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Boards on Boards – Norense Odiase has a Knack for Rebounding

By Jacob Withee | June 10, 2020

Norense Odiase was not the tallest player on the Northern Arizona Suns roster in 2019-20, but there was one attribute he was second to no one in – power.

The one true center listed on the roster, Odiase measures 6-feet 8-inches tall and 250 pounds. It’s clear right when he walks on the court that he isn’t to be messed with, and you can expect some hard-nosed battles for positioning on the block when he checks in. With his power, footwork and box out ability, Odiase has a knack for rebounding the basketball.

Odiase led the NAZ Suns in rebounding for the season, pulling in 7.1 boards per game. The next closest on the team was his fellow teammate at Texas Tech, Tariq Owens, with 6.9 rebounds per game. Part of his high numbers was his ability to crash the offensive glass, where he pulled in the highest average on the team at 2.0 per contest. Per 40 minutes, no Suns player was that close to Odiase’s 13.8 rebound average, the 39th best mark in the NBA G League, 26th among players who appeared in at least 15 games.

It was common to check the box score after a game and see Odiase secured at least 10 rebounds. In fact, it happened 11 times, tied for the 25th most such games in the league.

In January, Odiase would not be denied, as he played unquestionably his best brand of basketball. He averaged 7.6 points on 60.0 percent shooting and 8.9 rebounds, all season-highs for a month. From Jan. 3-9, he recorded three straight 10+ rebound games, the tied second longest streak in team history, one short of Johnny O’Bryant’s four game run from Jan. 6-14, 2017. Inside the streak, on Jan. 9 at the Austin Spurs, Odiase just missed out on a team-record rebounds in a game, finishing one short with 16. He had three double-doubles in the month, tied for 19th most in the league in January.

Altogether on the season, Odiase averaged 5.5 points on 55.5 percent shooting, to go with those 7.1 rebounds per game. He had five double-doubles, tied for second most on the team, while his shooting percent was second best, only behind Owens.

He was a big contributing factor in Suns wins, averaging 8.1 points on 66.7 percent shooting and 11.0 rebounds – a big difference from his averages of 4.8 points on 51.6 percent shooting and 6.1 rebounds in Suns’ losses.

Compared to his prolific college career in which he helped the Red Raiders reach their first Final Four in 2018-19, Odiase’s scoring numbers remained roughly the same, but his rebounding increased dramatically. Overall in his five years at Texas Tech, he averaged 5.4 points on 52.7 percent shooting and 4.6 rebounds. In his senior year, he finished with 4.2 PPG (58.9 FG%) and 5.4 RPG.

Odiase finished 2019-20 with 0.8 blocks in 20.5 minutes per contest, or 1.5 blocks per 40 minutes, second highest on the team. With strong rebounding and efficient defense, Odiase is a force to be reckoned with. Once the scoring comes more consistently, watch out!

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