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Texas Tech's Odiase and Manderson - Season in Review

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This is the final installment of the season in review. As you know by now I'm focusing on conference play ONLY specifically the first 9 games vs. the final 9. I personally feel stripping out all pre-conference numbers tells a better story for a players season. Ideally you see an improvement from the first 9 to the final 9 conference games.

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#32 Norense Odiase (Freshman) was a 3-star recruit out of Fort Worth (North Crowley), TX

#1 Isaiah Manderson (Freshman) was a 3-star recruit from Bronx, NY coming to us from Oldsmar Christian School in Oldsmar, FL

Conference MPG FG% FT% PPG RPG
Big O 1st 9 games 17 35% 69% 3.4 3.5
Last 9 games 25 51% 43% 8.8 5.4
Conference MPG FG% FT% PPG RPG
Gumby Manderson 1st 9 games 16 51% 33% 5.2 2.6
Last 9 games 16 48% 54% 3.6 2.4

Positives:

I sound like a broken record..both gained valuable experience this past season playing a ton of minutes as true Freshmen.  You've also got to love the size of these guys.  In Odiase you may be lacking the ideal height for a true post player but he makes up for that in sheer size and strength.  He's sneaky good around the rim and has a decent spot up game.   As you can see his offensive stats got better as the season wore on.  He made the most of his opportunities in the back half of conference whereas he may have been rushing things prior.  His greatest contributions this year were more on the defensive side of the court and bringing a nastiness and toughness to the squad. You could always count on the Big O to give you all he had while he was on the court.  We've sorely lacked someone like him for years.  Manderson is more your prototypical post player.  Tall and slender who displayed the ability to score the ball with his back to the basket as well as facing up.  I really liked Manderson's ability to run the court and finish in transition.  That is a very unique skill set for a guy his size. It's refreshing to have a post who prefers to dunk the ball when given the opportunity after several years of Europeans whose preferred method of scoring was taking a chance on laying it off the glass.

Negatives:

Again..a broken record but free throw shooting for both of them. The same could be said for most all of last year's squad. As far as Odiase goes he lacks any real explosion and for the most part true athleticism in comparison to other Big 12 players his size.  If that's the cause the effect is he is really limited on the offensive end of the court and very reliant on teammates creating him wide open shots.  Defensively we all like his tenacity but he's got to learn to channel his aggression.  He had too many cheap fouls this season.  In Manderson's case my focus is on the defensive end of the court.  He lacked intensity playing defense, seemed lost and for a guy 6'11 largely went unnoticed out there.  He has to be a difference maker full court if he wants to stay in the rotation on a consistent basis.

Former Red Raider Comparisons:

Odiase is our next Robert Tomaszek.  Big and nasty and plays all out. Major limitations as far as basketball skill set but will set the tone in games by being aggressive and getting the most out of his abilities.

For all others I've really looked at what I've seen on the court.  For Manderson I'm going to be a bit different and go straight with his ceiling..Devon Giles.  Manderson is raw but I could see him going into his Junior year with the same type of game Giles gave us and be a consistently good offensive presence at the rim and around it.

2015 Outlook:

Both of these guys are going to play heavy minutes.  While we continue to build depth in the backcourt and on the wings we don't have much for the paint.  Odiase will establish himself as the leader of the team and continue to be a steady force defensively and capitalize on his limited opportunities on offense.  Manderson is another year from a HUGE breakout.  Look for an up and down season filled with inconsistency but the lights will turn on mid conference next season.