In his blog Tuesday, Chad Ford says that a prominent NBA player agent told him he had enough contact with Mike Conley’s father, Mike Conley Sr., to be 99 percent sure that both Greg Oden and Conley Jr. were headed for the NBA after this season.
“I think Oden really wants to stay in school,” the agent told ESPN Insider. “However, I think he’s feeling a lot of pressure from family and friends that the opportunity to be the No. 1 pick is one he can’t pass on. I think Conley Jr. wanted to make sure he was the top rated point guard in the draft before declaring.”
Raise your hand if you’re surprised. Anyone? Put your hands down Buckeye fans. Come on, this is the peril of taking some of the top rated high school talent, they leave early. Oden, though we’d respect his decision to come back, would be a moron not to go to the next level now. He would have been the top pick last year and probably the year before. The kid can ball, he’s proved it and being in Columbus for longer than he needs to only increases the chance that Jim Tressel will be caught paying him for something he didn’t do. Or, even worse, convince him of the benefits of the sweater vest (it keeps you warm but isn’t constricting!).
As for Conley Jr., his stock may never be higher than it is right now. As we’re sure Gus Johnson would put it, he’s been absolutely scintillating during the tournament. He could definitely work on his game and has a lot of improve on – mainly defense and getting stronger with the pounding he’ll take in the NBA – but there’s no way he doesn’t get some Telfair-like hype and at least get taken in the top 15. He’s quick, has a sweet stroke, and incredible court-vision and NBA execs won’t let him last too long.
So even though Mike Conley Sr. is denying that he talked to the agent and downplaying the likelihood of both players going to the next level, we’re gonna believe Mr. Ford on this one. So Buckeyes fans, enjoy the next week, it might be the last time you see these two on the court in Ohio State garb. As an Indiana alumnus, I’m pulling hard for the Buckeyes to win the national title – though it pains me to do so – so these two have absolutely no reason to come back.
Ugh, I feel dirty. Oh well, O-H…