OU men's basketball: Christian James, Rashard Odomes preparing for NBA draft together

OU's Rashard Odomes waits to go into a 2019 game at Lloyd Noble Center. Odomes is training with Christian James for the 2019 NBA Draft in Fort Wayne, Indiana. (Kyle Phillips / The Transcript)

Rashard Odomes is adjusting to a few major life changes.

His full-time responsibility is basketball. He’s an 18-hour drive from his Copperas Cove, Texas, home. And Lon Kruger is no longer around to coach him.

The one constant? His roommate.

Odomes and his Oklahoma teammate Christian James are in Fort Wayne, Indiana, training for the 2019 NBA Draft.

His future’s uncertainty stresses Odomes some, but he at least has a familiar face around.

“It's a little bit more comfortable to have someone I've been with the last four years with me,” Odomes said. “He's been my roommate since freshman year, and he's my roommate up here.

“He still bothers me,” he continued in jest, “and still annoying.”

Both James and Odomes signed with Potter Sports Group, a sports agency based in Fort Wayne.

The former Sooners’ workouts include fellow Potter Sports Group clients Skyler Flatten (South Dakota State), Brandon Gilbeck (Western Illinois) and Jeremy Jones (Gonzaga).

The players have little room for error. Everyone involved is hoping to extend their basketball career, and in turn that has helped Odomes and James.

“They all help you elevate your game,” Odomes said. “You can't take days off and they make sure of that. We hold each other accountable. We're all working hard, all motivating each other. It helps us out a lot.”

Odomes’ top priority is showing more than he did at OU.

The 6-foot-6 forward averaged 6.9 points and 3.0 rebounds per game over his four-year career.

Odomes shined on a national stage in his penultimate OU game. He posted 20 points to spark a 95-72 win over Ole Miss in the NCAA Tournament.

The performance doesn't provide Odomes with any guarantees, but showing his impact during March Madness didn't hurt.

“I still feel like there were things I didn't show that I feel like I can do,” Odomes said. “Having that big game under my belt definitely helped. Anything that they wanted to see, they probably saw before that. Having that big game just probably added a little cherry on top.”

James, on the other hand, averaged a career-best 14.6 points per game last season and shot 34.7 percent from the 3-point line.

The Houston, Texas, native says he’s emphasized improving his ballhandling and shooting consistency. And he’s enjoyed the process.

"It's been a good experience," James said. "... My goal is just getting better, working on my weaknesses and getting in shape is the biggest thing.”

The former OU duo will know more about their futures in a week. The 2019 NBA Draft begins at 6 p.m. on June 20 (TV: ESPN).

Odomes and James will unlikely be able to room together as professionals.

It's a career juncture they've discussed a lot since moving into OU’s dorms.

“We talked about that all the time,” Odomes said. “Just planning what we needed to do that. Just taking the right steps.

“We had our ups and downs throughout our careers, but we helped each other through it. When I had my downs, he helped me. When he had his downs, I helped him.”

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