The latest on the Gareon Conley accusations, an Ohio State basketball player heads for the NBA and more
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Today is Wednesday, April 26, and it’s time to Wake Up Sloopy.
Gareon Conley denies rape accusations
Two days before the 2017 NFL Draft, news broke that Ohio State cornerback Gareon Conley has been accused of rape.
An attorney for Conley has denied the accusation, calling it “ludicrous and ridiculous,” according to Cleveland’s WOIO-TV.
Here’s what you need to know:
- The event allegedly took place April 9 and was reported that night
- A rape kit was administered to the woman but the results are not back yet
- The police report (with names redacted) can be viewed here
- ESPN’s Adam Schefter is reporting that three witnesses gave statements that Conley did nothing wrong
- As of early Wednesday morning no charges have been filed against Conley, who has not been arrested
- With the draft growing closer, NFL teams are trying to figure out what happened
- Conley, a projected first-round pick before this news, no longer plans to attend the draft
One Buckeye off to the pros, with another possible
Ohio State center Trevor Thompson already tested the NBA draft waters once. Apparently twice was enough to seal the deal.
Adam Jardy of the Columbus Dispatch reported late Tuesday night that Thompson has signed with an agent, ending his Ohio State career.
Story is posting. Trevor Thompson has signed with an agent and will not return to the #Buckeyes.
— Adam Jardy (@AdamJardy) April 26, 2017
Players with NCAA eligibility remaining can enter the NBA draft as many times as they want, provided they don’t hire an agent and withdraw before the mandated deadline. Thompson’s draft dalliance last year always felt experimental, given that he’d averaged 6.5 points and 5.1 rebounds the previous season.
This year’s entry into the NBA draft feels at least a little different, primarily because of the improvement he showed in the 2016-17 season but also partly because you can test the waters only so many times before diving in headfirst.
Thompson is not expected to be drafted, but he could find a lucrative career in Europe or catch on with an NBA D-League roster while he attempts to work his way into the league. As Matt Brown of SB Nation points out, there are worse ways to make a living.
Here's another little secret:
Even playing in Ft.Wayne or Reno in the D-League may be better than an entry level non-STEM gig at 22!
— Matt Brown (@MattSBN) April 25, 2017
On that note, it’s also worth pointing out that when the NBA revealed the current list of early entrants, Ohio State guard Kam Williams was on it. This was a surprise for a number of reasons, especially since it hadn’t previously been reported.
Unlike Thompson, Williams has not signed with an agent and could be doing what Thompson did last year with plans to return to Ohio State. Williams averaged 9.4 points for the Buckeyes last season.
Who is Ohio State’s breakout spring star?
Spring practices across the nation have, for the most part, wrapped up, which means it’s time to break down what we’ve seen over the past few weeks.
Stewart Mandel of FoxSports.com posted a list of 15 breakout players from across the country, and the list included one from the Buckeyes.
I bet you can guess who it is.
That’s right … it’s wide receiver Johnnie Dixon, who caught his first 2 touchdown passes in an Ohio State uniform during this year’s spring game.
New offensive coordinator Kevin Wilson is charged with fixing the Buckeyes’ downfield passing game, but he needs some receivers to raise their games. Dixon, plagued by injuries most of his career, caught six passes for 108 yards and two scores in Ohio State’s spring game. We’ll see whether that improvement translates come the games that count.
It’s true that there’s some concern over whether Dixon can maintain this level of health, but so far this year he’s shown no reason to think he won’t be healthy. And if he is, the Buckeyes might have found a crucial missing piece at receiver.
Dixon was one of my choices for Ohio State’s five breakout players in spring practice. You can see the other choices here.
Scoonie Penn meets an old foe
Kentucky coach John Calipari coached at UMass a few lifetimes ago, and that gig once brought him up against a future Buckeyes player.
On Tuesday, Calipari and Scoonie Penn ran into each other and posed for a picture more than 20 years after they met on the court.
One of the most pressure-packed games I've coached in was BC-UMass in 95. Scoonie Penn starred for Boston College before going to Ohio State pic.twitter.com/2M9oBomh3Q
— John Calipari (@UKCoachCalipari) April 25, 2017
Calipari’s 1995-96 Minutemen went on to make the Final Four before losing to Kentucky of all teams (though UMass’ appearance was later vacated, just as Penn’s at Ohio State was). UMass beat Boston College 65-57 that season in a game that was played at the Boston Garden. According to Calipari, tickets for the matchup sold out in less than half an hour.
• Michigan players went to the beach on Tuesday.
• Evaluating Penn State’s class of 2017 early enrollees.
• That time Jourdan Lewis, Malik McDowell and Desmond King played on the same team.
• Jim Harbaugh is way too lax when it comes to grading pizza.
• Check out which Big Ten players currently have their names in consideration for the 2017 NBA Draft.