ABCD: Caracter, Oden battle it out in nightcap

TEANECK, NJ -- Intriguing individuals matchups were the name of the game Friday night at the Reebok ABCD Camp, and no clash was bigger - or better - than New Jersey's Derrick Caracter vs. Indiana's Greg Oden.

TEANECK, NJ Intriguing individuals matchups were the name of the game Friday night at the Reebok ABCD Camp, and no clash was bigger - or better - than New Jersey's Derrick Caracter vs. Indiana's Greg Oden.

Oden, the 7-foot consensus No. 1 player in the country, clearly came ready to play against Caracter in Friday's nightcap. Last year at ABCD, the 6-foot-9 Caracter better Oden in their individual matchup, and apparently, the Ohio State commit hadn't forgotten.

Drawing first blood in the dual, Oden quickly scored over Caracter from in close. Then, after Caracter missed badly on a three-point attempt, Oden took Caracter down to the block for an easy basket.

Oden's strategy was simple and clear from the start - take Caracter in close and use his size to his advantage.

Caracter, on the other hand, employed a entirely different game plan. Extremely nimble and deceptively quick for his size, Caracter wanted to draw Oden away from the basket, and use his considerable skills facing the basket to give him the edge. For the most part, Caracter's battle plan paid off.

Countering Oden's first two baskets, Caracter got on the board with a spinning move along the baseline that resulted in a short jump hook.

"That's why the NBA guys are drooling over him," one scout said of Caracter's scoring manuever.

After Oden blocked Caracter's shot, the Indianapolis big man drew a foul on the other end and went to line where he converted 1-2 free throws. Then just before intermission, Caracter again pulled Oden out from the basket and drove past him, laying the ball in shortly before the halftime buzzer.

In the second half, Oden again came out strong, scoring in the lane on a post up move, then blocking Caracter for the second time in the game on the defensive end.

Caracter then made his most impressive move of the night when he faced Oden up, crossed him over with his dribble and sliced to the hole for an easy layup.

On the Bulls next possession, Oden blocked Caracter's shot for the third and final time, then took his rival down on the blocks for another easy score.

After Caracter drew a foul on Oden and converted 1-2 free throws, the New Jersey native flashed his range from the perimeter for the first time, grabbing a defensive board, dribbling up court, then pulling up - and hitting - a deep three-pointer from the wing.

Oden again went back inside, dunking over Caracter and drawing a foul in the process. He missed the free throw attempt.

Caracter then took matters into his own hands, clearing his teammates out and again taking Oden off the dribble - drawing a foul in the act of shooting. Caracter missed both free throws.

Finally, Caracter rounded out the scoring, draining his second three-pointer of the night - this time over Oden's out-stretched right arm.

For the game, Oden finished with 12 points, 4 rebounds and three blocked shots, while Caracter had 13 points, 4 boards, 1 assist and five turnovers. Oden, however, took just seven shots from the field, hitting five, while Caracter made just 5-13 shots. Caracter did make 2-3 3's.

More importantly, Oden's Sonics (6-0) easily defeated Caracter's Bulls (4-2) 79-54. Lance Stevenson scored 8 points for the Bulls, while James Harden (17) and Daequan Cook (13) helped pace the Sonics.


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