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Thursday, April 12, 2007

Follow Up

Someone asked me what I thought about Mike Conley Jr. going pro along with Greg Oden. I said during the season that there was no way Conley would leave school. That was based on how much he theoretically could improve by playing another year in college ... improving his jumper, beefing up ... basically becoming "the man" as opposed to one of the "Thad Five."

Well, Conley certainly played himself into a bit more money during the NCAA tournament. He's arguably the top point guard on the board, above Acie Law IV. Selfishly, I love watching Conley play and would like him to stay in college. I don't watch pro basketball nearly as much as Big Ten basketball. If he goes, Wisconsin is going to be in the mix for a Big Ten title again. So, you know, we'd have that going for us ...

If Conley sticks around one more year, Ohio State can be just as good next season simply because Oden was so underutilized (partly due to injury). The Buckeyes only lose Ron Lewis and Ivan Harris in addition to the big guy. Ohio State has more than enough firepower returning, along with more stellar recruits, to offset Lewis and Harris. Defensively, they would not be as intimidating, but with improvement from every other player, the team defense could potentially be just as effective. That's where Thad Matta would really earn his money.

Early entry candidates have until April 29 to declare for the NBA Draft. According to the AP today, Oden and Conley are no closer to making a decision. Which means Oden is waiting for Conley to decide for him. Or was it Conley Sr. who decides? Maybe the dad is going to push Davis Stern to allow the first-ever playground "package deal" on draft day.

- Discussion on tanking is everywhere: Tom Oates in the Wisconsin State Journal
- At last! Can we finally move on, sports media?

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