``I felt it was the right place for me," Conley Jr. told Scout.com in an exclusive interview prior to the announcement. "It was one of those things with Wake Forest where distance got to me."
Conley Jr. made it no secret of his affinity for Wake Forest and Skip Prosser's program, but the pendulum swung after Oden and Conley's teammate, Daequan Cook, made a pledge to Thad Matta and the Buckeyes months ago.
``That was a big factor," Conley Jr. admitted. "It turned my attention to Ohio State and I watched them closely because he committed. However, I still made my decision on what's best for me."
Oden and Conley play together at Lawrence North (Ind.) and the duo also plays with Cook in the summer with the Spiece Indy Heat, which is coached by Conley's father, Mike Sr.
``They all bought into the fact that they can win a national championship," Conley Sr. said. "Thad recruited Mike back when he was at Xavier, but it wasn't like Ohio State was the front-runner from day one."
In one of the worst kept secrets around, Scout.com's top-ranked player in the nation, Greg Oden, and his teammate, Mike Conley Jr., committed to Ohio State at a news conference on Wednesday afternoon.
In fact, both Conley and his son admitted that if Cook and/or Oden had chosen Wake Forest, that's probably where he would have ended up, also.
``Wake was a place where Mike wanted to go," Conley Sr. added. "He was wishing that Daqaean and Greg would go with him. If they had gone to Wake, he would probably have gone as well and they'd all be going down there."
However, Matta got the first piece in Cook – and then capitalized with Oden and Conley. Ohio State also has a commitment from highly regarded in-state wing David Lighty.
In all likelihood, Oden will only stay one season in Columbus – but that's one more than any college coach figured they'd get out of the mild-mannered big man.