April 20, 2007

Press Conference (Thad Matta)

Columbus, OH – After a memorable run in this year’s NCAA Tournament, The Ohio State University’s freshman trio of Greg Oden, Mike Conley Jr. and Daequan Cook have decided to pursue their goals of playing at the professional level and are announcing that they will enter this year’s NBA Draft.

For Oden, a 2007 AP First Team All-American and projected No. 1 pick in this year’s NBA Draft, the decision was anything but a given despite being the most sought-after big-man prospect in years.

“This is a very tough decision for me,” Oden said. “I love OSU and love being a Buckeye, but I also have a great opportunity to take my game to the next level and compete with the best players in the world. I’ve discussed this with family, friends and Coach (Thad) Matta, and I feel the time is right.”

Conley, a First Team All-Big Ten selection and a 2006 McDonald’s High School All-American, has been projected by many to be the best point guard available in a deep 2007 draft class.

“This has been an extremely exciting and challenging process for me,” said Conley. “It is my life-long dream to play in the NBA. I would like to personally thank Coach Matta and his staff for allowing me the opportunity to play for a great university, rich in history and tradition. I would like to also thank my teammates and the great Buckeye fans for all their support throughout the season.”

Cook, a 2006 McDonald’s High School All-American and one of the best mid-range shooters in the country, knows his best basketball is yet to come.

“I treasured my time at OSU and our run during the 2007 Tournament, but I want to continue to challenge myself further,” Cook said. “I know what I’m capable of and I’m confident I can compete at the professional level.” While Oden will hire an agent, Conley and Cook will not sign with an agent at this time. They will have until June 18 to withdraw their names from the NBA Draft and maintain their college eligibility at The Ohio State University.