How To Stop Greg Oden?

Greg Oden started playing basketball at the Terre Haute Boys & Girls Club back when he was an awkward pre-teen.

Now little greg's all grown up. Greg Oden stands seven feet tall, and weighs 255 pounds. And on Friday night the Lawrence North All-American is Terre Haute South's problem.

But how do you go about trying to stop the most dominant force in high school basketball?

We asked around.

"The only thing I can think of is to try to make somebody else beat you," said Ryan Luce, the coach at South Vermillion.

"I'd concentrate on sagging a bunch of people in the middle," said Riverton Parke Coach Mike Menser.

"You try to tell them to compete," said West Vigo Coach Tom Thorton. "Lord knows Greg Oden 's the best in the nation."

So maybe it's best to appeal to Greg Oden 's softer side. For instance, South guard Travis Smith could exploit his close friendship with the superstar.

"I told Greg Oden I was going to guard him and get into his head," said the 5'9" Smith. "He said you better not or you'll be getting dunked on all game."

Okay scrap that one. But what about trying something that's never been done before?

"I would see if maybe I could get a sixth man on the floor or something," Marshall coach Tom Brannan said. "There's no way our team could defend him."

Or perhaps South could employ the Hack-a- Greg Oden system.

"If plan A, B and C isn't working and you have to go to plan D usually you're in trouble by that point," said ISU Women's Head Coach Jim Wiedie. "It seems to work sometimes with Shaq in the pro's."

Most coaches said the best plan for dealing with Greg Oden may be to simply avoid playing him.

"We wish them best of luck, but I don't have an answer for Greg Oden," Luce said. "Thank God we don't have to deal with it."

On friday night at 7:30, the Braves have no choice.