In an early preview, Ohio State is looking very good for next season. Although you have to take these statements with a grain of salt with emotions running high, Buckeyes' stars Jared Sullinger and William Buford said they would return to school next year.
Sullinger, a lock to be a top five overall pick in the NBA Draft, made the decision after a wow-ing performance against Kentucky, albeit a loss. The 6'9" hulking forward was just 2-of-8 in the first half, getting out-muscled by the Wildcats' senior center Josh Harrellson, but came out stronger in the second half. Sullinger was 5-of-6 from the field, including some emotion-filled dunks as he went for 21 points and 16 rebounds in the game.
Sullinger says he's a man of his word, as did Mike Conley back in 2007. The freshman point guard Conley wanted a run at another NCAA Tournament, but rescinded his statement when he found out he could be a top five pick (No. 4 overall).
Buford, the junior guard, will return for his senior season to improve his NBA stock and give the Buckeyes another shot next March. He's a 2nd rounder, if that, after scoring 14.5 points, 4 rebounds and 3 assists per game, while shooting a career-best 44.4 percent from 3. In a year, he'll need to hi the gym to try and get around 200 pounds (right now, he's at 190) and show he's a more versatile scorer than just an outside shooter.
He's a brief preview at next season for the Buckeyes:
With Sullinger and Buford declaring back to school, Ohio State brings back two very good players to fill in for the graduating David Lighty and Jon Diebler- defensive specialist Aaron Craft and athletic wing Deshaun Thomas. Add in a top five recruiting class, which includes two McDonald's All-Americans and Thad Matta's squad is in good shape for next year.