December 9, 2006
A BIG boost
The Nov. 29 game between Ohio State and North Carolina was billed as the game of the year. And while it lived up to the anticipated excitement and certainly had no lack of competitiveness, the game was missing something. A big something, or more a big someone named Greg Oden.
Oden had surgery at the Indiana Hand Center on June 16th to repair a torn ligament in his right wrist. Although many Buckeye fans circled that bout with UNC as the day they were hoping Oden would make his scarlet and gray debut, more conservative estimates did not have him returning until after the new year.
So it came as a surprise to many when Oden took the court last Saturday against Valparaiso. The man (literally) who has been called everything from the next Bill Russell to the second coming of Patrick Ewing, finally made his much anticipated debut wearing a protective brace on that right wrist. With limited mobility in his shooting wrist, the prodigy scored 14 points, grabbed 10 rebounds and blocked five shots in his first 23 minutes of live action in six months. While Buckeye fans, and college basketball fans everywhere for that matter, held their breath in awe of the physical specimen, Oden himself was not nearly as impressed with his own performance.
"I feel I can do a lot better," Oden said. "It was just the feeling I had after the game, that I could have done better."
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