Things Fall Apart?

By Chris Lauderback on April 11, 2007 at 9:23 pm
things-fall-apart.jpgA must have

Apologies to ?uestLove, but the headline seems appropriate based on today's media reports surrounding Greg Oden and Mike Conley and their upcoming decisions on whether to or not to make themselves eligible for this year's NBA Draft. Admittedly, I said all along Oden would come back based solely on his comment of wanting to be a dominating offensive player before declaring versus the reality of his offensive performance this past season. That said, the experts continue to chime in with stories of Oden's departure. Andy Katz at the WorldWide leader certainly thinks Oden is history. Couple that with David Stern's remarks today, and it's time to order a Red Bull & Vodka and start facing the fact The Odenator's time in Columbus is up.

Worse yet, it appears Mike Conley Jr. is leaning heavily toward throwing his name into the NBA ring. I had a feeling his dad's comments a few weeks ago saying Mike was definitely returning were questionable, but it seems all the more real that Mike is outta here after reading Papa Conley's comments in today's Dispatch. On one hand, I understand why Conley would leave. His stock won't get any higher than it is right now, regardless of whether he adds a consistent jumper next season or not. Plus, I'm sure he is smart enough to see what Joakim Noah did to his draft status by waiting a year. On the other hand, Conley could still benefit over the long haul by adding a midrange jumper to his game and Matta could help him out by having him defend bigger guards next year to get ready for a career of defending taller guards in the post.

If that isn't enough to give you stomach cramps, Daequan is still considering turning pro even though he has disappeared from the first round in every NBA Mock Draft I've encountered. His pimped out high school coach, Al Powell Jr., was quoted as saying Cook wants to talk to Matta about his role next season before making a decision. That's funny. Matta did all he could to help Cook grow up this year but Daequan was his own worst enemy. His shot selection, defensive lapses and lack of desire only reinforced what a lousy, enabling coach Al Powell Jr. was during Cook's run at Dayton Dunbar.

On a positive note, Matt Turdwiggler has decided to forgo turning pro and will be back for another dominating season. Once the youngin's have made their decisions public, 11W will take a look at what to expect next year. On your way out, make sure to read Rick Maese's fantastic article about Greg Oden, the person, and how he's dealing with the loss of his childhood buddy. Good stuff. Not that we didn't already know, but Oden is a just as good a person as he is a hoopster.