(Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)
If you watch ESPN or even the occasional game of college basketball, I can assume you already are familiar with the Ohio State dominating front court player, Jared Sullinger. While Power Forward is not the most glaring need the CAVS have, a big name and big talent player like Sullinger is hard to pass up on.
Jared Sullinger is an Ohio boy from the city of Columbus. He attended basketball powerhouse Northland High School. During his high school career Sullinger lead his high school to a #1 national ranking and won the 2010 James A. Naismith Award (nation's best high school player). He was selected to play in the 2010 McDonald's All American Game, where he made co-MVP. He also was selected to the Nike Hoops Summit and the Jordan Brand Classic. Coming out of high school Sullinger was ranked the #2 best player in the nation by ESPNU and 4th by Scout.com He was offered a scholarship to the Ohio State University in 2007 and committed that spring.
At Ohio State Sullinger has made quite the impact. Despite losing Evan Turner in the last draft Sullinger has helped the Buckeyes maintain a top of the NCAA. He's averaging 17pts and 10 rebounds a game this year all while maintaining over 70% free throw shooting. His dominance at the collegiate level is drawing many comparisons ranging from: Kevin Love, Elton Brand and even comparisons to Charles Barkley (yes Sir Charles). Every year there's always some lofty comparisons, but I honestly do believe with his potential upside, he could be one of the more dominant PF's of the new era. He may not be the "Round Mound of Rebound" but he sure can ball.
I know what you may be thinking right now. That's fine and all he's a dominant Power Forward, we have Hickson. I'm just as much of a fan of Hickson as the next guy, but I haven't seen Hickson step up anywhere to where he was hoped to. The reason people may want to keep Hickson as the starter is because of his potential, but Sullinger's potential out weighs that. The next big reason the Cavaliers may very well take Sullinger is the fact plain and simple, the publicity. Cavaliers need to do ANYTHING to try to make this team a winner on the court. But just as important it is they win on the court, they need to get some ticket sales (go ahead and get on Stubhub to check what tickets are going for). The carry over of love and support for Sullinger would boost revenue and make this team more popular again. Sure we have other needs, but if we don't land the #1 pick and Sullinger is there, is it wise to pass on one of the best Power Forwards to come out in a while? I don't think J.J. is the new face of the cavaliers, but Sullinger could be while bringing lots of Ohio State fans with him. And that will make Dan Gilbert a lot of money (and a few more wins while your at it).
Jared Sullinger PF
School: Ohio State Class: FR. Height: 6'8" Weight: 261