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Former Ohio State point guard Mike Conley has quietly become one of the best players in the NBA

After signing a huge contract in the offseason, Conley has put together his best season in his 10th year in the NBA.

NBA: Playoffs-San Antonio Spurs at Memphis Grizzlies Justin Ford-USA TODAY Sports

“Conley isn’t just good “for a guy who doesn’t get a ton of publicity.” He’s not just one of the best players to have never made an All-Star team, the most underrated player in the league, or a nice guy who plays the game the right way. Those qualifies stopped being necessary years ago, and they’re even more unnecessary now. Conley is one of the best players in the NBA.”

Mark Titus, The Ringer

Later tonight the Memphis Grizzlies will try and stave off elimination in the NBA playoffs when they host the San Antonio Spurs. If the Grizzlies want to send the series back to San Antonio for Game 7, they’ll need another big effort out of point guard Mike Conley. The former Ohio State product is in the midst of the best season in his 10th year in the NBA. After years of being overshadowed, first by Greg Oden at Ohio State, and recently by Marc Gasol, Conley is finally starting to get the recognition he deserves.

In their year at Ohio State, Greg Oden got most of the publicity, but Conley was actually the Buckeyes’ best player during the NCAA Tournament. His performance during the run to the title game made it easy for Conley to decide to jump to the NBA. Conley has spent his whole NBA career in Memphis, and isn’t going anywhere anytime soon after signing a five-year contract worth $153 million dollars during the offseason. Conley is one of just six active players to spend at least 10 years with one team, and is Memphis’ all-time leader in games, points, assists, steals, and top-five in a number of other categories. An even more incredible feat is that Conley has never been assessed a technical foul. Even with all that, Conley still has never been selected to an All-Star team, and it’s possible could never appear in the NBA Finals. Hopefully the next few years see Conley getting the accolades he deserves, but even if he doesn’t at least he is setting a great example for the younger generation on how to play the game the right way, even when you aren’t getting the attention you deserve.

“Coach Coombs has done a nice job of developing that room. We talk about it all the time: there’s certain cultures within position groups that are fantastic, and there are others that aren’t. Right now our corner room is.”

Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer via Ben Axelrod, Land of 10

Tonight the 2017 NFL Draft kicks off in Philadelphia, and it is very likely that for the fourth time in four years Ohio State will see one of their cornerbacks taken. If Marshon Lattimore is taken in tonight’s first round, it will be the third time in four years that Ohio State has had a cornerback taken in the first round. Since 2000, only Alabama and Miami (FL) can claim three first-round cornerbacks over a four-year span. A huge reason for the success of Ohio State’s cornerbacks over that span has been because of the coaching of cornerbacks coach Kerry Coombs.

The pipeline of cornerbacks taken early in the NFL Draft is likely to continue over the next few years with the talent they currently have on their roster. Denzel Ward, Jeffrey Okudah, Shaun Wade, and Kendall Sheffield are all cornerbacks who have the tools to excel at the next level. The high standards Coombs has set for his players certainly helps ready his cornerbacks for the next level. As long as Coombs continues to watch over the cornerbacks at Ohio State, the Buckeyes will continue to get very talented cornerbacks to come to Columbus, since they know Coombs will put them in position to hear their name called early in the NFL Draft.

“(I’m working on) getting bigger, stronger, faster, working on my ball handling, defense, everything. A little bit of everything.”

Ohio State center Micah Potter via Adam Jardy, The Columbus Dispatch

Early this week, Trevor Thompson announced that he had signed with an agent, ending any possibility that he would remove his name from the NBA Draft and return to Ohio State. With the departure of Thompson, Micah Potter will likely see his role expand even more next season. Potter became one of the few true freshmen to start in his first game under Thad Matta, and while he was able to get his feet wet on the court a little bit, it was evident that there is plenty of room for improvement. Potter ended up starting 12 games, but averaged just 4.1 points per game and 3.1 rebounds per game while averaging 14.1 minutes per game.

After Ohio State finished the season 17-15, and failing to secure any postseason play, Potter has spent the offseason preparing for his sophomore season. The 2016-17 season has left a sour taste in the mouths of Potter and his teammates, and they are doing all they can to make sure the 2017-18 season is a lot more successful. While Thompson, as well as David Bell, who transferred to Jacksonville, Potter will have some help in the front court with incoming four-star recruit Kaleb Wesson. Potter has also been working on becoming more vocal and shouldering more of the leadership role as the Buckeyes look to turn things around this season. If Potter is able to have a breakout season, it will definitely help Ohio State turn around some of their recent misfortunes.

“Ohio State signee and Westerville (Ohio) South product Kaleb Wesson has another trophy to add to his collection. The four-star center was named the 2016-17 USA Today Ohio Player of the Year on Wednesday.”

Ryan McGlade, Scout.com

Ohio State’s men’s basketball team has underperformed the last few years, but some help is on the way. On Wednesday, incoming center Kaleb Wesson was named USA Today Ohio Player of the Year. The brother of current Buckeye Andre Wesson averaged 22.4 points per game and 10.9 rebounds per game in his senior season. The younger Wesson established a school record in January by scoring 49 points against Upper Arlington. The incoming Buckeye has already earned honors as Gatorade Ohio Player of the Year, Mr. Ohio Basketball, and Mr. Ohio Basketball Coaches Association for the best player regardless of division.

Wesson wasn’t the only future Buckeye to be honored on Wednesday, as 2018 signee Justin Ahrens was named to the first-team All-USA Ohio Boys Basketball Team. Ahrens is a three-star prospect from Versailles, Ohio, and averaged 23.5 points per game as a junior. Joining Ahrens in the 2018 class will be Dane Goodwin, who opposed Wesson in the game in which Wesson scored 49 points against Upper Arlington. In that game, the four-star guard hit eight three-points on his way to 35 points. Hopefully with the incoming trio, along with the cast of returning Buckeyes, Ohio State can turn things around quickly and return to the NCAA Tournament.

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