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Buckeyes Buckeye Archive One More Year!
Written by Rich Swerbinsky

Rich Swerbinsky
I've resigned myself to the fact that Greg Oden isn't coming back to Columbus for his sophomore season. I'm just begging for one more year out of Mike Conley Jr., who is my favorite Buckeye hoops player since Jimmy Jackson. Conley's superb play throughout the Buckeyes Final Four run has caused him to rocket up draft boards, to the point where his return is no longer a likely proposition. I examine Conley's game and beg him to stay one more year in my latest.  Watching Mike Conley Jr. play the point guard position is infectious.  I haven't had this much fun watching a Buckeye play basketball since the days of Jimmy Jackson.  I just hope he gives Buckeyes fans one more year.

I absolutely love the way this kid plays the game.    There's nothing quite like watching a great point guard in a groove like Conley is in.  He's silky smooth, with the most lethal first step in college hoops. Impossible to keep out of the paint, and then lethal at converting or distributing when there.  Ambidextrous, with fantastic ball handling skills.  A superb basketball IQ.  Vision, instincts, athleticism, and the ability to being opposing defenses to their knees with precise decision making.  And he's a lockdown defender on the perimeter.

Despite being just 19 years of age, and in the national spotlight for the first time in his life, Conley exudes calm confidence, and has brought his game to new heights in helping lead the Buckeyes to the Final Four.

One unfortnate byproduct of Conley's play and the Buckeyes accompanying run is that NBA scouts are starting to take notice.  Conley has quickly ascended to #9 on the big board of Chad Ford from ESPN
and is projected as the 14th overall selection in this mock draft I stumbled across.  Bottom line, this kid is a top 15 pick if he wants to leave school after this season.

And who would have predicted that at the outset of this season?  I think we all knew Oden was destined for a one and done, and figured that maybe Daequan Cook would do the same.  But Conley?  The 160 lb. (soaking wet) point guard that alot of fans figured was only here because he played alongside Oden since they were sixth-graders in AAU ball?  The kid that was expected to learn behind incumbent point guard Jamar Butler for a year?  The same Conley that still hasn't even developed a consistent outside jumper yet?

No player has improved their stock more over the last month, and sadly, it would be a genuine suprise at this point if he came back for his sophomore year.  Especially with his good buddy and high school teammate likely set to make the same jump.  Conley is a jump shot away from being Chris Paul, and NBA executives are going to be more than willing to roll the dice that the jumper will develop for a kid that works as hard on his game as Conley does.

The one bastion of hope for Buckeye hoops fans is that Conley is expected to be represented by his father once he does decide to end his college career.  A former high school basketball star in Chicago, Conley Sr. became an Olympic track star, winning a gold medal in the triple jump in 1992.  And dad is on record as wanting his son to stay in school at least another year to work on his game.  And Conley Jr. has said the same thing, albeit before his excellent stretch of play in the Big Dance before legions of pro scouts.

With another incoming freshman class that's amongst the best in the nation, Conley Jr. staying in Columbus one more year would make the Buckeyes prohibitive favorites to reach the Final Four again next season.  Think about it.  Conley, Butler, Cook, Lighty, and Hunter.  With Terwilliger and the freshman trio of Diebler, Koufos, and Lauderdale coming off the pine.  As Borat would say .... isssss nice. 

Give us one more year Mike.  And if not, find a way to get on the Cavs roster.  Is there a supplemental draft in the NBA?

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