Odoh transition hits a snag

Junior college big man will remain at Hill College through December to complete his two-year degree and then find a place to play.

The possibility of junior college big man John Odoh winding up in the LSU basketball program still exist.

It may be a while before Tigers fans can get too excited about seeing him in purple-and-gold, though.

Odoh is the 6-foot-10, 240-pound Nigerian who spent last season at Hill Community College in Texas, where he averaged 12.5 points, a national JUCO best 14.3 rebounds and 4.7 blocks a game.

After two full years of junior college, Odoh has still not graduated with a two-year degree and he will have to spend another semester at HCC.

Prior to his standout sophomore season, Odoh signed a national letter of intent with North Texas when Johnny Jones was the Mean Green coach. Shortly after Jones took the LSU job, Odoh asked for a release and eventually new UNT coach Tony Benford granted the request and cleared Odoh to transfer anywhere except schools in the Sun Belt Conference or Conference USA.

Now, because Odoh did not meet NCAA Clearinghouse standards in place when he began his junior college career, he cannot transfer to a Division I program until he has a two-year degree.

Odoh stayed in Texas this summer to try and complete the needed coursework, but apparently was not able to.

HCC coach Swede Trenkle said Tuesday that Odoh will remain in school through next semester – as a student only – and will test the recruiting waters then.

"He'll make a decision about where to go next once he gets his academic work finished," Trenkle said.

LSU is still in the mix, Trenkle said. The Tigers coaches have been in contact with the HCC coach and Odoh has said he still has interest in LSU.

Without Odoh, the Tigers head into the fall semester with 10 scholarship players and one walk-on. Of those 11 players, two are realistic low-post options: Sophomore Johnny O'Bryant and junior-college transfer Calvin Godfrey. Andrew Del Piero is the walk-on, but he has played sparingly in his first two seasons.

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