Tuesday, March 22, 2011

OSU could be interesting next year

The father of Ohio State freshman phenom Jared Sullinger said on Tuesday that his son will return to Ohio State next season.

We'll believe that one when we see it. Three words to remember - Michael Conley Jr.

Back in 2006, Conley uttered those same words, but still jumped to the NBA draft, which was certainly his right. And if Sullinger goes to the NBA after this current NCAA Tournament run is over, who can blame him? He's a sure-fire lottery pick.

Ohio State fans have to brace for the possibility or probability that they will be looking at an entire new starting five next year. Seniors David Lighty, Jon Diebler and Dallas Lauderdale will be gone, and many think junior William Buford AND freshman Sullinger will enter the NBA draft.

That could make for an interesting 2011-12 season.

Remember the names LaQuinton Ross, Trey McDonald, Sam Thompson, Amir Williams and Shannon Scott. You will be seeing a lot of them next year.

So, for argument's sake, let's say Buford and Sullinger DO bolt.

Ohio State's starting lineup next year very well could be sophomores Aaron Craft, Jordan Sibert and Lenzelle Smith Jr.at guard, 6-8 Boston College transfer Evan Ravenel at one forward spot and 6-7 sophomore Deshaun Thomas at the other.

Plus five very talented and promising freshmen.

The return of Sullinger and Buford would turn the Buckeyes into a preseason top-five team. But counting on their return might be asking a bit much.

The guess here is there will be a lot of new faces on the court next year for the Buckeyes.

- John Kampf


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