As was expected by everyone outside of Austin, Texas, your very own Greg Oden went #1 in this years draft. Long time buddy and Buckeye Hero Mike Conley, Jr. (his dad was an olympic athlete, didntchyaknow?) followed shortly thereafter at #4. Daquan Cook, the pride of Dayton Dunbar, went #21 to Philly and then was quickly traded to Miami. Not a bad racket for Cook — he gets to play with Shaq and D-Wade. Living in Miami can’t be too bad, either. Bienvenido a Miami!
It’s good to see these guys go so high. It’s been said before, but Oden has had a huge positive influence on the Ohio State basketball program. I don’t think we’ve seen the full effect of what he (and the rest of the Thad Five) did for OSU. We can only dream about what they would have done if they stuck together for one more year. Would have been amazing.
I think Oden’s prospects in Portland, however, were slightly diminished with the NY/Portland trade. Zach Randolph may not have been the best influence for Oden, but having a player like Stevie Franchise isn’t going to help either. Oden and Francis are polar opposites — Oden is the consumate team player whereas Francis… isn’t. It was cool that Portland also picked up Josh McRoberts, as he and Oden also played together in their pre-college years. (Who hasn’t Oden played basketball with? I know he played high school and AAU ball for like 14 years, but this is ridiculous!)
Conley Jr. will definitely miss playing with Oden, but Pau Gasol is no slouch when it comes to big men (he’s also a Spainard, which is like +10 to awesomeness right off the bat). He’ll also play with the second ugliest player in basketball (Mike Miller). He was the ugliest player until Joakim Noah got picked up by the Bulls.
Speaking of Noah, I can’t wait until the Human Elbow #2 (Varejao) brings it down to bear on Noah’s pretty face. That will be something to see. It will be an explosion of hair, fugliness, and ethnicity. Awesome.
Now I just hope someone does the right thing and picks up Ron Lewis.
Another great draft showing by the Buckeyes. Let’s hope they keep happening.