Eddie Odio, the booming 6-foot-7 play-making machine for the BC basketball team, caught up with Sports Editor Teddy Kolva to discuss some off-season endeavors, his uncanny ability to throw down and the Boston Red Sox.
What initially drew you to Boston College?
When I was little, I always liked the Red Sox, and for some reason I always wanted to move to Boston. The coaching staff moved from Cornell and they are all great. All of these things really grabbed my attention, Coach Donahue really sold me on his coaching philosophy.
About the Sox: How do you think they will fare this year?
Well, Jackie Bradley Jr. hit—what was it—over .400 in Spring Training? I am a big fan of him. I think they are young but should be pretty good down the stretch.
Let’s go back to your monstrous dunk against Duke—that really electrified the crowd and got people in the stands going. Could you draw on how much you value play making and how important it is to you to get that big dunk or block?
That’s an important part of my game, I try to bring that extra spark and energy to the team—if that gets the fans excited—it’s definitely a plus and something that we all feed off of as a team. There’s nothing better than that.
Speaking of dunks, where did your hops come from?
Well, I wasn’t very athletic when I was little. But then in high school I started playing volleyball sophomore and junior year, which really helped get my jumping up. There’s so much jumping in that sport it just came naturally. It kind of translated onto the basketball court later.
What’s your personal outlook for next season?
On a personal level, I feel like I could improve a lot this off-season. I made a big jump from last year, but I know I need to get stronger and be more of a force in the paint. I need to keep doing what I have been doing, too.
On a more team basis, have you talked about goals for next season?
Yeah, definitely. We hope to compete for an ACC and be in the top part of the ACC. Our ultimate goal is definitely to be making a run in the NCAA tournament, which would be good considering it has been a while. We know we are capable of making it happen.
Coach Donahue underwent some pressure in the beginning of the season after losing a string of bad games. Did you ever sense that that knocked him off guard, or did he always maintain a steady, confident mentality?
Coach is absolutely a steady, confident guy. He knew we were a young team. Maybe he did not expect a slow start, but he knew there would be some troubles in the beginning. He also knew that later in the season we would be developed, though, and look what happened. He never lost his composure.
What is it like to have ACC Rookie of the Year Olivier Hanlan as your teammate?
Olivier is a great point guard and deserved ACC Rookie of the Year. He is a guy that just elevates every one else’s play. We can always rely on him to put up points and that is huge.
Brad Bates has a lot of plans for basketball next year. In the “State of the Heights” forum, he confirmed that student section seats would mirror Cameron Indoor. Can you reflect on how important that would be next year?
I think that would be a great help and bring so much energy to the stadium. How it is set up now, the students are kind of distant from the court and we don’t get to feel the emotion as much. So, that would be awesome. I know Coach D has been proposing that since he got here.
What are your thoughts on the phrase “moral victories?” Does it mean anything to you?
As a team, we don’t believe in “moral victories.” I mean, if you don’t win the game, you don’t win the game. We don’t want those “moral victories” next year. I know that against Duke, people thought it was a “moral victory” because it was only a one-point loss. But, truthfully, we knew we had that game and we knew we were the better team—we let it slip away. We don’t speak of the term.
For “extras” and additional content on Teddy’s interview with Eddie, check out Gavel Media Sports’ Twitter handle, @BCGavelSports.