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Playbook: Ody Oguama is the Unsung Hero as the Deacs Take Down #23 Xavier

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The Deacs take down #23 Xavier

NCAA Basketball: Xavier at Wake Forest Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

The Deacs came up with a big win on Saturday, taking down 23rd ranked Xavier to win the Skip Prosser Classic and end a 3 game losing streak. Wake Forest was fueled by great games from Chaundee Brown and Brandon Childress, who combined for 48 of Wake’s 80 points on 16-28 shooting (57%). I don’t want to take anything away from them, as Brown, in particular, was basically unstoppable the whole game, but I am not here to talk about that. No, I am here to talk about the guy who flew under the radar but still had a massive impact on this game—Ody Oguama.

While he didn’t have a big time stat line like Childress and Brown, scoring just 3 points and grabbing 6 boards, Oguama was instrumental in the Deacs picking up the big W at home. One of the reason’s for that is because not everything Oguama does can be represented on a box score.

For example, on the play above, Oguama stops Quentin Goodin from getting a layup just by rotating over and getting vertical. That doesn’t go down as a block, but he altered the shot enough to force a miss.

With Olivier Sarr out of the game, Oguama was the lone big man on the roster for the Deacs against the Musketeers. That meant he was the only line of defense to stop Xavier’s senior forward Tyrique Jones, who went into Saturday’s game averaging 13.8 points on 54% shooting and 9.4 rebounds per game. And while Jones did finish with 12 points and 11 rebounds, Oguama was able to hold him to a pitiful 2-10 shooting from the floor.

Jones was a non-factor for most of the game; he got his first point on a free throw with a little over 9 minutes left and didn’t make a field goal until the about the 5 minute mark in the 2nd half. Credit goes to Oguama and the rest of the Deacs for keeping Jones out of the game.

Again, this is not something that is necessarily going to show up on a box score. Another thing that you can’t see in a box score is hustle plays. One thing you have to respect about Oguama is that he really doesn’t ever get the ball on offense, but that doesn’t hinder him from hustling on every single play or giving maximum effort on defense.

Case and point, look at how much ground he covers in the play above. He starts on Bryce Moore, steps over to defend Jason Carter, hustles back to run Moore off of the 3 point line, continues to follow the play, and finishes it up with a block on Carter. You can’t teach that kind of motor.

Here is another great example, as he secures the rebound on the defensive end, runs from 1 end of the court to the other, and gets the offensive tip in for 2 points. These hustle type of plays are absolutely huge in a game that is decided by just 1 basket and can be the difference in winning and losing.

So while it may not look like it from a traditional box score, Oguama has been playing really well for the Deacs lately. I’ll try to quantify it with some advanced stats (though I know some of you may dislike that): Oguama has the best defensive rating on the team at 93.6 points allowed per 100 possessions (minimum 5 games played) and a +6.6 defensive box +/- (i.e the Deacs are 6.6 points per 100 possessions better on defensive with Oguama in the game—the next closest player has a +2.4). And keep in mind that Ody Oguama is a freshman who has been playing college basketball for a little over 1 month. If he can stay out of foul trouble, Oguama will definitely be a huge asset for the Deacs this season.