Conley Talks ESPN Game; Plans Visit

It's not often that a high school basketball game can be viewed by picking up a remote and hitting the on button. But Thursday, December 9th, 2004, Lawrence North and Poplar Bluff went head to head in battle between soon-to-be superstars, Greg Oden and Tyler Hansbrough.

While Oden and Hansbrough garnered most of the attention, Lawrence North point guard Mike Conley looked as good as his number one point guard ranking. Conley used his quick and elusive passes to set up his teammates for 12 different baskets. Including a number of set ups to his teammate of over five years, Greg Oden.

"That was one thing that I really focused on," Conley said. "I wasn't scoring as much so I had to do something else to contribute at least. I figured that I was pretty good at penetrating, dishing, and getting people open."

Conley went on to score eight points and grab six rebounds (one more than Oden) to go along with his 12 assists.

"It was a lot of anticipation really," Conley said about the televised game. "There was more crazy stuff going on before the game than during the game."

What exactly does Conley mean by a lot of "anticipation?"

"ESPN cameras following us everywhere, filming Greg and watching us eat and stuff," Conley proclaimed. "It was stuff that we'd never experienced before it was a lot of anticipation because of that."

You would think most kids would love the attention, and while Conley didn't mind it, one player thought it was a little over board.

"I think Greg thought it was a little too much," Conley stated. "But a lot of the players on the team, that aren't used to as much attention as he is, so we thought it was alright. But of course Greg thought it was too much."

With the pressure of ESPN cameras and the likes of Jay Bilas and Bill Rafferty roaming their school halls the pressure was on Conley to play well. So Conley got up bright and early at 5:30 in the morning to go through some drills and work out. But the early work out is not something that he did just because of the televised game, it's something that he does often.

"Yeah I do it, probably every other day during the week," Conley responded when asked about his workouts.

During the nationally broadcasted game the announcers said that Conley had dropped Indiana from his list of schools. Conley addressed those comments.

"They have too many guards right now, with the recruits that are coming in and I just don't think I want to play for IU in the Big Ten," Conley said.

The rest of his list still remains the same; Wake Forest, Arkansas, Illinois, Michigan State, and Ohio State.

The 6-foot-1 guard still says that the Demon Deacons are leading in for his services.

"They really have showed a lot more attention to me than a lot of other schools have," Conley replied when asked about Wake Forest. "They have come to all my games and all my practices and anything that they could get to. I know that North Carolina is pretty far away so that shows just how dedication they have to travel that far to see me. Even though they have their season to worry about it shows a lot that they really want me to come there. Basically I already liked the school a lot, but the coaching staff and everybody have really impressed me."

The Demon Deacons will receive another visit from Conley on December 18th when they face off against the Texas Longhorns.


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