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Keeping up: Ohio State Buckeyes in the NBA, week of 3/19-3/25

With the Ohio State basketball team advancing to the Sweet 16 in the NCAA Tournament, it must bring back memories of past NCAA tourney runs for a few former Buckeyes in the NBA.

We had a Daequan Cook sighting last week!
We had a Daequan Cook sighting last week!

The only former Buckeyes that are playing in the NBA now that didn't make it to the Sweet 16 were Kosta Koufos and Byron Mullens. While none of the Buckeyes were able to cut down the nets in early April in college, three of them will have the chance to be able to cut down the nets this year in the NBA playoffs. Mike Conley, Daequan Cook, and Kosta Koufos will have their shot in the NBA playoffs, which starts in a few weeks, while Evan Turner and Byron Mullens will have to wait until next year to try and raise the Larry O'Brien trophy.

Mike Conley - PG - Memphis Grizzlies: While Memphis has already clinched a playoff spot in the Western Conference, they are still fighting for seeding, which led to Mike Conley logging major minutes last week. In each of the four games the Grizzlies played last week, Conley was on the court for at least 37 minutes in each game. Memphis alternated wins and losses in their four games, with Conley scoring at least 20 points in all but one of those contests. The best performance of the week for Conley was the overtime victory over division-leading Oklahoma City, where Conley scored 24 points, grabbed 7 rebounds, and dished out 5 assists. Seeing the turnovers the Ohio State basketball team have been creating lately must be inspiring Conley, who has recorded at least two steals in his last five games.

Daequan Cook - SG - Chicago Bulls: Just the luck of Daequan Cook that as he just started to see some meaningful minutes on the court for the Bulls, ab injury removed him from the game. Cook had already been on the court for 17 minutes of the Bulls win on Saturday night over Indiana, when Cook had to be taken out of the game due to a left thigh bruise. Cook scored 9 points and grabbed 5 rebounds in Saturday night's game, and luckily for Cook the injury wasn't deemed to be serious as he played for the Bulls the next night against Minnesota. With Marco Belinelli out for the Bulls, Cook saw another 15 minutes on the court but only managed 2 points. With all the injuries the Bulls are dealing with, positive contributions from Cook off the bench could be huge for Chicago down the stretch.

Kosta Koufos - F/C - Denver Nuggets: Monday night the Nuggets lost their first game since February 22nd, as the Hornets ended Denver's 15-game winning streak in blowout fashion. Koufos was one of the many Nuggets to struggle on Monday night, only scoring 3 points and grabbing 3 rebounds. While the low point total for Koufos wasn't much of a surprise, the ineffectiveness on the glass was something that wasn't expected. Koufos had pulled down at least 7 rebounds in the eight games going into Monday night's loss. Even with the loss, the Nuggets have still won 32 of the 40 games that they have played since 2013 began.

Byron Mullens - F/C- Charlotte Bobcats: Consistency has been a problem for Mullens recently, and is a reason that he lost his spot in the starting lineup recently. In a Wednesday night win over Toronto, Mullens had 25 points, 5 rebounds, and 3 blocks in 28 minutes off the bench. The shine of that performance was short lived for Mullens, with only 5 points over 45 minutes in the last two games. Mullens did get the start on Sunday against the Heat, ending a run of seven straight games where he came off the bench for the Bobcats.

Evan Turner - G/F - Philadelphia 76ers: Evan Turner is in the middle of a serious slump, averaging under 8 points and 4 rebounds over his last five games. The six turnovers that Turner committed were one of the factors that led to the 76ers one-point loss to the Nuggets on Thursday night. The only real bright spot in Turner's game last week was the 8 assists that he dished out in the lone win that the 76ers registered last week on Sunday against the Kings. It wouldn't surprise me to see Doug Collins bring Turner off the bench if his his struggles continue. So far this season Turner has started every game he has played for the 76ers, but a couple games coming off the bench might be what Turner needs to help him shake his slump. The 76ers are virtually eliminated from the playoff hunt so they can afford to shake things up with a move like that.