Player Spotlight: Jared Sullinger
In only his second year with the Ohio State men’s basketball team, forward Jared Sullinger has taken the college basketball world by storm. Sullinger, a native of Columbus, Ohio, measures in at 6-foot-9 and weighs 280 pounds. The sophomore is one of the NCAA’s most aggressive forwards, and he produces statistics that show it.
Sullinger’s first season with the Buckeyes, 2010-2011, was a breakout season. He started all 37 games and led the team in both points scored and rebounds. Sullinger averaged 17.2 points per game and 10.2 rebounds per game.
In 34 of the games he started, Sullinger scored double digit points. He had 18 games where he scored and rebounded in the double digits. In Big Ten play, Sullinger averaged 17.1 points per game and 9.4 rebounds per game. His rebounding was the second highest among Big Ten players. He led the Big Ten in both total rebounds (377) and offensive boards (131).
Sullinger scored a total of 635 points on the season, becoming the 29th Buckeye to have a 500 point plus season, and only second freshman to accomplish that milestone.
Sullinger earned six consecutive Big Ten Freshman of the Week awards and four Big Ten Player of the Week awards and was named Big Ten Freshman of the Year. He was also named 2011 Big Ten Tournament Most Outstanding Player and was named to the Big Ten All-Tournament Team.
But Sullinger’s impressive play got him noticed in more than just the Big Ten. He was named to the 2011 NABC District 7 first team and USBWA First Team All-America. Sullinger was the Wayman Tisdale National Freshman of the Year and the Sporting News Freshman of the Year. He was also a finalist for both the Naismith Award and the Wooden Award.
Going into the 2011-2012 season, Sullinger was named the 2012 Preseason Player of the Year. He was also named to the Preseason All-Big Ten team.
Since the start of this season, Sullinger has again showed why he is one of the toughest opponents in not only the Big Ten, but in all of NCAA basketball. He is averaging 17 points per game and 9 rebounds per game. He is shooting nearly 60 percent from the field and 74 percent from the free throw line.
His best games this season came against Iowa and Northwestern. In the Iowa game, Sullinger scored a season high 28 points while also grabbing eight rebounds. Against the Wildcats, he put in 17 while getting a season high 14 rebounds.
Ohio State (17-3, 5-2 Big Ten) is currently tied for first place in the Big Ten. Sullinger plays a huge role in the Buckeyes’ success.
Using his size and strength to his advantage, Sullinger plays aggressive basketball. He is efficient in the paint and shows no fear in playing tough, physical offense and defense.
Although many believed his size would be a disadvantage, Sullinger dropped 25 pounds prior to the start of the season and he has shown that, even though he’s a bigger forward, he is able to maintain disciplined footwork and agility.
Sullinger is looking to have another productive season and to keep Ohio State on top of the Big Ten.
Penn State will travel to the Value City Arena to take on Sullinger and the Buckeyes Wednesday at 6:30 p.m.
Breanna Jacobs is a sophomore majoring in Broadcast Journalism. To contact her, email: firstname.lastname@example.org.