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Marla Ridenour on Sports

All eyes on OSU's Sullinger

By Marla Published: October 29, 2010

Ohio State was tabbed second behind Michigan State at the Big Ten Conference men's basketball media day, but one Buckeye recruit will draw plenty of attention this season.

He's 6-foot-9 center Jared Sullinger, the 2010 Naismith Award winner from Columbus Northland. Sullinger became the first Ohioan to be named Parade Magazine's high school player of the year since St. Vincent-St. Mary's LeBron James in 2002 and 2003.

Brother of Ohio State's J.J. Sullinger and Kent State's Julian Sullinger, Sullinger was also a McDonald's All-American (the game's co-MVP) and a two-time Ohio e Mr. Basketball.

Asked about Sullinger Thursday, OSU coach Thad Matta said, "I think Jared has been very good to this point. I think the biggest thing was he's really resurrected his body. He's gotten himself in very good shape.

"For his size, his hands and his feet are very good. He's got a great touch. And I've said this: The thing I like about Jared is, number one, he knows how to play. But he also wins. He's won at every level that he's ever played at.  So I think our guys have seen a great unselfishness out of him.

"He can put the ball in the basket from down on the block, finishing around the basket. He steps out, shoots 3s. He's can handle the ball. And that's been exciting to see. For the four new guys, Jared is a guy that you enjoy playing with. And I think he's one of those guys who can make guys better around him.''

Ohio State returns four starters from a team that went 29-8 (14-4 in the Big Ten) and reached the NCAA's Sweet 16.

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