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October 4, 2006

Koufos ready to join Oden

7-0, 252, Canton (Ohio) GlenOak

Rivals.com Rankings
Rivals150 for 2007: No. 12 overall
2007 Centers: No. 3

Career Stats
2005-06 (Jr.) 24.0 11.8 4.0
2004-05 (Soph.) 15.3 7.8 3.7

Watch the latest highlights of Kosta Koufos in action
1. What NBA player do you pattern your game after?
Dirk Nowitzki or Pau Gasol. I like that Euro style, face-up game.

2. What's the best part of your game?
I'm a mismatch problem because I can drive and post up.

3. What do you still need to work on?
My defensive presence. I'm working more now off the ball.

4. Who is the best player you have ever played against?
LeBron James or Spencer Hawes

5. What is your greatest sports moment?
I'm still waiting. I want to win state.

6. What is your favorite way to get ready for a game?
Doing meditation and listening to Greek music.

7. Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
God willing, I'll be playing in the NBA. If not, a successful businessman.

Understand this about Kosta Koufos - he isn't going to replace Greg Oden at Ohio State. Don't expect that from him, but expect great things nonetheless.

Koufos is the next outstanding big guy to pick the Big Ten school and is a fine player in his own right.

The 7-foot, 252-pound big man from Canton (Ohio) GlenOak High School isn't Oden. He plays a different type of game than the nation's top college freshman. In fact, Koufos is a more skilled offensive player away from the basket. Koufos can step out and make long jumpers. He can also put the ball on the floor and attack the rim.

Koufos' preparation for college will not be affected by Oden's presence - or absence.

"I'm happy for him if he leaves early to go pro or whether he stays around," Koufos said. "Greg and I have talked before in the past and it's his decision. I know he's going to make the best decision for him. Either way, it doesn't matter to me because we aren't playing the same position.

"I'm definitely excited he is at Ohio State," Koufos said with a laugh.

He is no dummy. He knows what he and Oden could do down low.

Together, Koufos and Oden could form one of the best frontlines in college basketball. Koufos' ability to play away from the basket and Oden's touch around the hoop will give Big Ten coaches ulcers.

The duo would also give the Buckeyes a 1-2 punch down low that hasn't been matched since Shaquille O'Neal and Stanley Roberts manned the blocks for LSU.

With or without Oden, Koufos wants one thing during his time at Ohio State.

"I've always wanted to win a National Championship, and Coach Matta has put the pieces of the puzzle together for us to do that," Koufos said. "It's all about working hard, making plays and taking advantage of your chances. I'll enjoy every minute of that when I'm at Ohio State."

Rivals.com is unveiling its preseason Elite Team for the Class of 2007. Comprised of the nation's top high school basketball stars, the Elite Team is broken down into position-specific first, second and third teams. These stars will soon be signing with the top college basketball programs en route to the NBA. We will announce one player each weekday from Oct. 2-20.

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