Oden Rules Paint In Win Over China

SAN DIEGO -- The first international basketball game for Greg Oden and Mike Conley turned into a dunk fest. Not because of the Americans' offense. Because of Oden's defense in the middle. With Lawrence North's 7-foot center dominating the paint, Greg Oden teammates chased the Chinese all over the court and ran their way to a 112-59 victory Tuesday night at San Diego State University.Greg Oden finished with 16 points, six rebounds and six blocked shots in 26 minutes as USA White, one of three American teams playing in the USA Basketball Youth Development Festival, won its opener.Oden shot 7-for-8 from the field and consistently intimidated shooters."Whatever the team needs," Greg Oden said with a shrug as he rested on a couch in the locker room afterward. "If that's defense and rebounding and blocked shots, that's what I've got to do."Bill Walker, a 6-6 forward from Cincinnati who is ranked among the top 10 players in the Class of 2006, benefited the most, scoring a game-high 21 points. Nicknamed "Dirty McNasty" for the ferocity of his dunks, Walker shot 10-for-12 from the field, including eight dunks that delighted the crowd of several hundred at Peterson Gym.Conley came off the bench to add 10 points and four assists in 24 minutes.China's roster includes one 6-11 player, four at 6-10 and another at 6-9, but the Americans' superiority in weight, speed and jumping was evident early.The U.S. led 30-16 after one quarter, 57-27 at halftime and 88-38 after three periods.

Worth sleeping in Greg Oden needed a little while for the meaning of wearing "USA" across his chest to sink in, but he didn't wait a minute to put it on. The USA jerseys were brought to the players Tuesday afternoon while Greg Oden was napping. He put it on and returned to his nap.

"I threw it on so I could go back to sleep and then just get up and leave when we had to go," Oden said.

"You really don't realize it at first, but you are playing for the USA. When you realize it, it is something." Etc. . Greg Oden was able to eliminate one concern before leaving. He took the SAT on Saturday prior to boarding a plane for San Diego. "I don't have to worry about that anymore," he said with a grin.

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