Tonight might be your last chance to see freshman Greg Oden at Ohio State.
Or it might not.
As the 7-1 center makes a decision whether or not to declare for the NBA draft before the April 29 deadline, his teammates and also fellow freshmen Mike Conley and Daequan Cook, also going through the same decision process, will be appearing tonight at 6 pm at the Schottenstein Center to celebrate a Final Four and National Championship game appearance.
Beginning at 5 pm, fans wishing to attend the pep rally celebrating a 35-4 season and Big Ten Championship can enter the building to hear players, coaches and administrators speak. Both parking and admission for the event will be free.
Rumors have swirled the last 24 hours that Oden, Conley and perhaps even Cook would jointly declare their intentions of returning for their sophomore seasons tonight at the pep rally, an announcement that would most certainly send the crowd into a big tizzy. However, according to an article in the Columbus Dispatch, Conley's father, Mike Conley Sr. said a decision had not been reached yet and the three freshmen would sit down over the weekend to talk further.
Making the rampant speculation even crazier was an early morning ESPN Sportscenter report stating Conley Jr. reportedly would go pro.
As of late Tuesday evening, sources reiterate to Scout | Ohio State that no decision has been made by either of the three kids, especially one that would be ready to announce publicly. However, many of those same sources believe that as of now, the trio would be much more likely to be ready to tell folks in a pep rally they're returning than telling a national audience they're going.
While it may or may not be the last chance to see a few freshmen, it's most definitely going to be the last chance to see a pair of seniors. Ron Lewis and Ivan Harris will complete their Ohio State careers athletically with the proper sending out. Lewis has graduated while Harris is set to graduate later this spring.
For complete details of tonight's event, here is the release from the Ohio State athletic department:
COLUMBUS, Ohio - The Ohio State Department of Athletics will hold a celebration of the 2006-07 Men's Basketball Season at 6 p.m. Wednesday (April 11) in Value City Arena. Admission and parking to the event are free and tickets are not required. Arena doors open at 5 p.m.
This season, the Buckeyes claimed both the Big Ten outright regular season and tournament titles. The team advanced to the ninth NCAA Final Four in program history and finished as the national runners-up.
Thad Matta, the 2007 Big Ten Coach of the Year, and members of the team will speak. Gene Smith, Ohio State Director of Athletics, and Mayor Michael Coleman of Columbus also will take part in the program. Ohio State band and cheerleaders will be on hand.
A commemorative autographed poster will be handed out to the first 5,000 fans in attendance.
The Big Ten regular-season and tournament trophies, as well as the Buckeyes' NCAA South Region and Final Four trophies, will be on display. Fans will have the opportunity to take photos with the trophies.