Ex Buckeyes in the NBA Western Conference for 2008-09

Ex Buckeyes in the NBA Western Conference for 2008-09
Mike Conley Jr

Ex Buckeyes in the NBA Western Conference for 2008-09

Mike Conley, Greg Oden and Kosta Koufos

By Bill Smith


            Mike Conley started 46 games last year for one of the worst teams in the league.  He averaged 9.4 points 4.2 assists and 2.6 rebounds a game but averaged only 26 minutes a game.  He had an up and down year but is playing in the summer league to further refine his skills, develop more stamina and to get a little more physical.  He will be the starter in 08-09 and should have a little more help.  The team drafted O.J. (money in the bank at USC) Mayo to play shooting guard.  They also added Marc Gasol as a back up center.   


            Greg Oden did not play last year because of microsurgery on his right knee in September.  Anytime you hear microsurgery you have to be concerned.  However he was busy in the community.  He has already started a foundation for under privileged kids and has been named to a White House physical fitness commission.  He will be the starter when he gets totally healthy which should be sometime in the first month of the season.  The one thing that the team will not do is to risk putting him back on the floor before he is ready.

            "I'm still rehabbing, but I'm ready to play," Oden told The Associated Press on Wednesday while in Los Angeles to attend the ESPY Awards. "I can work out, I can lift, no 5-on-5, no 3-on-3. That's where everything is going, towards me being able to play when the season starts, but I'm ready."

            Until then as we reported earlier, Oden is taking a summer school biology class at Ohio State, where he left after leading the Buckeyes to the 2007 national title game -- a loss to Florida.  "I'm still classified as a freshman," the 7-footer said, grinning.  Being back on campus, though, is a constant reminder that he can't play basketball just yet.  Oden plans to pursue a degree during his offseasons. He's undecided on a major, but he wants to do something with food.  "They don't have a culinary degree at Ohio State, so I figure nutrition and then try to do something with that," he said. "I like to cook, I like food."  Asked his specialty in the kitchen, Oden paused and said, "Hamburger Helper and tuna fish."

            Oden called his rehabilitation "tough and long," but he said his teammates kept him in the loop last season.  “It wasn't like I could even get down because I was always around the guys," he said. "I feel like I'm part of the team."

            In an interview with Pulse Doug Gottlieb Oden said he has been working out getting ready weighted 275 at OSU now 295 with mussel Bayless will help him inside.  Microfracture surgery 80-85 percent back.  He said he has no pain but is just uncomfortable.  He has been focusing on footwork , stamina and perfecting his bank shot.


            Kosta Koufos steps into the Jazz that desperately needs a back up center.  The two “vets” that backed up starter Mehmet Okur combined for 1.6 points a game.  UCH!  Koufos' offensive work around the basket should give him a good chance for significant minutes in the front line rotation by the middle of the season.  The latest news on Koufos is that he will be playing in the summer league.

Next Friday—NBA Summer league preview.

Bill Smith is a former coach of several semi-pro teams and has scouted talent.  He is a senior writer for http://BrutusReport.com.  He has also published several novels on http://ebooks-library.com/index.cfm and edits http://fryingpanpolitics.blog.com

Tags: Basketball Buckeyes NBA Ohio State

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