A Good Look at Greg Oden

At the Las Vegas Big Time Tournament, some of the nation's top college coaches continued to rave about how well Greg Oden handles himself while being the center of attention everywhere he goes.

Even in Las Vegas , with no shortage of entertainment, gyms were full almost every game for eventual champion Spiece Indy Heat, led by Greg Oden, Conley and Cook. After each game, Oden was besieged by people wanting autographs and pictures.

One high school coach from the Las Vegas area had Greg Oden sign a basketball to be auctioned off at a fundraiser.

College coaches can't speak on the record about players who haven't signed national letters of intent.

"It's going to be nice for America to have Greg Oden," said Mike Conley Sr. , coach of the Spiece Indy Heat. "At the end of the day, Greg Oden will help a lot of people in this country. He will be an icon you want your kids to look up to, and that means a lot to me.

"I remember (my son) Michael really liked Wake Forest , and when I met Chris Paul , I was like, 'Oh, man, it's great to have my son look up to a person like Chris Paul.' And it's going to be great to have our kids look up to a person like Greg Oden."

Personality emerging

Greg Oden, shy and quiet a year ago, is getting pretty quotable, even when handling questions that could get him in trouble.

After the Indy Heat won the Las Vegas tournament, Greg Oden was asked how a national summer title compared to a state championship. In Las Vegas , Greg Oden faced more nationally ranked players in five days than he'll play against all year during the high school season, but he gave a politically correct answer.

"After the state championship, you go home after the game. After this, hopefully I get to ride (the roller coaster at) New York - New York (Hotel & Casino). Every year since we've been here, coach Conley takes us there."

"That's pretty extreme for him," Conley Sr. said. "Usually you hear him say, 'Maybe I can catch a flick, maybe two.' He barely fits in a roller coaster."