Satch Sullinger Weighs In On Son’s Decision
By Ben Axelrod
COLUMBUS, Ohio — Following Ohio State’s season-ending loss to Kansas in Saturday’s Final Four, OSU sophomore forward Jared Sullinger told reporters he would wait to talk to his family before making a decision as to whether or not to enter the NBA draft.
On Sunday, one family member weighed in on the Buckeye big man’s impending decision.
Photo by Jim Davidson
“At this point, ‘Team Sully’ will get together—that’s what he calls us, his mother, his father, and his brothers—and we’ll get together and help Jared make the best decision for himself,” Jared’s father, Satch Sullinger, told WBNS-10TV’s ‘Wall to Wall Sports.’
“The one question that I’ll have for Jared is, at this point, coming back, what do you have to prove?”
The answer to that question might be not a whole lot. In his two seasons at Ohio State, Sullinger has guided the Buckeyes to a combined 61-10 record, while leading both teams in scoring and rebounding. For his efforts, Sullinger has twice been named an All-American and All-Big Ten First Team performer.
After a freshman campaign that saw the Columbus-native average 17.2 points and 10.2 rebounds per game, Sullinger passed on his first chance to enter the NBA draft, where he was projected to be a top-five pick.
In his sophomore season, Sullinger scored 17.5 points and pulled down 9.2 boards per game, but also missed two games and all but six minutes of a third game while dealing with back and foot injuries. Satch indicated that those injuries could also play a role in his son’s decision.
“Health is a major issue right now, making sure he stays healthy,” Satch said Sunday.
“I know for sure he loves Ohio State and he loves being a college student, but I think he has a plethora of opportunities.”
Between injuries and what is expected to be a deeper draftthan the one that was held a year ago, Sullinger has seen his draft stock slip from where it was at the end of 2011.
ESPN’s Chad Ford currently has Sullinger ranked as the No. 10 prospect expected to enter the draft, and NBADraft.net projects him to land at the No. 9 pick in this June’s draft. DraftExpress.com currently lists the 20-year-old forward ranked as its No. 6 NBA prospect.
Despite his father’s comments, the 6-9, 265-pound Sullinger insisted that he is yet to reach a conclusion regarding his future.
"I honestly don't know. We’ll talk it over with coach, family,” Jared said after Saturday’s loss to Kansas.
“I don't know my decision yet."
Regardless of decision the Sullingers come to, Satch insisted that Jared’s time on the OSU campus is far from over.
“Whatever decision he makes, he will graduate from college,” Satch said emphatically.
College underclassmen have until Tuesday, April 10, to enter their names into this June’s NBA draft.