After two years anchoring a pair of successful Ohio State teams, sophomore power forward Jared Sullinger has declared his intent to enter this summer’s NBA draft. Per Yahoo, the two-time All American will hire an agent, ending his run in scarlet and grey.
You won’t find a Buckeye fan angry with the big’s decision. He could have easily been a top three draft pick last June, but stayed out of pure dedication to the program. That he gave Buckeye fans an extra year of his service says a lot about his character. This year’s team melted down in front of a national audience to a more athletic Kansas squad, but still, Sullinger’s two-year stay was incredibly successful. Those that watched him play over two seasons also saw a noticeable improvement in his game, expanding his offensive repertoire to include more of a mid-range game.
Still, I’d be shocked if his success in the NBA came close to mirroring the impact he had on a college level. Undersized for his position and not nearly athletic enough to overcompensate for that, he doesn’t seem to have the physical tools needed to become a star player. On certain NBA teams, he could probably start, especially if he can continue to work on his jump shot. But the likeliest scenario for him is probably along the lines of a rich man’s Glen Davis – a high-impact bench player. I hope that he makes me eat those words, because he’s been a major part of Ohio State’s rehabilitated basketball image, both on and off the court. Only time will tell.