Mar 26, 2011, 1:00 PM EDT
Derrick Williams should be hearing cash register sounds in his head right about now.
The 2011 NBA Draft is not slated to be terrific. It’s a weak class to begin with, shallow, with no “locks” at the top. Throw in the effect of a potential lockout on the process and you’re looking at a draft no one is particularly excited about. Granted, drafts can look one way in March and entirely different in December as players outperform expectations. The 2009 class wasn’t thought of very highly but a surprising number of first round picks from that class are starters and rising stars. But if this year’s draft was considered light on star power before Friday night, it just plummeted even more.
Jared Sullinger is coming back to Ohio State.
After the Buckeyes’ gut-wrenching loss to the Kentucky Wildcats, Sullinger told reporters he was absolutely returning next season for his sophomore season;
“I’m going to be an Ohio State Buckeye next year,” he said. “This isn’t why I came here, to come in here and see my seniors in here crying. I came here to win a national championship.”
Plenty of people make pledges in the rubble of an emotional loss only to change their mind later, when the sting and suddenness of the season fades and the promise of the NBA looms.
Sullinger, who had 21 points and 16 rebounds in his final game of the season, insists that won’t happen.
“I’m a man of my word,” Sullinger said. “I don’t change my word and no one changes it for me. This is what I want.”
The comments are consistent with what Sullinger has said consistently throughout the season, so there’s no reason to doubt him, despite many previous one-and-done players committing to their team after a tournament exit only to depart when the financial realities set in. It’s entirely possible the same happens with Sullinger, but his comments have been pretty strong to the point you have to believe him.
With Sullinger out, Arizona’s Derrick Williams becomes the surefire top big in the draft, if he hadn’t already obtained that with his perimeter barrage and terrifying posterizations against Duke Thursday night. Buckeye fans get another year of Sullinger and NBA fans will have to wait while continuing to be concerned about the quality of the upcoming draft for teams who need stars now.
- Derrick Rose sits out another Team USA practice, not likely to start Wednesday 20
- DeMarcus Cousins practices with team USA Tuesday, says he’s 50-50 for Wednesday game 2
- Jim Boeheim says of Carmelo Anthony, “it would have been better to go to Chicago” 30
- Steve Ballmer screams like a maniac at Clippers rally 26
- Thibodeau calls Team USA “perfect setting” for Derrick Rose to make return 6
- What four players left likely to get cut from Team USA roster? Things don’t look good for Andre Drummond. 19
- John Calipari says he was not close to going to Cleveland. LeBron or not. 12
- Report: Shawn Marion commits to play with Cavaliers, LeBron James 47