More from Coach Oden:
Al also looked a lot more aggressive later in the summer compared to what I saw at Glass City?
“I remember us talking down there. You probably thought we were really bad that day! (laughing). We played like crap. If you saw us at the Adidas Big Time tournament in Las Vegas you would have seen a much better Al and a much better Mustangs team. We run real plays on my team. One guy called us a little league program, but we won that tournament 4 out of the last 8 years. We work hard, and Al works hard. That’s why he improved so much.”
Some people have said that Al has a playing style similar to Tim Duncan. I sort of think that his style is more similar to Kevin McHale. Understanding that no one is saying that he has the talent or potential of either of the aforementioned players..and that we're only attempting to gaguge his style,...who would you say he plays like?
“You guys always ask questions like that! (laughing). I can see that. Al has the really long arms, is a great rebounder, and has the good back to the basket game.”
How is Al in school?
“People were saying that Al would get an offer if he could get a test score. What they didn’t mention is Al just hadn’t taken the test yet. Al is a very good student and he’s going to score very well on the test. Most of the kids in my program are good students. We had a team GPA of 3.6.”
Why do you think he decided to go ahead and pull the trigger?
“I think he just felt comfortable with the players and coaches. He had been down there quite a bit. He was down there again this past weekend (along the coach and another Mustang player, David Kool). I think he just felt good about the situation.”
I caught up with Al this evening and he gave us his thoughts on the decision.
When did you finally come to the decision?
"I talked to coach Amaker on the phone a little earlier and I just thought that’s where I wanted to go."
What ultimately made Michigan the team for you?
“Well I thought that I really got along with the players and I like all of the coaches and what they had to offer. That’s why I went ahead and made the decision."
Have they talked to you about where and how they’re going to use you?
“We haven’t really talked about that too much yet, but Coach Amaker said that he thinks that they’ll use me more at the 4 spot.
What part of your game do you think you need to work on prior to arriving at Michigan?
“I know that I’ve got to get stronger, which I’m already working on in the weight room and stuff. I’m also going to work on extending my range, which I’m working on already.”
How is Grand Ledge looking this year?
“We lost all of our starters except for myself. But, I think we’re still going to be pretty good. I think we’ll still make the playoffs.”
Coach Oden told me that you’ve grown a solid inch over the summer. How tall are you now?
“I’m about 6-9 now.”
How much do you weigh?
“Last time I weighed myself I was about 216.”