Ohio State coach Thad Matta: I owe my career to Greg Oden

Last week we told you about how Greg Oden has returned to Ohio State, and how the former No. 1 overall draft pick was serving as a student manager at the school where he played college basketball.

Friday, his former coach weighed in on Oden's return to campus.

In a meeting with local media, Thad Matta discussed Oden specifically, and the impact that he had on the Ohio State basketball program as a whole.

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"I go back to when I first started here, and the first guys I went to see on July 8 were Greg Oden, Mike Conley and Daequan Cook. You think back to where the program was at that point, and the chance that a guy like Greg took to come to Ohio State. I'm obviously indebted to him for the rest of my life."

While it might feel a little hyperbolic for Matta to say that he's "indebted" to Oden for the rest of his life, it really isn't all that far off.

How do we welcome new managers??? We make them rebound for the walk on.

— OSU BBall Managers (@OSUManagers) April 14, 2016

After all, it's easy to think of Ohio State as a perennial NCAA Tournament team (aside from this year) since Matta took over, but that wasn't the case before he arrived. The school was an afterthought in its conference before Matta arrived, and landed Oden --- inarguably the most sought-after recruit in high school basketball --- during his second year in Columbus. In Oden's one season the Buckeyes made the 2007 National Championship game, and as they say, "the rest is history."

Of course while Matta is forever indebted to Oden, that didn't keep him from making a joke about what Oden's new role as a student manager would entail.

"Just as long as he can get my coffee on time, make sure that things are set up for practice," Thad Matta joked on Thursday.