I know Mike Conley's already said he plans on returning for his sophomore season, but the more I watch Ohio State's talented point guard the more I'm convinced he'll be a mid-lottery pick if he turns pro now.
Conley's helped his stock more than any player this tournament. His jump shot still needs work - whose doesn't? - but he played a tremendous first half against Georgetown Saturday when his running mate Greg Oden got in early foul trouble. His ability to get in the lane is unmatched in college basketball, and that 14-foot floater with either hand will be just as deadly in the NBA.
If Ohio State wins the championship Monday, I can see Conley and Oden pulling a Florida and trying to come back and repeat as champions. They've been close friends for years and OSU will enter the season an easy No. 1 with Ron Lewis the only real contributor gone and a great freshman class on the way.
But I can also see Conley and Oden packing up shop for the NBA. Really, the decision could come down to Oden's alone. His fragility's already been exposed with a wrist injury that kept him out the first month of the season, and he doesn't stand to gain any draft status (he's already the No. 1 pick) by waiting an extra year. Conley probably wouldn't either, especially if Oden leaves. While this year's freshman class (and, in turn, NBA lottery) is loaded with post and wing players (Oden, Kevin Durant, Brandan Wright) next year's is stocked with guards (incoming freshmen Eric Gordon, Derrick Rose, O.J. Mayo). With so many high-pick teams in need of point guards (the Bucks, Kings, Timberwolves and Grizzlies to name a few) and so few good ones available (after Conley, Texas A&M's Acie Law, Oregon's Aaron Brooks and USC's Gabe Pruitt are the best of the bunch), what would you do?