Conley Impressed By Dramatic OSU Win

Indianapolis Lawrence North guard Mike Conley confirmed that he watched OSU's dramatic win over No. 1-ranked Illinois on television. What did he think about the game? Click here for more.

A rather hectic schedule for Indianapolis point guard Mike Conley, kept him home for a Sunday afternoon basketball game between Ohio State and Illinois. However, he made it a point to watch and the results were pretty apparent in Conley's eyes.

The 6-1 junior guard ranked as the top player at his position in the class of 2006 by passed on a visit to Columbus for the season finale between the Buckeyes and top-ranked Illinois because of being worn down from two games in two days.

He watched the game on television, and indicated a strong interest in the results.

"Yeah I definitely watched it since I couldn't make it over," Conley said on Sunday evening. "It was really nice to see them beat Illinois today. Even though Illinois is one of the other teams I'm considering, I guess it was really great to see Coach (Thad) Matta get that victory. It was a great game to watch, and a very exciting finish."

Conley is averaging 12 points and seven assists a game, to go along with three steals per game for Indianapolis Lawrence North. Matta was in town on Friday to see him and his teammate, Greg Oden, as Lawrence North beat the No. 1-ranked team in the state, Arlington, by 15 points.

Lawrence North followed it up with a game on Saturday against Indianapolis Cathedral with a win by nine points.

"It was a real physical game," Conley said of the game on Friday. "There wasn't a lot of fouls called but there was a lot of bumping and body contact and everything. It was really exhausting. The game probably got a little out of control."

The talented Lawrence North duo was set to make a trip to Columbus for the game between Ohio State and Illinois, but given how tired they were after the pair of games in two days, they opted for staying home.

Although Conley would have preferred to see the game in person, he was able to take plenty away from the game itself.

"I saw that Coach Matta will give the ball to his guards and let them take control and run," Conley noted. "Whoever is hot he will let have the ball when the game is on the line, and he seems to be really energetic, upbeat, and he let's his guys play and gets the most out of them. I love his tenacity."

Conley was asked if he found himself pulling for either team, since both are among his favorites.

Apparently, he did.

"At first, when the game started, I didn't really have a preference," Conley recalled. "But, as the game went on, I really wanted Ohio State to win a lot because of the situation they are in and because it would be great for the program and a great sign of things to come for OSU basketball."

"I wanted to see them win more and more as the game wore on and I was excited to see them pull that out. It was a real good win," he added.

Wake Forest still leads for Conley, ahead of Ohio State, Illinois and North Carolina.

However, while Conley acknowledged those teams, he also has a different outlook on things than he had previously.

"Yeah it's still pretty much those four teams," Conley confirmed. "They are all four right there close-knit together. Wake is still on top, but all schools are close and any day I could change my school. I'm really up in the air on my choice on any given day, and it's still too close to call."

Wake Forest, North Carolina and Illinois are known commodities, each with an excellent chance of being No. 1 seeds in the NCAA Tournament.

Ohio State, however, is still an emerging program under the direction of first-year coach, Matta, and Conley was asked if this was a win that gave legitimacy to what Matta has been recruiting Conley for, and whether it confirms everything he believes about the Buckeyes.

"Well of course they can't go to the NCAA, unfortunately, but beating Illinois shows just how good a coach that Coach Matta really is," Conley said. "I think that Ohio State is very good and they are going to be very good for years to come. This is a sign of things to come and that's where I'd like to come in there and help out."

Conley will now turn his focus back to the season, where Lawrence North plays on Saturday morning. Should they win, they will have a second game on Saturday later in the day.

In the meantime, he has put his recruitment on the back burner. Whatever Conley ultimately decides, he may not decide for a few more months.

Where Conley may have originally planned to decide early in the spring, he may now wait just a little while longer. His timetable will be a few months after the season ends for him.

"I'll probably keep it open and try to worry about it in the early summer or mid-summer," he explained. "I'm trying not to worry too much about it right now. I just pay attention to what's going on and keep an open mind."

Buckeye Sports Top Stories