Caracter in top form heading into tilt with Oden

TEANECK, NJ -- Derrick Caracter is in top form this week at the 2005 Reebok ABCD Camp. Tuned up and ready to go, Caracter is now preparing for a highly-anticipated Friday night matchup against the nation's top player - 7-0 Greg Oden.

TEANECK, NJ Derrick Caracter is playing at the top of his game this week at the Reebok ABCD Camp in Teaneck, NJ.

Not only is his team - the Bulls - an impressive 4-1 heading into Friday night's much-anticipated matchup with 7-0 Greg Oden and company, but the 6-foot-9, 270-pounder from Elizabeth, NJ has clearly proven that he belongs in any discussions about the nation's elite prospects. Often maligned, especially for his intensity - or lack thereof on the court - Caracter has played like one of the nations best players this week, particularly on the camps second day.

Heading into his Friday night tilt with Oden, Caracter has already played well against some of the top big men in the country this week. He dominated 7-0 Tom Herzog Thursday night - 14 points, 8 rebounds for Caracter, and 2 points and 2 boards for Herzog - and capped the performance with a thunderous jam over the Michigan big man toward the end of the game. Caracter also got the better of top 2007 prospect Cole Aldrich, a 6-11 center from Minnesota, out-scoring his conterpart 9-4. And he also had an impressive 13 point, 3 rebound, 5 block performance in a hard fought 67-65 win Thursday afternoon against the Lakers and 6-9 Alex Stepheson, one of the top power forwards in the country.

Caracter and Oden face off Friday

Along the way, Caracter has proven to be tough for defenders to handle along the baseline, especially when he puts the ball on the floor against bigger, slower foes. Offensively, he's been scoring at a nice clip in the paint, and he even showed off his range Thursday night, nailing a deep three-pointer from the wing for good measure. For the most part, he's played hard and has been a load for all comers to handle. He employs solid post moves and has a superb drop step move from the block and his passing skills deserve more attention. He's also the top shot blocker (2.3 per game) in camp to boot.

"After a somewhat slow start, (Derrick) has started to really pick it up and re-establish himself among the elite players in the class," said analyst Jeff Goodman. "He dominated one game inside (Thursday) – and also is a tough matchup when he puts the ball on the floor against another big man."

Now Caracter will get his chance - center stage - to challenge Greg Oden, the nation's consensus No. 1 player, in front of his hometown fans.

Stay tuned for full coverage of Derrick Caracter's match-up against Greg Oden Friday night.

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