http://www.indystar.com/apps/pbcs.dl...TS02/506240442

Oden planning to attend Ohio St.



Waiting game: Before the NBA changed its rules this week, Greg Oden had been projected as the No. 1 pick in the 2006 draft. -- The Star / 2005 file photo

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By Jeff Rabjohns
jeff.rabjohns@indystar.com


Greg Oden plans to play basketball at Ohio State University, a person close to Oden confirmed Thursday.

No immediate announcement is scheduled, but Oden and Lawrence North High School teammate Mike Conley are expected to make oral commitments to the Buckeyes in the near future. Oral commitments are nonbinding; the earliest players can sign a national letter of intent is Nov. 9.

Oden and Conley, both entering their senior years, could not be reached for comment Thursday night after playing in the Indianapolis Star Indiana All-Stars exhibition game in Richmond.

Reached by phone Thursday night, Oden's mother, Zoe, said no official decision has been made.

A dominating 7-foot, 245-pound center, Oden this past year joined NBA star LeBron James as the only juniors to be named National High School Player of the Year.

He averaged 20 points, 9.6 rebounds and 3.7 blocked shots in leading the Wildcats to their second straight state championship. In one game, he blocked 18 shots.

Word of Oden's choice came two days after the NBA changed its rules for the draft, requiring that players need to be at least one year out of high school. Oden -- widely projected as the No. 1 pick in the 2006 draft before the rule change -- has said all along that he wanted to play college basketball, narrowing his choices to Ohio State, Indiana, Wake Forest and Michigan State.

Conley, one of the top-ranked point guards in the nation, averaged 10.7 points and five assists for Lawrence North last season. He had narrowed his choices to Ohio State and Wake Forest.

Earlier this month, Oden and Conley took part in the USA Basketball Youth Development Festival in San Diego.

Shooting guard Daequan Cook, an AAU teammate of Oden's and Conley's from Dayton, Ohio, also heading into his senior year, orally committed to Ohio State this spring.

Call Star reporter Jeff Rabjohns at (317) 444-6183.

Star reporter Tracy Dodds contributed to this story.

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Do you know what this means? This means that Ohio State just landed the top player from this class, one of the top point guards, and already has an oral committment from the top shooting guard from this class. How long has it been since Ohio State had the #1 recruiting class? This one is surely #1.