Nov. 2, 2012
During the next four weeks, VUCommodores.com will profile all four of Vanderbilt's most veteran men's basketball players: Kyle Fuller, Josh Henderson, Rod Odom and James Siakam. The interviews were all conducted before the start of practice and provide viewers with a closer look at the upbringing and personalities of each player on and off the court. Today, we feature junior forward Rod Odom.
Up Close: Henderson | Siakam
On a team filled with new faces, there is no player with as much experience or that is as familiar to Vanderbilt fans as junior forward Rod Odom. For the last two years Odom has been utilized as a key reserve and occasional starter on a team that boasted three NBA Draft picks last June.
Blessed with a combination of size (6-foot-9) and a good outside shooting touch, Odom is a difficult matchup for opponents to defend. As he enters his third season, Odom will have an opportunity to display his entire arsenal of skills as the team's most proven scorer.
Already regarded as strong leader, Odom has embraced the opportunity that lies in front of him for the 2012-13 season. But in order for him to make the strides he hopes to this season, Odom knew he had to make changes, and it began with his approach.
"I would say my mentality is what I've improved the most," Odom said. "I think that is a really overlooked part of basketball - the way you approach a game, and I think the way I approach a game this year is 1,000 times different than the way I approached it the last two years. I think that is what is going to benefit me the most."
For Odom, the biggest change in how he approaches a game is with his aggressiveness.
"I'm approaching the game more aggressive and erring on the side of being too aggressive than being too passive," he added.
Void of any seniors on the roster, Odom along with junior guard Kyle Fuller are the most experienced players on the team. They also happen to be one another's closest friends on the team.
The two have lived together since arriving on campus the summer before their freshman year.
"We have different personalities and they fit together well and I think that is the biggest thing," Odom said. "Typically speaking, you don't like people who are like yourself and so I think because we are different, I think it makes us better friends."
The oldest of three siblings, Odom was raised in a basketball family. His father, Roderick Odom, played college basketball at IUPUI, where he was a power forward. Rod's younger brother, Brandon, and sister, Ariona, play high school basketball.
Growing up in Central Islip, N.Y., Odom is also regarded as the team's foremost expert on Seinfeld, the former sitcom based in New York City. His favorite character is George Costanza and his favorite episode is known as "The Calzone."
"There are so many good episodes and I have every one of them on DVD," Odom said, proudly.
To learn more about Odom, be sure to watch this video.