There is only 32 days until the Texas Tech Red Raiders take the court against Incarnate Word. Today, we will talk about our number 32, Norense Odiase. Odiase is a senior forward/ center and is going to be a crucial piece of this year’s frontcourt, especially on the defensive end of the floor. The 23-year old Odiase is going into his 5th year with the team as he was given a medical redshirt during the 2016-2017 season, where he only played in three games.
Texas Tech’s Norense Odiase working on his jumper. Consistency. pic.twitter.com/eUtFsTjJbU— Carlos Silva Jr. (@cmsilvajr) January 6, 2018
Odiase played his high school ball at North Crowley High School where he averaged 8 points and 7 rebounds in his senior year. He then went on to the Elev8 Academy in Florida where he averaged 17 points and 11 rebounds. He committed to Texas Tech over TCU, Georgia, and Georgia Tech.
Odiase has been a constant presence in the Red Raider lineup since first getting here in 2014. He started 30 games in his freshman season under Tubby Smith and racked up 7 points and 4.7 rebounds per game. He was a major piece of the team and was expected to be a force moving forward for the Red Raiders. He followed that up his sophomore season with 8 points and 4 rebounds per game in only 20 appearances as Odiase missed 12 games with a broken foot. He was still able to play in the Red Raider’s NCAA tournament appearance in the 2015-2016 season. He was medically redshirted for the 2016-2017 season after suffering a similar foot injury as the season before.
Odiase came back stronger and sleeker in his second season under Coach Chris Beard and strength and conditioning coach John Reilly. Odiase did a major body transformation after his second foot injury and is lighter on his feet, making him a better defender for the Red Raiders. Odiase averaged 4 points and 4 boards per game that season while splitting time at center with both Zach Smith and Tommy Hamilton IV.
Odiase will be looking to handle more minutes this year, as he and graduate transfer Tariq Owens will be the only experienced center-type players for the Red Raiders. I expect both Owens and Odiase to start together and be the center of what should be a solid defense for the Red Raiders.