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It’s official – Oden and Conley select Ohio State

Wow. This is amazing. Greg Oden and Mike Conley announced today that they have selected Ohio State over Indiana, Michigan State and Wake Forest. They both cited Thad Matta as a big reason why they decided to become Buckeyes.

On paper, this gives Ohio State one of the best recruiting classes of all time, and many are starting to call this class the “Fantastic Four,” with standouts Daequan Cook of Dayton Dunbar and David Lighty of Cleveland Villa-Angela St. Joseph already committed. Oden is the biggest prize of the group. The 7-footer was expected to be the top pick out of high school in next year’s NBA draft, but he always maintained he wanted to attend college and the NBA also just instituted an age minimum.

It’s amazing that Matta was able to land these recruits in light of all the negative publicity surrounding the basketball program. This might be the beginning of an awesome hoops program in Columbus.

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Cavs land Lithuanian center

Danny Ferry is off to a fast start. He was able to swing two trades to pick up a yound center with huge upside. Before the draft, Ferry traded Jiri Welsch and cash to the Milwaukee Bucks for a second-round pick in 2006. After the draft he traded the newly acquired pick to the Orlando Magic for 7-foot-2 center Martynas Andriuskevicius, who was drafted with the 44th pick overall in the second round of last night’s draft.

Martynas Andriuskevicius has huge upside according to ESPN. He’s 19 years old and last year he withdrew from the draft when he couldn’t get a top-5 guarantee. Phoenix was poised to take him with the 7th pick. The fact that he dropped all the way to #44 this year was a big surprise since they projected him to go between 12 and 22. ESPN projects him to be more of a power forward. He’s definitely a project, but this could be a real steal at this spot. The scouting report says he has great hands and great passing skills. He can play inside and outside and has great basketball instincts. He runs the floor well and showed impressive athleticism. It sounds like he would fit in great with LeBron. The downside is that he doesn’t have the bulk or strength to battle in the paint. Hopefully that will improve with time as he matures. Bottom line – getting him for Welsch seems like a great start for Ferry.

Tribe scores five in ninth to beat Sox

The Indians won a 12-8 slugfest over the Red Sox by scoring five runs in the ninth inning. Travis Hafner blasted a grand slam home run with the score tied at eight, capping a comeback that erased an 8-5 deficit. Hafner has now homered in two straight games. Two down, one to go. The Tribe goes for the sweep on Wednesday as they try to make up for the three losses to the Red Sox last week in Cleveland.

Revenge is sweet

After getting swept at home by the Red Sox last week, the Indians started getting their revenge in Boston with a 7-0 shutout of the Red Sox. Kevin Millwood and the bullpen combined on the shutout and Hafner and Sizemore contributed home runs. It was a nice win, and hopefully they can keep this up tomorrow.

Danny Ferry will run Cavs

Reports are that Danny Ferry has agreed to a contract to be the next Cavs GM. Hal Lebowitz reported yesterday that Ferry was holding out to make sure he had final say on all personel matters for the Cavs. These details were ironed out and the announcement will be made shortly.

Where does this leave Larry Brown? According to Lebowitz, the Cavs will still pursue Brown to be team president, but Brown is OK with Ferry having final say on personel decisions. Brown would be more of a consultant and he would not be living in Cleveland. He would fly in for games and would give most of his input by telephone.

Under this scenario it would make a ton of sense to bring Brown into the mix. He would be an excellent resource for Danny Ferry and new coach Mike Brown. Things are finally falling into place. I expect Ferry to hit the ground running to rebuild this team around LeBron. It should be an interesting summer.

UPDATE – FERRY IN, BROWN OUT

At today’s news conference announcing the hiring of Danny Ferry as GM, owner Dan Gilbert stated that Larry Brown is no longer a candidate for team president, citing health concerns.

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