Osterman Speaks on Ofoegbu, Part Two

San Antonio Taft coach <b>Mike Osterman</b> talks about Tech basketball signee <b>John Ofoegbu</b> in part two of an exclusive two-part <b>RaiderInsider.com</b> interview.<p>

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JOHN OFOEGBU, SAN ANTONIO TAFT HIGH SCHOOL
POWER FORWARD, 6'9, 230 POUNDS
AVERAGES 13.2 POINTS, 7.1 REBOUNDS, 1.53 BLOCKS

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TE: How do you think John will fit in under Coach Knight and his system?

Osterman: "I think he will fit in just fine. He's so open to learning and always asking what he can do to get better. We do some motion offense and straight up man-to-man defense. We do some match up zone too, but we have man-to-man principles in everything we do.

Being from Illinois, my coaching style has been greatly influenced by Coach Knight. The first coaching clinic I ever attended was in 1975. Coach Knight was one of the speakers there. And I've been Coach Knight's weekend camps, coaching clinics, and his coaching academy in Indiana. So, there is alot of Coach Knight in what we do at Taft. Heck, we have a drill called the Indiana passing game.

There's alot of things we do that John won't have to learn when he gets there (Lubbock). But there is still so much more. For example, learning how to set the proper screens and making the right cuts. At Taft we mainly use John inside the paint. And as you know at Texas Tech that won't be the case. So, he's got a ton to learn."


TE: What kind of potential does John have on the collegiate level, and beyond?

Osterman: "The sky is the limit for this kid. He's such a diamond in the rough. Obviously, Coach Knight knows what he's doing. He evaluates alot of kids at those summer camps. So, there must be something that he saw in John. I'm sure he thinks that John has tremendous upside and potential.

In fact, when Coach Knight made the home visit here in San Antonio he compared him (John) to a young Alan Henderson. The kid that played for him up in Indiana and who now plays for the Atlanta Hawks. He feels that John is more fluid and athletic than Alan too."


TE: Among players you've coached, where does John rank all-time?

Osterman: "That's a tough question. As far as athleticism, he's right up there. As for basketball skills he's got a ways to go. John couldn't be a better kid, though. He's a great Christian young man and as you know, his father is a minister.

John's so polite, always responding 'yes sir' or 'no sir'. But at the same time he is a fierce, and I am mean fierce competitor when he gets out on the court. He loves to play, loves to compete, and plays hard.

It's really tough to answer that question because I've only had John for a little over 2 years. These other kids like Joe White (A&M) and Jay Perner (SMU), I coached and developed them for four years. It's really unfair to John to compare him to these guys.

But after saying that, if I would have had him for all four years, he would easily be at the very top of the list."


TE: Was there a specific moment or game that you knew John was going to be a special player?

Osterman: "When John transferred back to Taft in January of last year, he played the second half of district and the playoffs for us. And what really struck me was his physical presence inside with those long arms.

In the eight games that John played, he had like 99 deflections. It was very apparent that it was hard to pass the ball around him.

John covers a ton of ground. He's probably got the quickness of a 6'3 or 6'4 player, but has the long arms to go with it. His foot speed is amazing for someone his size as well."


TE: Coach, we really appreciate your time. Good luck to you and Taft the rest of the season.

Osterman: "It's been my pleasure. Thanks and go Tech."



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