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Monday, May 08, 2006

It's okay to be mildly pleased with this one. I promise.

Oklahoma post Epke Udoh has committed to Tommy Amaker and the star-crossed Michigan basketball program. Normally this would be grounds for massive skepticism and cynical jokes about his decommit ETA, but he's actually signed a letter of intent so the chances of that are slim. And a desultory cheer went up from the battered crowd.

Udoh isn't Greg Oden or anything, but he is a tall human who can play basketball, which makes him the first Amaker has recruited since Sims and Petway. His other finalist was Pitt, a respectable program. He got three stars from Rivals and hung out in the 100-150 area of the rankings for most of the year despite being hampered by a knee injury.

Speaking of Oden, Mike DeCourcy is mentioning Udoh in the same breath as the future OMG Buckeye...
2. Indianapolis center Greg Oden blocked a 14-foot jumper by 6-9 forward Epke Udoh of Edmond, Okla. Understand, Udoh's shot was perfectly designed not to be blocked. He spun toward the left baseline, put a little extra loft on the shot and figured he was safe. Oden was standing at least 5 feet away but rose and deflected the ball on its way up.
...sort of. The "14-foot jumper" bit is nice, but another observer of his game says "Petway":
97 - Ekpe Udoh - Edmond, OK - 6'9 - 214 - Wizards

Udoh projects to be a solid role player in college. He stays inside, and focuses on rebounding and interior defense. Offensively, I’ve only seen him score on put backs and chip ins, and have yet to see a developed offensive game.
Until recently he had planned to go to prep school for a year to get more attention and bigger offers, but Amaker showed him a roster with no non-seniors over 6'7" and Udoh took the hint or something. He'll probably play a lot over the course of his career, so it's good to have him, but he does not sound like the next step towards dominating the Big Ten. Thumbs mildly up.