first two weeks of the month, I have been in tournaments. Then we got a few days off. Now this week it is all business for the final week."

With every coach in college ball on the road looking at prospect, the offers and interest change day to day. For Odom, things have remained fairly constant. Some new schools have checked in, but the list of suitors has remained the same.

"Not a lot new has happened with my recruiting. There is definitely a lot going on right now. I've been thinking about it a lot over the summer. I know that I want to go to a school that fits me and my game. I want to go somewhere where I can be the best I can be all around. I'll definitely be making my decision by November.

It is tough, but the thing is I'm going to eventually pick the school where I'm comfortable with the coaches and comfortable with the players. I'll look at how my game fits in with how they play and see where I fit into their system. I want a chance to play right away. So, I want to go to a school that gives me a chance to fit in right away and be a part of what they are doing."

With all the pressure that comes with recruiting, having good people around to help with the process is important. Rod has his parents and his trainer to help him through the process.

"My dad and my trainer are the two people I'm relying on the most to help me through it. My mom has been keeping track of the schools and writing down what each school offers me. We sit down with her regularly and she keeps the list updated. That way we can keep track of what everyone says and what we have learned about each school."

While the recruiting process moves along, Rod has been staying focused and working on becoming a better player.

"I've been working one-on-one with Jerry Powell. It has really helped my game. When I started playing this month, it really paid off. I definitely think I've improved since the spring. In June, I was not shooting well. But now I'm shooting the ball very well, It is not just from the outside or inside. My shooting has improved all around since the spring."

In addition to working with a trainer, Rod has other kids he works out with that offer the challenges on the court needed to get better.

"I work out with one or two other kids and we work on defense. It is not really about defense, but what we do is practice shooting with guys playing defense against you. That's not exactly like it is in a game, but it gives you that feel of having guys around you while doing something with the ball.

"In some cases, I work out by myself. I don't have anyone there. But, the important thing is still go at game speed. You can't simulate game conditions, but you can still practice at game speed. That's what you have to do when practicing by yourself.

"In my other workouts, the focus is on building strength. You need upper body strength, but you also need explosiveness to get past a defender and you need it for jumping. I don't really concentrate on one thing, but I work to get stronger."

The big question everyone asks is where Rod will play his college ball. Despite some rumors of an early commitment, the time table remains as it was in the spring.

"My plan is to go through the evaluation period and let all the schools that are serious let me know they are serious. At that point I can narrow down the list and take my official visits. I'll have time to do that and still make a decision by November."

For many kids, the recruiting process and particularly the evaluation period can be very stressful. Rod is not letting it take the fun out of the game for him.

"You only get to go through this once. It can be stressful at times, but it is a process. I'm definitely having fun with it. The best part of it is just getting on the court and playing against the best guys and having fun playing basketball. I think for us[players], that's what we like and we just go out and have fun playing.

"The funniest thing we see in the evaluation period, is the coaches try all sorts of things to get you to notice them. Most of them give you crazy looks when you do something so that way you can them in the crowd.

"I've been to a lot of different places and seen a lot of guys. Honestly, I've not run into anyone who I thought worked harder than me. I'm a very hard worker and I don't think anyone can out work me. You see some good players, but so far no one has made me think they are better than me skill-wise or work-wise.

"For the most part, the kids you get to meet are all the same. Everyone is talking about the coaches and the schools that are recruiting them and why one school is better than another. It has been fun to meet a bunch of new kids and hear what they have to say about all of these things.


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