Let the "Jared Sullinger is hurting his NBA Draft stock" talk commence

If I had it my way, all college basketball players would be required to commit at least two seasons to a school. I understand why that is incredibly unfair.

Before he announced that he would stick around Columbus for another season, Ohio State's Jared Sullinger was a projected top 10 pick in the 2011 NBA Draft. This means a guaranteed contract for at least two seasons; no matter how disappointing or successful he was on the court, Sullinger secure upwards of $3.5 million upon a handshake with David Stern.

Again, I don't support this notion, but with Sullinger missing game time for a second injury in as many weeks, it all but ensures rumblings from pro scouts will surface between now and next June. While the x-rays were negative, seeing him clutch a pair of crutches in sweat pants as his Buckeye teammates plodded through a victory against an atrocious South Carolina club was unsettling to see.

Just a quick Twitter search confirms my suspicions he's in trouble. These initial reactions will only lead to better articles than the one you're reading regarding Sullinger's draft stock, and then it will be a national reporter passing along information he's heard from multiple NBA scouts, and then it's ESPN's Chad Ford being brutally honest about how silly it was for Sullinger to nobly stick around for a sophomore season.

Even at 100 percent, questions abound as to how Sullinger's game translates at the next level.

He's not big enough to be a center, and perhaps not mobile enough - too reliant on a back to the basket game - to be a power forward in today's NBA. Defensively, he certainly couldn't guard a seven-footer, and would get destroyed by any player his size that was comfortable with the basketball out on the perimeter.

It's a long season, one with tons of optimism for the Ohio State Buckeyes. But all that game tape and all those opportunities for more lingering injuries may provide just enough baggage to bury Sullinger's chances at keeping his lottery pick status for the 2012 NBA Draft.

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